Monday, August 26, 2013

Auto rickshaws and fares

There are number of travel options in Chennai and of course overall India, Auto rickshaw is one of public transport easily available in cities and small towns - share autos has no boundary - but it has been a troublesome commutation forever and many a time a auto ride ends with quarrel related to fare. I have witnessed number of incidents on this line and sometime there will also be clashes between auto drivers and commuters settling on fare. It’s been very long time I traveled in an auto, but still I hear about the disputes continue to fall here and there on the line.
image courtesy: google
In Chennai, autos rarely drop their meters to calculate the fare fixed by authorities rather the amount is predestined by auto drives depending on the destination. But that doesn't mean a content commuting; the fare may rise above the spoken amount when we reached the destination. The auto divers will not hesitate on requesting excess fee above the amount showed on meters but we can’t blame them quite, as we all know the price of petrol has been on hike boundlessly and moreover almost auto drives come from poverty what can be their priority other than money.

I too know money is not all about and not all auto drivers are similar to mentioned above.  There are very few drops for less fee or fare free understating the hardship of others, just like the one who helped my mom for just approaching his auto without knowing customers inside. He came back after dropping them at their place to assist mom walking back home bearing home needs, for which he requested nothing but left it to her choice of anything.  For any emergence the auto comes first when others hesitate to help thinking not to get into any trouble.

Many autos bear words of ‘free for delivery’ (I don’t know they truly follows the lines), their sentiment towards women are high. The movies contribute to autos are much higher and many top actors had been auto drivers in films has showcased how much one could help with autos. The government’s revised auto fare announced on Sunday (after six years) have brought hope with both auto rickshaw divers and commuters; the autos that about to fit with GPS meters, electronic digital printers and panic buttons (on pressing, the police will immediately come to rescue the commuters in case of emergency), the auto ride sounds safe and comfortable.

New fare details:

Rs.25 for first 1.8 km and Rs. 12 for every additional km
50 % high on late night (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.) rides
Rs. 3.50 for every five minutes of waiting and Rs.42 for an hour. 


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I had never seen a rickshaw before. It looks and sounds similar to the American taxi process over here!

TexWisGirl said...

i would imagine that would be a very tough way to make a living - competitive, for sure.

Preetilata【ツ】 said...

Totally could relate to it Dear Jeevan. It is the same plight here too.

Indrani said...

Good post Jeevan, full of info.

Renu said...

I dont think it is any tougher than other professions.

and I hope the auto wallas follow the new rules.

They will stand all day and then would like to make a killing in one trip only.

There are people like that one Autowalla who is taking people by meter and then providing free wifi, magazines and still earning well.

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

The Auto Riksha drivers in Chennai are arrogant and rude. The never request but always demand excess fares.I always prefer to travel by call taxis. Call taxi fares are cheaper,ride is more comfortable, they have air conditioning & there is no bargaining. Also call taxis can be booked in advance and come to your door step.
Auto Rikshas in Coimbatore are no better.

Destination Infinity said...

When I was in Bangalore, I used to take autos more frequently (even though I had a bike) because they charged the right amount. Here, I will use only bike, unless its some emergency. That will be the mindset of most customers, I guess.

The revised charges seem to be fair - If they go by it, then they will see more people using the auto. Otherwise, they'll have to just keep waiting and chatting in their stands.

Destination Infinity

Sandhya said...

Did you read about 'Namma Auto'? They seem to be very good. I saw them on the roads too!

The govt.'s new fare looks fair! With luck we might go by autos without any trouble in the future!

One auto driver told me once that they prefer going short distances and charging double so that they get more money and wear and tear will be very less!

George said...

Thanks for an interesting post. I think people the world over have the same attitude toward taxi drivers.

Betsy Adams said...

Interesting post, Jeevan... I'll bet the competition among rickshaw drivers is fierce....I'd rather know what I have to pay before my ride instead of bargaining with them... Glad they are putting GPS units in all of the cars and rikeshaws. That should help with safety for sure.

Pattu Raj said...

Compared to Bangalore and Hyderabad , the auto drivers in Chennai are not very customer friendly,except a few good ones. The fares are exorbitant , and no one route has the same fare. It was more like rickshaw pullers haggling for fare. Till recently no one was even using the meters.

Hopefully, the new revised rates will change all that.

Nice photograph. Did you click that!

Rajesh said...

I have found that the minimum charge is Rs 30 in Chennai for auto.

Jeevan said...

Sandya - i haven't seen that auto yet.

Pattu - no, this photo got from google :)

deeps said...

i guess the story not better in most parts of our country...

Twilight Man said...

I had never heard of these drivers causing quarrels and arguments anywhere. I have taken them in Thailand and China many times.

Ponniyinselvan/karthikeyan said...

Must try and see how it works