Unlike the Madras autos and taxis, the ones in Mumbai are reliable, safe and you don't have to listen to Saavugiraakki kind of stuff from them. And yes, they return the change however small the amount may be.
Taxis which are more than 25 years old are being phased out and its great news for me. The rickety, old Premier Padmini taxis with no leg space, stinking seat covers have made travelling by taxi very uncomfortable especially when you are stuck in Mumbai traffic for hours.
The good news is that old Premier Padmini taxis are being replaced by the Maruti Omnis, Esteems, 800s , Tata Indicas and my favourite - the Santros.
These new taxis are comfortable with more leg space, electronic meters...
.. and they zip , zap , zoom without aching your bum.
Interiors of a Santro taxi...
The electronic meter that works (unlike the Madras autos)But the one big problem I face is the refusal from the taxiwallahs for short distances. Almost every evening I find myself waiting outside the office for almost half an hour till I find a taxi that takes me back home.
As per the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Act, Section 22 (d) 178 (3) (b), "Auto rickshaw driver refusing to ply for hire" attracts a penalty of Rs. 100, and it goes up to Rs. 200 for a Taxi refusing to ply. A complaint against any auto/taxi driver who refused to ply to your destination can be lodged by mailing email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 24937755.
The Hindustan times did a wonderful series last year where they featured taxis that refused to ply short distances and published their pictures.
Inspired by the series, here's my own. I am going to post pictures of cabs that refused to ply a short distance, for me . Check my 'Cab'ab counter everyday on the right.My first 'boni'