Wondering which cities in India are the best to get around in?
A sound and well-maintained public transport is one of the most effective indicators of a country’s economic health. The public transport system in india is one of the most heavily used in the world. So, for tourists travelling to India, it is a viable option to explore the country using the public transit facility, visiting all local attractions in the company of the local people. There’s no dearth of the modes of transport in the country. One can find local trains, metro rails, bus, autos, cycle rickshaws and taxi service
The top 10 places for public-transit friendly travelling are mostly the main cities of India. If you have a wanderlust and you enjoy seeing new places, India’s leading metro cities are the best choice for you. These cities have a good public transportation system and close to 80 percent of the Indian commuters rely on this, as per estimates. Among all the cities that work best for the travellers, at the top of the list is Mumbai, home to the Queen’s Necklace and the fascinating gateway of India.
Mumbai’s Magical Local
Public transportation is considered the most effective way of getting around the mega city. This city has a superlative public transportation system so much so that everyone takes the local for travelling even short distances within the city. Three lines on the Mumbai Suburban Railway– Western Line, Harbor Line and Central Main Line are the lifeline of the city.
Trains have different compartments for people belonging to different ages and genders as well as passengers who suffer from disabilities. Trains work regularly and range from Slow(S) to Fast(F) trains. Railway maps are also there on websites online for local train services in Mumbai. The Mumbai monorail is also debuting and currently has finished lines heading to southern parts of the city.
Bus service in Mumbai is considered to be the best in the country. The Bombay Electric Supply and Transport Company (BEST) operates a fleet of buses running on CNG. These buses transverse hundreds of routes serving many parts of the city. Mumbai is well connected to CST Airport, one of the most vibrant and busy traffic hubs in South Asia.
The BEST buses and local trains are not the only highlights of the city. One of the most common sights in Mumbai is the black and yellow taxis that are readily available whenever you need a ride. Also, fares are to be paid by the metre, so it is relatively cheap to use a cab in Mumbai.
Kolkata’s One-of-A-Kind Tana Rickshaws
Human operated tana rickshaws work within limited areas around the New Market. Though rickshaw pullers charge high fares, they are also highly prized for their convenience. Buses and minibuses are frequent but the ubiquitous trams. Biman Bandar is an airport station, with only a couple of daily services stopping here. Crossing the Hooghly is faster through the ferries that depart across the scenic Howrah bridge to jetties in central parts of the city. Tuk-tuk or old world charm autorickshaws operate on a fixed route through hop-on-share taxis with a passenger in the front and three in the back.
Chennai’s Gateway to the South
India is well known for its traffic and Chennai is no exception to the rule. Buses are a form of public transportation in the city and they transport close to 5 and a half million passengers on an everyday basis. Air conditioned or deluxe buses are more costly, but using smartphone apps makes them fairly easy and convenient to use. Drivers may try to charge overly high prices, but if you choose the quaint tuk-tuk for moving across Chennai, be sure to negotiate a fair price. Well connected by air and sea, this capital city of Tamil Nadu is known for its landmarks such as Marina Beach and the secretariat.
Indore’s Interesting Tour
Indore is another public transit friendly place in India. The buses are comfortable for riders. The Volvos buses here are AC equipped and make for a comfortable ride through the city and surrounding districts like Mhow, Rau, Hatod, Manpur and Simrol. Another good way to traverse through Indore is the BRTS which is the metro of Indore. Metro and monorails make this the ideal choice for people who value cheap, easy and fast transport.
Bengaluru’s Silicon Valley
Also known as the Silicon Valley of India, it is the 3rd most populous and 5th most populous urban city in India. It is also the eighteenth most populous city across the globe. Known as the Garden city of India because of its lush and evergreen gardens and parks and its gentle climate, Bengaluru was also one of the fastest growing Indian metropolis cities after New Delhi.
Bangalore also has a host of world class scientific institutions such as IIM-B, IISC and NIMHANS. BEL, HAL, NAL, ISRO, Wipro and Infosys are some of the famous companies which have a office in this city. An economic centre of the nation and considered the third largest hub for HNWIs, it is the silicon valley of the country. Travelling through buses, rickshaws and taxis in Bengaluru is fairly convenient and the roadways and metro offer excellent alternative means of public transport to the avid traveller.
Delhi’s Magnificent Metro
Delhi is not just the capital city of India, it is the main option for public-transportation friendly travellers who want to be able to move across the length and breadth of the city with ease. The main options for public transportation in New Delhi are the bus, metro, taxis and rickshaws. There are currently over 2000 public buses serving the city, but only some of them (the red ones) have an air conditioning system in place.
The Delhi metro is the cheapest and most efficient way of getting across the city, is the most popular means of transport here. It is currently Asia’s best rapid transit system. There are 6 lines covering many stations and the main way to cover the city is through this system. For short distances, choose autorickshaws and taxis. The sights to see here are in plenty from the Jantar Mantar to the Qutab Minar. Delhi’s Hop On-Hop Off buses are also perfect for tourists who want to see the many UNESCO World Heritage sites here.
If comfort is a factor for you and you are willing to spend more, cabs in Delhi are another viable option. Cab facilities are ubiquitous in the cities, though an expensive option. However, with a number of apps to book taxis in the city, commuters can opt for comfortable rides with ease, convenience and at a lesser cost. Grabbing an auto is another common mode of transportation in the city and can be found in all corners of Delhi.
Hyderabad’s High Spots for Travellers
Hyderabad is home to the Purana Haveli and Archival Museum, among other beautiful and interesting places. Hyderabad is well connected by buses that take you to different parts of the city. Bus-stops are present in different areas of the city and the local train system (known as the Multi-Modal Transport System) is quite popular as a mode of transport. Metered autos are available across the city and there are private cabs or prepaid cabs for transportation as well.
Chandigarh’s Charming Sights
Chandigarh is one of the cleanest and most intriguing cities in north India. It has many important tourist sites for sight-seeing such as International Dolls Museum, Elante Mall, Tagore Theatre and Zakir Hussain Garden. Chandigarh is a perfect choice for travellers who value cities that are public-transit friendly. There are three basic modes of transport here- buses, autos and cabs. Chandigarh is well connected by air and rail.
Shimla’s Snowy Landmarks
Shimla is the capital of the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh and one of the best spots in the country if you want snowy winter holidays. From the Jakhu Hills to the scenic treks, this state capital has many charms for the intrepid traveller. Shimla is excellent for those who want to access tourist sites through local transport that is economically viable. Numerous buses ply from Shimla to nearby places and there are private tour operators as well as state government buses. Shimla is also the perfect choice for hiring taxis and private cabs and and autos are there in plenty as well.
Gangtok’s Great Trip
Sikkim is one of the smallest states in India. It is famous for breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty. The state is covered by high mountains, natural river streams and breathtaking valleys. Hilly terrains have to be negotiated by the public transport. Though it may seem one of the least public transit friendly cities, Sikkim’s Gangtok is well connected through the Bagdogra airport. Siliguri is the main gateway to Sikkim and many vehicles travel to Kurseong, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok. There are shared jeeps, auto rickshaws, and buses also available in Gangtok and other parts of Sikkim.
India is a diverse country with a rich selection of culture, religion, regions, costumes, languages, food patterns and tourist sites. The avid traveller will be delighted with the many sights and sounds of this bustling and vibrant nation. Choose a good time to visit the country such as summer or spring for the best experience of tropical weather. India is truly a gem among countries when it comes to sightseeing and heritage sites.
Ravi Khemani, the CTO and Co-founder at Ridlr, a mobile application for making public transit easier. He has been a part and parcel of the organization even before its inception in May 2010. He holds a Masters degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas (UMKC), United States. When Ravi returned to India, he noticed that there was no way for commuters to know alternate routes to reach their destination faster, unlike in the States where he was used to seeing live traffic information on the GPS and this gave birth to the idea of Ridlr. Ravi’s hobbies include reading about Tech/Algorithms, Learning and Programming new tech, and traveling to scenic places.