You've heard that shout quite often! Well...the private means of transport available in any place are one of the true mirrors of a city’s spirit. In India, the ubiquitous three-wheeler AUTORICKSHAW serves that purpose! This blogger has traveled in an ‘auto’ across many cities in the country.
The Jaipur drivers are polite and straight. They are game to go either by meter or pre-fix it. They do not haggle much over the rate and suggest something quite reasonable for the distance to be covered. Pune ones are rather vague to be judged. Their meters are read in a different manner. One driver didn’t bother to correct the blogger when he was paid extra, due to the usual way of reading the meter! And another one didn’t not exactly know the route to a certain location. But still managed to that place!!
In Mumbai, the financial capital of this country, autos are not allowed to run in all parts of the city. Only the suburbs have autos plying there. B-U-T…what awesome service?! Not an ounce of pride, quite well-mannered, and score very high on the comfort factor. They run strictly by meter, will rarely refuse to take you, never overcharge and have a no-nonsense approach to their job. This blogger once traveled from Andheri to IIT-Powai at the stroke of midnight and didn’t feel one bit insecure! What’s best…the driver didn’t throw any tantrum about night charges and I wasn’t over-charged by a single penny!
Bangalore drivers score low due to inadequacy to understand the national language well. They barely manage with broken Hindi or English! Hence the non-Kannada crowd faces a slight trouble with figuring out how much to pay! Apart from that, they are devoid of any airs, drive well, and are generally non-threatening!
The worst of the lot, of course, inhabit NEW DELHI. Being in the capital of a prosperous nation, these drivers could do with a lesson in decency and fairness! They are conceited about their position and think of the passenger as one who is born to be ‘taken for a ride’! They flatly refuse to go by meter, always quote a ridiculously high amount, come up with lame excuses like ‘we’ll have to go back empty’, and what not?! Some of them are shameless enough to have a smoke even while transporting a woman.
One in a fifty auto drivers in New Delhi is a genuine soul not interested in taking advantage of the female passenger’s situation. And when you come across that rare individual, you pray that next time we get an auto-wallah like this! Alas, that wish remains mostly unfulfilled! Similar is the situation with most locations in UP and Bihar.
So, the verdict is out. North Indian auto-drivers are a brusque lot. Mumbai ones score the highest for their service and comfort. Pune and Bangalore have a tie for the second position. And the Jaipur ones, ah! If only life was as uncomplicated as that city!
PS: "Just to add to your post, the auto drivers in Hydb are quite a painful lot...They usually refuse to go by the meter n when they do, beware cos they end up takin a really long route! In abt 5 yrs hv fought with many an auto driver here!" - Ashrita Prasad
Another interesting write-up on B'lore Autos http://in.news.yahoo.com/blogs/opinions/rickshaw-drivers-vampires-bengaluru-20110416-011923-819.html