Delhi is undergoing a major transport overhaul in order to drop the tag of the most polluted city in India. Trees are being planted, dust is being vacuumed right of the streets and most importantly, traffic is being de-congested.
By introducing the odd-even scheme, which means that only cars with license plates ending in odd and even numbers respectively are allowed on the street on alternate days. Taking half the private vehicles off the street means a heavy load on public transport and the government has responded by deploying 3,000 extra buses to handle the rush.
This leaves you with a great chance of finding a seat near the windowwhere you can breathe the sweet, sweet, recently de-polluted air.
Android users can download this app to help them plan their journeys.
The Delhi Metro is hailed as one of the best rapid transport systems in all of Asia. Fast, clean, cheap and environmentally friendly, it can take you to almost everywhere, but not quite. Construction of an Inner Circle is still on, but for now it’s still a great way to cut down on auto fare and avoid Delhi’s terrible traffic.
Not quite the favourite of the locals and known to be unsafe for women, it’s still one of the widest transport networks in the city. Red buses are air-conditioned, green buses sadly not. Definitely the cheapest option available.
The most expensive, but also the most comfortable. If you notice a driver failing to put on his meter, negotiate a price immediately, because if you wait for the end of the trip you’re going to have to pay any amount demanded. At this point, I’d like to add that radio taxis, particularly Ola Cabs are known for their competitive pricing and easy availability and are quite safe as well. Recent agitation against surge ricing by other radio taxis may mean that soon you’ll have a lot more similar options at reasonable rates.
The most proliferate of them all, autos line up at virtually every street corner and then zig-zag you through the traffic at hair-raising speeds. Once again, if a driver refuses to go by the meter, make sure you negotiate the price beforehand. All autos are run on CNG so it’s a blessing for your carbon footprint as well.
- Don’t take an auto in the winter, you WILL freeze
- The metro only runs from 5 in the morning to 11 at night, beyond that you’re on your own
- There’s an Airport Express metro line that goes from New Delhi Train Station to the Domestic Airport and then the International Airport
- If you’re in town for just a few days, opt for the Hop on-hop off bus