Modes of Computation in Chennai
At least with respect to transportation, Chennai is blessed that the Metropolitan Transport Corporation is never overloaded anywhere. Thanks to the previous regime of AIADMK government led by Puratchi Thalaivi Dr. J. Jayalalitha that small taxi-like vehicles (branded as share autos) supplement the bus services. This brings some relief to passengers from heavy surging crowds in the buses. I admit that share autos do overcrowd for getting some more profit to manage through the ever-increasing fuel tariffs. In fact, we have discussed this sometime back over here.
Well! The purpose of this post is to briefly guide the user on various available modes of transportation available in Chennai so that a new visitor can best plan his logistics economically and saving an undue pressure on his wallet.
- Public Transport Roadway The best known transport service in Chennai is operated by the State-owned Metropolitan Transport Corporation. It has almost 24×7 operations to ferry passengers up and down through almost every possible nook and corner of the city.
- (Call) Auto (or) Autorickshaws (or) Auto This is the next best known transport service in Chennai.We are prefixing ‘Call’ so as to unambigiously identify this mode of commutation in the city. But be wary that you need to be careful regarding the charges levied by the drivers. There are no rigid laws in place and hence a very careful bargainer can do away with 10 Rs. from Tambaram to Pallavaram or Airport and a newbie would be paying as high as 200 Rs. for the same distance. The name ‘auto’ is a shorthand version of ‘autorickshaw’ which was derived from its predecessor ‘cycle rickshaw’, where the driver used to manually pedal the vehicle and ferry the passengers. With engines fitted to the same and many evolutions in place, this is now called as ‘auto’. We can call them ‘Call Autos’ since it comes right at your doorstep to pick you and drop you unlike Public Transport where you need to go the designated terminuses and bus stands.
- Share Autos These are subsidised version of auto, which look like car and offer to ferry passengers between arterial places. It would wait for more number of passengers in that route and then once enough people join, the fare would be shared by all.
- Taxi Once upon a time for passengers alighting from Central Station, this was the only mode of transport. It was actually an Ambassador car but running with meters fitted. Compared to autos, it is more safer and comfortable in terms of journey. Currently you can hire and take taxi services in Chennai Central and Chennai Airport.
- Call Taxi These services are derivatives of Taxi. They are operated by using Call Center strategies, meaning, you are expected to call a particular number, book your route taxi by giving your name, address, contact telephone number etc. Ranging from a minimum of 45 minutes to the time you specify, a call taxi would come to your doorstep to pick you up and drop at the designated location.
- Metro Railways The Railways too usher in the transport services of Chennai to a great extent, albeit the metro coverage is fairly restricted. They have Northern stretch covering from Chennai Central towards Arakkonam through Ambattur, Avadi etc. Southern stretch covers from Chennai Egmore to Tambaram and then to Tiruchi. There is a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) which is currently operational between Chennai Beach and Mylapore and cuts across the city as flyovers. They have plans to extend this to Velacherry. This is a great system since you can have a picturesque view of the city, albeit the services are very limited, since it is nascent stages of evolution.
- Lesser Known Transport Modes
- Private Travel operators do offer to ferry passengers between arterial places like Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) and Tambaram etc. but the services are offered only when they have some trip in that route.
- Private Van Operators between places like Velacherry and Tambaram etc.
- Share Taxi At the moment, there is no such thing called ‘Share Taxi’. I am just trying to make a suggestion through this forum at least to make the lexicographical permutation and combination complete like (Call Auto, Call Taxi, Share Auto and Share Taxi). May be the administration can bring in Taxi in the similar style like Share Auto, which would offer two advantages:
- Subsidised Taxi Services to all.
- Bring back the taxi services that were reigning the city but currently getting extinct because of Autos.