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Delhi Guide

All you need to know

before you go.

Delhi's bus system is not for the fainted hearted, or indeed for those who need to get somewhere on time. The network covers most of the city and is dirt cheap but is also overcrowded and ramshackle - adventure travel you might say. There are plenty of metered yellow-and-black taxis, but don't expect the existence of a meter to mean they will use it.

Always demand they turn on the meter.

 

Learn to negotiate before you get going. Auto-rickshaws are generally speedy over short distances and less expensive - cycle rickshaws are somewhat romantic but harder to find now they have been removed from the modern parts of the city. Motorcycle rickshaws are a better bet during busy hours. They have set courses and prices and can muscle their way through traffic as well. If you have the time, try hiring a bike, especially in New Delhi where the wide, less crowded roads make for safer pedaling

 

Delhi's bus system is for thrill seekers, anthropologists and those with time on their hands. Buses are generally hopelessly crowded and driven by maniacs. Avoid them altogether during rush hours; otherwise, try boarding or leaving at the beginning or end of a route because there's more chance of a seat and less chance of being trampled to death. There are some seats reserved for women on the left-hand side of the bus.

 

There are plenty of metered yellow-and-black taxis, but invariably the meters are out of date, not working or the drivers will simply refuse to use them. Negotiate a fare before you set out. Auto-rickshaws are generally faster than taxis on short trips and cost half the price. Negotiate a fare before you board and make sure your will is in order. Six-seater motorcycle rickshaws run fixed routes at fixed prices and are good value during rush hours. Cycle rickshaws are banned from New Delhi itself, but can be handy for traveling around 'Old' Delhi.

 

Cycling is an excellent way of getting around, especially in New Delhi, where the roads are wide, in good condition and, by Indian standards, uncrowded. At the large traffic roundabouts just take a deep breath and plunge in and hope for the best.

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