Auto-rickshaws are only allowed to operate beyond Bandra in the western suburbs and beyond Sion in the central suburbs. They are not issued licenses in the downtown areas.
Before departing, ensure that the meter is visible and shows the flag-down reading as 1.00. If the the number is higher, insist that the driver flags it down once again. The minimum fare is Rs. 9. The meter remains at 1.00 for the first 2 km and every 0.10 movement indicates approx 200 meters (ie 1.00 for every 0.2 kms). The fare is Rs. 5 for every km, except for the first two kms for which it is Rs. 9. A simple way to calculate the fare is to multiply the reading by 10 and subtract 1 to get the fare in rupees. So if the meter shows 2.20, then the fare payable is Rs. 21. (and its 4.4 km). Similarly a reading of 4.90 would mean you have to pay Rs. 48 (and you traveled approximately 9.8 km). The meter also keeps ticking if you are waiting and/or are stuck in traffic. It's quite handy to have a copy of the meter card issued by The Mumbai Traffic Police.
Auto-rickshaws are slower than cars and have terrible suspensions. Pregnant ladies are most strongly advised not to travel by auto-rickshaws since the combination of rash driving, poor suspensions, and horrible road conditions have quite often led to serious complications. The auto-rickshaw is a slow vehicle and not recommended for very long distances, but otherwise it's a lot of fun!
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