Rickshaws are a very common way of getting around.During the peak hours, the streets are absolutely crammed with them, as well as cyclists, bikers, cars, pedestrians – all trying to get through. Honking literally never stops and crossing the road is always a challenge that tests your reflexes and courage.
Riding in one is a lot of fun and is pretty cheap (typical ride will cost you $0.20-0.40 USD), but you have to be prepared to breath in a lot of fumes and if you’re attempting a turn of some kind, it’s better to simply close your eyes rather than look into the oncoming traffic that has no intentions of stopping to let you through.
Surprisingly accidents are not that common. Everybody typically moves at pretty slow speeds and has really good reflexes. New York cabbies could learn a thing or two from them.
Mumbai is a pretty huge city – going from one end to the other can easily take 3-4 hours by car or 1.5-2 hours by train. Since the city was designed for people on all sorts of budgets, if you can’t drive, trains are the cheapest ways of covering long distances. There only 3 local train lines, but they cover most of the major areas.
Riding in a train is as much of an experience as riding in a rickshaw. They don’t have doors or windows or much else, so people typically try to get a spot by the entrance – as that’s where you can get the best breeze to escape the heat. As the train moves, most people simply lean out – either by choice or because it’s so crowded, that there is almost no space inside the actual train car.
When they pull up to the station, the train only stays there for 30 seconds before moving on. The conductor doesn’t really see what’s going on, so he has no intentions of holding the train if people are still getting off or on. So, in order to make it within those 30 seconds, people staddrt jumping on and off the train while it’s still moving. During the rush hour, there is a mob of people angrily running out the train and another mob trying to come in.