The long awaited pre-paid auto system is now functional at Chennai Central Railway Station. So for all readers coming into Chennai via train, make sure you don’t get conned by auto drivers attaching themselves to you stronger than a leech. Go to the pre-paid stand and pay the fare and stand in queue and get your auto. Tipping is optional and depends of whether the driver is nice to you.
Karthik Subramanian of The Hindu, whom I know, has written this news in today’s Front Page of the paper. The fare is Rs. 21 for the first 2 Kms and Rs. 9 for each additional Km. There are no other extra charges and 160 destinations in Chennai are covered by the system. I stay near Taj Coromandel in Nungambakkam which is about 6.5 Kms from the station. So the fare would be Rs. 60-65. This system will be a welcome relief to train passengers arriving in Central. I always felt Chennai station was the most unwelcome destination that I ever set foot on. Hopefully, this should make things easier.
Elsewhere in the city, don’t expect travel by auto to be any easier. Auto drivers are yet to use the new fare chart and calibrate their meters. However, share autos, buses, and suburban trains are plenty and if you ask you can find the means to travel affordable.
Travellers from outside India please use this conversion table to get an idea of the Indian Rupee. Conversion rates vary on a day to day basis, but this gives you an idea of today’s rate.