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New Delhi is a large city and there are many options for getting around. The choices can be broken down into public and private transportation.
The main options for public transportation include the new metro system, buses, and taxis. Rickshaws are interesting alternatives to these.
The New Delhi metro system is the newest form of public transportation in the city. Recently constructed and officially opening in 2002, it has been touted as Asia’s best rapid transit system. It is fast, efficient, fairly priced and environmentally friendly. Currently there are three lines serving a total of 59 stations around the city. A route map is available and also posted at the stations. It is one of the most user-friendly systems in the world. For complete information, visit the Delhi Metro Home Page .
There are over 2000 public buses serving New Delhi, but they are not comfortable by Western standards (hot and crowded). They are however cheap and have many available routes. For more information, visit the Delhi Transport Corporation . A lot of new buses have been introduced in Delhi. These buses run on CNG and are considered nature friendly. The green ones are non AC and the red ones are AC.
A very comfortable way to get around New Delhi is by taxi, though the yellow and black Ambassadors are neither air conditioned nor in very good shape. There are thousands of cabs operating in the city and are not hard to find. Rides can be pre-arranged or found on the city streets. Fares are determined by either meters or negotiation. If the meter is not an option, make sure to agree on a price before beginning a trip. There is a good page with lots of decription available on taxis on rent at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g30... Many International and Delhi based Cab agencies are also listed on: http://delhistreet.com/Delhi-Car-Hire... A much nicer but only slightly more expensive alternative to the yellow and black jalopies are what Indians call radio taxis. These are usually later model cars, properly air conditioned and metered, but most importantly, they can be called to any location with just a phone call. In fact, they are seldom seen empty on the streets. So calling them is the only option. But what a convenience! You can schedule a cab to pick you up from your hotel at an unearthly hour in order to catch a flight or call for a pick-up from a place if you get stuck with no cabs or buses in sight. There are apparently two such companies in Delhi, Mega and Meru. The number for Meru cabs is 44224422.
If you need to go to several places on the same day, hiring a car with driver comes out cheaper and certainly far more convenient than hailing cabs all day long. A car with driver for 8 hours with 80 kms included, at the time of this writing (mid-2011), ranges anywhere from Rs. 900 per day to $1,200 per day depending on the size of the vehicle. Extra hours and kilometers are billed at a moderate charge. Most cars are air conditioned. There is also a 4-hour 40 km option for perhaps 60% of the cost of a full day. Most Indian tourists and business people prefer this arrangement to hailing cabs if they are on the move for the whole day. Finding this service in Delhi is quite easy. Delhi is full of taxi stands, and if you see a line of yellow and black taxis parked in a cluster, chances are they also have a few better cars with drivers for hire on a daily rate. Just drop in and ask, or google "car hire in delhi" and you will get a list of services in the geographical area of Delhi of your choosing. The wonders of google map!
Auto rickshaws or simply "auto" as they are called in India are the same as the tuk tuk in southeast asia. They are less than half the cost of taxis and quite serviceable for up to two people going short distances. Their meters are a joke. You must negotiate a fare before setting foot in one of them. The streets of Delhi and all other cities of India are swarming with these green and yellow autos, indeed a very fuel efficient way to transport people. Delhi also has many pedal type rickshaws associated with China of a hundred years ago, and if you can stand the heart rending human labor involved in transporting your weight from point A to point B, then feel free to use it. The locals do. You will be helping these hardworking guys make a living. These pedal rickshaws are usually seen in the neighborhoods rather than on the major streets and touristy areas, but they come in handy if you are using the metro. They are absolutely essential for going the last mile, meaning the distance from the metro station where you get off and your final destination a mile or two away.
Whether using taxis or rickshaws, a foreign tourist will invariably be solicited by the driver for "some excellent shopping at very cheap prices." Avoid using your taxi driver as your shopping expert at all costs. They get a cut from the shopkeepers and have little incentive to take you to the most reliable shops. If you do run into a particularly unscrupulous driver, try to get his license number or the vehicle's license plate and report to the police. Just a threat of reporting them may solve the problem. If the infraction is minor, such as overcharging by a few dollars even if it is quite a bit in Indian money, just chalk it up to experience and enjoy your vacation. These things happen in the developing world.