8 Best Indian Public Transport We Should Be Proud Of

India holds distinction amongst world cities when it comes to public transportation. And why not? We sometimes forget to notice its importance, but yet there are some age old but methodical modes of Indian public transport with its own signature style. Public transport remains the primary mode of transport for most of the population, and India’s public transport systems are among the most heavily used in the world. India’s railway network is the 4th longest and the most heavily used system in the world, transporting 8,224 million passengers and over 969 million tonnes of freight annually.
A good public transport system must be easy and convenient to use, fast, safe, clean and affordable. Yet these norms are sometimes nullified when we take a sneak peak into some age-old yet exciting ways of transport still ready to take us on a ride. Have a look.

 1. Tuk-Tuk:

The Indian auto-rickshaw is a three-wheeler vehicle for hire that does not have doors and has a small cabin for the driver in the front and a seat for passengers in the rear. It is painted in yellow, green or black color and has a black, yellow or green canopy on the top, but designs vary considerably from place to place. It is the most popular and common means of public transport and is characterized by its sound, color and efficiency. In Mumbai and other metropolitan cities, ‘autos’ or ‘rickshaws’ as they are popularly known have regulated metered fares. These auto rickshaws are famously known as ‘tuk-tuk’ in northern India and has featured in UK Topgear magazine as one of the best compatible light-weight public transport in the world.


2. Kaali-peeli taxi:

The old yet powerful Premier Padmini and the Hindustan Ambassador cars continue to symbolize Indian cabs and brings the desi feel. The iconic black-yellow color of the cars plying along the metro cities are known as kaali-peeli.  Since 2006, radio taxis have become increasingly popular with the public due to reasons of safety and convenience. Nowadays the taxis run on meters and are convenient. The city of Mumbai will soon be the first city in India, to have an “in-taxi” magazine, titled MumBaee, which will be issued to taxis which are part of the Mumbai Taximen’s Union. The white blue colored no refusal taxis are plying along the streets of Kolkata.


3. Mumbai Monorail:

The Mumbai Monorail is the first operational monorail network in India. It currently runs from Chembur to Wadala metro lines with multiple stoppage. The decision to introduce Chembur – Wadala – Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk – a  20 km long Monorail corridor, as a feeder service to the other Transit System and to cater crowded and narrow congested areas was taken by the Authority in its 119th meeting held on 28th September, 2007. The Mono Rail network currently running is an efficient feeder transit system benefiting commuters offering efficient, safe, air-conditioned, comfortable and affordable public transport.

India`s first monorail rakes ply between Wadala and Chembur in Mumbai on Feb.1, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

India`s first monorail rakes ply between Wadala and Chembur in Mumbai on Feb.1, 2014

4. Local Train:

The present suburban railway services in India are limited and are operational only in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.The Mumbai Suburban Railway is the first rail system in India which began services in Mumbai in 1867, transports 6.3 million passengers daily and has the highest passenger density in the world. The first rapid transit system in India, the Kolkata Suburban Railway, was established in Kolkata in 1854. The most successful local train network belongs to the Mumbai and running successfully and efficiently throughout ages. The huge network of local train is divided into Central. Western, Harbour and Thane-Vashi zones. These locals are fast, cheap, punctual and covers the whole city of Mumbai through its wide network.


5. Kolkata Trams:

The trams in Kolkata is the only remaining tram network currently running in India. Best thing about the trams is  it provides emission free means with cheap tickets for transport. The arrival of British rule in India saw trams in addition to trains, being introduced in many cities including Bombay and Kolkata.  Bombay city phased out the system while it remains a unique point of attraction in the city of joy. The nationalized Calcutta Tramways Company is in the process of upgrading the existing tramway network at a cost of ₹240 million. Though the limited tram system in India is extremely slow and getting old, there are some proposals to reintroduce trams as a new transport avatar in some new Indian cities. But whatever the paper puts it, trams are elegant and a must ride when visiting the city of joy.

6. Double decker bus:

Mumbai’s double-decker buses completed 75 years in service on 30 June 2015. Apart from normal city buses, the double-decker deserves special mention as it come off its lineage. This bus has been braving the worst that Mumbai has thrown at it since it was first introduced in 1937. Since then, Victoria Terminus has become Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Bombay has become Mumbai. But the double-decker remains a symbol of the city and yes, it is fun to ride and hangout throughout the most happening parts of the city.


7. Tonga:

Tongas, drawn by horses, were popular before the advent of automobiles and are still in use in some parts of South Asia. They were popular because they are fun to ride in, and are usually cheaper. However, in many cities, tangas are not allowed to use highways because of their slow pace. Victorias of Mumbai are still used for tourist purposes, but horse carriages are now rarely found in the metro cities of India. Yet tongas are fun to ride and adventurous and you may find a dozen when visiting Mysore or other parts of southern India.


8. Hand pull rickshaw/Cycle rickshaws:

Hand-pulled rickshaws are common in the city of Kolkata wherein a person pulls the rickshaw by hand. A person would single handedly pull a two wheeler rickshaw carrying passengers to their destinations. Assam also rides similar rickshaws since time immemorial and its best part is that the rickshaws are designed like cycles but with three wheels and the rider gets to paddle the same instead on carrying the burden on his hands. These bicycle inspired rickshaws are cheap, easy to travel in local areas and very efficient in the eastern part of India.


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