Mumbai - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

The local train is reliable and easy to use once you learn it (go with a local the first couple of times!). It’s the fastest way to get from Bandra to South Mumbai during peak traffic times. There is an AC train that is usually less crowded and quite comfortable, as well as 1st class coaches and ladies 1st/2nd class coaches. I do not take public buses but mostly because I haven’t figured it out and they wouldn’t save much time. Rickshaws are easy to use and common in Bandra West and local cabs are their equivalent in South Mumbai. Most of us use Uber and Ola to get around which are cheap and reliable. - Apr 2024

Yes, very cheap. Though, you'd have to be pretty brave and ok with crowds to take a local bus. - Jul 2023

Uber and Ola (another ride app) are safe and affordable, though service is hit or miss. Rickshaws can be caught on the street, though it may be a struggle to get them to use the meter. Often they try to charge 2-4 times the actual fare for foreigners. Uber can be used to call a rickshaw, which alleviates some of that issue, and also eliminates the need to be able to direct them to your destination. Other taxis are available. The women driven taxis at the airport are great and highly affordable without having to wait. Other taxi options at the airport are also available and all should be prepaid. - May 2023

Lots of options: Uber, ola, rickshaws, and taxis are around. They are mostly safe, but lack seatbelts. You can choose to pay more for AC or not. Many folks have a favorite car service you can book for a day, Uber has an "outstation" option. trains have different classes. People say Mumbai is safer than most other parts of India. - Feb 2023

Rickshaw and uber are super cheap. Probably cost me 1 USD for a 10 minute trip. - Aug 2021

Local taxis are safe and cheap. Local trains are VERY cheap but can be super crowded and might not be comfortable for women, although there are separate women only carriages. Buses should be avoided, they are crowded and it is hard for expats to figure out where they go. - Nov 2020

We are not encouraged to take buses, but rickshaws, trains, taxis and Ubers are all very safe, common and affordable. You can easily get by without a car here. Fares are typically between 50 cents and US$3.00. I’d recommend waiting to get a car until you determine how much you’d actually use it. I’ve found Uber/taxis to be very safe; haven’t had a single issue in the 100 rides I’ve taken. - Aug 2019

Taxis are usually safe and drivers usually honest. Uber is common, as is its Indian competitor, Ola. Rickshaws ('autos' in the local vernacular) are safe and omnipresent in northern Mumbai, but are not allowed in the south. A lot of taxis don't have seatbelts, and rickshaws never do. An underground metro is just starting to be built, and might be ready by 2025. If it actually opens, it will revolutionize transportation in the city, and serve a many useful areas. A monorail was built several years ago, but isn't open and doesn't serve the core city. Mumbai's famous train system is a marvel of efficiency. If it goes where you want (most routes run N-S), it is almost always faster than driving through traffic. If you're in first class (monthly pass $8) and travel during off-peak hours, it can be great. I ride the train every single day and love it, but keep in mind that like the rest of Mumbai, it is dirty, crowded, and not very user-friendly. - Mar 2019

Uber is available, cheap but unreliable at times. - Jan 2019

Uber is available but slow at times - May 2018

I used my driver six days a week but taxis are affordable, although there is often haggling since they try to rip off foreigners. I almost exclusively used Uber, but they're almost as unreliable since they turn on the app then sleep in their car. - Jun 2017

I wouldn't take the buses, but maybe a train for historical reasons. Rickshaws are all over and cheap. Taxis too. - Aug 2015

Taxis are but don't expect them to know where anything is or speak English. There are also very very cheap auto-rickshaws (tuk-tuks) which are all over the place but cannot go across the bridge to South Mumbai. Again, you have to know where you're going and be able to explain it in Hindi. It's also possible to rent a car & driver, by going online (I've used, myself.) I spent about US$30 for an 8-hour day recently when my regular driver was sick, for a car & driver (rather than letting a stranger take my car.) We're not banned from using buses and trains but they are crowded and not very safe, especially for women. I haven't done it, and don't plan to. They're cheap, though. - Nov 2014

Safe, yes. Affordable, definitely. The train at rush hour is just insane though. And there are lots of taxis in the market -- normal taxis, taxis with AC, then private taxi services have entered the market so those are a bit more but generally nicer and you can pre-book them. Even Uber just opened in Mumbai so that is a sign that the market is hot. - Mar 2014

Some radio taxis are safe. - Feb 2014

I wouldn't take the local bus or train, especially at rush hour but taxis are cheap and they have some reliable services like Ola cabs. Most people up in Bandra use rickshaws, which run by a meter. In may other parts of India you have to bargain for the fare but here they are pretty good about sticking to the meter. - Feb 2014

Yes. Very safe, very affordable. Trains cost around 10 cents for a regular fare, an hour-long taxi ride costs less than 6 bucks in a non AC cab. In an AC cab, maybe double or more. - Aug 2013

Pretty safe and affordable, but it depends on who you're with and where you're going. I wouldn't take any transport alone at night as a woman unless it was just in an around Bandra. Trains have special female compartments. I've never taken the bus. - May 2013

I have not ridden in local trains or buses -- they are not safe. A few people die each day on the trains (falling off, for example), and women and men must travel in separate cars because women are subject to harassment, groping, or rape. Buses have no closing doors, and almost always have people hanging out the entrance and the windows. The newer taxis are pretty safe, but the vast majority have no seatbelts, a/c, etc. - Feb 2013

From what I hear, trains and buses are usually overcrowded and can be dangerous. It's a bad idea for women to take buses and regular train cars. Trains have ladies-only cars, so you can travel to your destination without being molested by a fellow commuter. Taxis and autorickshaws are usually available and cheap. However, you shouldn't count on a taxi to arrive at a pre-specified time, and you have to watch carefully if you don't want the driver to cheat you. - Dec 2010

I would never take a train or a bus because Taxis are super cheap. There are about 14 accidental deaths per DAY related to the train, so you be judge about their safety. - Nov 2008

Very affordable. Safety varies. Regular cabs are cheap, extremely uncomfortable, and often driven maniacally. They're also usually too short for a 6 foot tall man. Good for short trips only. A/c taxis can be ordered by phone, but are unreliable in terms of actually coming. Buses are awful. City trains are so crowded that they're only usable on Sunday and very off hours (10 people a day die on the city trains during rush hour because of insane overcrowding). Longer distance trains can be okay, if you go first class. - Aug 2008

Taxis are safe, affordable, and hot. Rickshaws or three wheelers are not allowed in South Mumbai, but are readily available everywhere else. If traveling with children, not advisable due to chaotic driving conditions. - Jul 2008

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