There are total 246,458 auto rickshaws in Mumbai MMR as of 2008, Auto Rickshaws are three-wheeler scooters, having a wheel in the front and 2 wheels in the rear, which can accommodate three people in the rear section, apart from the driver in the front section. Apart from Buses, Trains and Taxis, Auto rickshaws play an important role of public transport in Mumbai. As per the ruling of the Bombay High Court having 2002 as a deadline, all auto rickshaws use CNG as the fuel.
Auto rickshaws are not permitted to enter Old Mumbai. The southmost points accessible to them are Bandra Fire Station in Western Mumbai and Sion Bus Depot in Central Mumbai.
Auto rickshaws registered in Mumbai are not allowed travel beyond the municipal limits of Mumbai. They have been allowed to ply between Sion to Mulund in the Central Suburbs and up to Mankhurd on the Harbour line. People who wish to travel beyond Mumbai to suburbs like Vashi, Airoli have to board/flag down/catch another rickshaw. In the western suburbs they are allowed to ply between Bandra and Bhayandar only.
Recently the police revealed that the law requires the driver of an unengaged taxi to take you to wherever you want to go, regardless of distance or time, in case the fare meter of the unengaged rickshaw/taxi is in a 'For Hire' mode. The modes were denoted by older mechanical meters in this manner: a) upright - for hire b) half mast - not doing business c) upturned mast - currently hired. If the driver does not comply, one simply needs to call the police on 1800-22-0110, a toll free number and mention the cab's license number and the driver's name. The act of calling the police on your cell phone usually makes the driver comply with your request to be taken to your destination.
Other methods of complaining against the auto rickshaws and taxis is available on the Mumbai RTO website, here.
A mechanical meter decides the fare and is proportional to distance traveled. The fare is available on the Mumbai RTO's webpage here in pdf format.
In general, one can use freely available sites like http://www.taxiautofare.com that's available on both computers and mobiles.
Read more about this topic: Public Transport In Mumbai
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