Life in India – III

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EXPERIENCE IN A SHARE AUTO

For people who are visiting India, many would find the ordinary Autorickshaw itself an adventurous ride.

The yellow Auto

These are guys who drive as they walk. Do you not understand? Well, Imagine this. When you walk on the streets, you can walk forward, to the left / right, dart across, turn around, squeeze through vehicles, walk backwards , not break speed when confronted with a , and maybe even climb up a step or two. The Autorickshaw can do all that and at times even more. No, it is not bestowed with Artificial Intelligence or anything of that sort, but just a driver with a one-track mind. To get you or your half-cardiac arrested heart from point A to point B in the shortest possible route and the shortest possible time, with maximum monetary gains to the acrobat driver.

Well, enter the new player – the SHARE AUTO. Providing almost similar advantages as the triangular yellow auto – this rectangular vehicle is a rather advantageous cross-breed between the Public Bus and the Private Autorickshaw.

Share Auto Type 1
The more comfortable white Share Auto, Type 2 - Tata Magic

These autos ply between certain routes, some of them have a sign board mentioning their destination points, are not very expensive, fit a maximum of 12 people (which is a lot!) and as against that, sometimes will also take a single person at the shared cost during lean periods. The share auto is based on an almost win-win strategy. The Share auto drivers usually decide on routes which are sometimes one long stretch – E.g. Madhya Kailash to Navalur, Ashok Pillar to Ambattur(12 kms), or frequent short stretches – E.g. Guindy to Porur (6 kms). The fares are almost similar to the regular auto, sometimes maybe even more lets say Rs.150 from Guindy to Porur – a 6km ride. A normal person would think twice before fishing for his wallet here. The concept of the share auto as its name categorically states – is splitting this average amount that the driver wants to make between 10-12 people. People get on and get off and different spots in between, thereby making it more lucrative for the auto-drivers and economically feasible for the passengers. They do stall around a bit at different bus stops looking for prospective commuters, but the share auto takes you to your destination within the same time frame as a regular auto, but at a wee bit higher than bus fare rates.

Agreed that there are some inconveniences – the crowd, constant chatter of your fellow passengers on their mobiles, the loud music the auto driver plays, the extra luggage of your co-travellers and maybe some petty arguments too.You might miss out on the friendly chatter of your auto guy here (The auto drivers are indeed a storehouse of information and have an opinion on almost everything) for your share auto driver is pure business! But at the end of the day when you pay the man a mere Rs. 10 or even 20 for a 12km ride – you do realise – The advantages of the share auto far outweigh its disadvantages!

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One thought on “Life in India – III

    ataraxiphile said:
    March 5, 2012 at 1:14 am

    The quintessential desi yellow Ferrari! 🙂

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