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Autos also known as tuk-tuk are three-wheeled automobiles best suited for transport in crowded and narrow roads of Chennai. The colour code of Chennai autos are light yellow and black. They are an efficient way of getting around and seeing large parts of this wonderful city.
Many people residing in Chennai prefer buses and trains but as a tourist, autos, with time, become a convenient mode of transport as they drop you off on the doorstep of your destination. There are 71,000 autos running in Chennai.
According to a survey in 2010, there are 51463 auto drivers. In Chennai, there are also 150 women who have obtained licenses to drive autos.
Auto Tariff System in Chennai
Recently, the new tariff system has been enforced. With the new system in place the tourists and locals, will be given a receipt with the distance traveled and the charge is to be paid as per the tariff. The contract carriage auto rickshaws plying in Chennai metropolitan area costs Rs.12 per km. The passengers needs to pay a minimum fare of Rs.25 for the first 1.8 Kilometers. The waiting charges for every 5 minutes is Rs.3.50. The night charge from 11.00 p.m. to 5.00 am is 50 percent higher than the normal rate.
The helpline numbers for passengers to lodge their complaints against auto drivers who are reluctant to turn on the meters are 24749002 and 26744445.
With the increase in crime rate in the country, the state government has recently planned to install the GPS-enabled meters in autos that come with digital printers as well. This project is estimated to cost them around 80 crores. The meters will also be fixed with panic buttons which passengers can press when they feel they are in danger. The police control room will be alerted and help will be assisted immediately.
If you are a tourist, the auto drivers tend to hike up their price, so follow the tips:
Find the distance from your place to the destination.
Don't get in the auto without deciding on the price.
When you are bargaining let them know that you know the distance and the tariff.
If they refuse to come down to your price act as if you don't need their services and start hail the next auto that's coming your way.
Shared Autos in Chennai
The city also has a number of share autos, in which passengers pay a shared fee to their destination. There are more than 1,600 share autos running in the metro. Mostly share autos are Arjun 500, Tata Ace Magic, Ape Piaggio, Mahindra Maxximos in which 8-10 people can travel. These autos ply in specific routes and the fare are in multiples of 5. These are a preferred mode of transportation for students and working professionals, as they generally ply on fixed route. They are very flexible, and stop to pick and drop passengers. Moreover, these small structures enable them to travel in the congested and narrow streets of Chennai.
Pre-Paid Autos in Chennai
There are also prepaid autos, which ply from Chennai Central to all parts of the city. You get a fixed charge to pay depending on the area and kilometers that you are going to travel. These prepaid autos relive you from the hassle of auto drivers who charge exorbitant prices to go to your destination.