Due to the good network system of transportation in Mumbai, traveling is quite easier in this pulsating metropolis. To travel in Mumbai, the public transport system is the best option.Mumbai is the most happening city of India, where every moment is marked by one or the other event. Bearing in mind that Mumbai lacks space for horizontal expansion, skyscrapers and flat housing systems are defining the infrastructure of this bustling city.Mumbai has an efficient network of local transportation carrying you all across the city. You can opt to be a part of the chaos of the locals or just choose the window seat on the Double Decker bus run by the BEST and see the Mumbai life in all its color. Or when in hurry hire a taxi, but be ready to get stuck in the traffic when you desperately willing to reach some place. Mumbai never leaves you bored; even the chaos makes a sense here if you are a sport. Mumbaikars prefer using local means of transport to travel around the metropolis, as insufficient parking places and traffic bottlenecks don’t allow them to draw out their own vehicles.
Public Bus Service (BEST):
Buses are the most popular means of transport in Mumbai. A major chunk of the population travels by bus. Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses provide efficient services in and around the city. There are buses connecting Mumbai to the suburban areas like Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mira-Bhayanadar.This system is run by a government organization “Bombay Electric Supply & Transport”. It has a fleet of red single and double-decker buses. There are newly introduced airconditioned buses as well.Public buses run by the BEST (an autonomous body under the BMC) cover almost all parts of the metropolis as well as parts of New Bombay and Thane. Buses are used for short to medium distance commuting as train fares are more economical for long distances. The BEST fleet consists of single-decker, double-decker, air-conditioned and vestibule buses. The BEST also operates ferries across creeks in northern Mumbai.The buses are numbered according to the route they run on and are usually very crowded. The tickets are given by a uniformed conductor. The buses operate till midnight and have seats reserved for senior citizens, ladies and handicapped.
Suburban Electric Trains: Local Railway Lines
The Mumbai Suburban Railway is the oldest in Asia, it was founded in 1847. These suburban trains are popularly known as Locals and they run from 4 AM till 1 AM. Mumbai suburban services have various such designations (not all of them official, but in wide use). A ‘fast’ train or ‘fast local’ is essentially one that is fast (runs express, skipping stops) until a certain station, and from that station onwards runs like a local, e.g., the Virar Fast runs express to Borivli, and then from there on is a local. The Karjat Fast is an express until Kalyan.It is owned by Indian Railways and is operated by Western Railways and Central Railways. With a length of 303 km, it claims to have the highest passenger density in the world, 6.1 million people daily. It has three lines: the Western Line, the Central Line, and the Harbour Line.
- Western Railway running between Churchgate and Virar.
- Central Railway running between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Bombay V.T.) and Karjat.
- Harbour Line running between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Bombay V.T.) and Mankhurd.
- A new railway line running between Shivaji Terminus (Bombay V.T.) and New Mumbai.
Public Taxi/Autorickshaw Services:
Auto rickshaw is yet another one of the comfortable means to travel in the city. Cars are also provided to the tourists by the Travel Agents and Hotels. These are private cars available with a private chauffeur for the convenience of the travelers. Though they are expensive, they are the safe, trusted and comfortable way of traveling around the city. Hiring a taxi is a convenient way of traveling in and around Mumbai. They are small sized cars which are cheap and easily available. The regular taxis are black and yellow in color, with manual meters and without air condition. There are even pre-paid taxis available, which rule out the meter and fix the fare before hand. From midnight, till 5 a.m. in the morning, 25 percent extra fare is charged. Big sized luggage items are charged at Rs 10 each. Before getting into a taxi, ensure that the meter is working properly. These are not available in the downtown areas and operate only beyond Bandra and Sion in the western and central suburbs, respectively. Autos also carry meters and the initial marking is 10.00. Ensure the reading is right as soon as you board an auto. It should be preferred only for short distances, as its speed is very slow.
- Ferry services connect Vashi (in Navi Mumbai) to the Gateway of India.
- Ferry services are available to visit Elephanta Caves and to nearby places such as Alibaug, Rewas and Mandwa.
- Ferry services is also avilable in northern Mumbai, across the Manori Creek. The barges operate at regular intervals across the shallow creek linking Manori to Malad
- Ferry also connects Versova and Madh Island