Travelling around in Hyderabad is a lot fun! I have witnessed many surprising and lovely changes in the modes of moving around in and across the city over the recent years. Definitely admitting the less traffic sense among Hyderabadis, moving around in Hyderabad gives a colorful glimpse of an awesome Hyderabad culture. It is a city where people from all over India live happily and securely at a very harmonious pace.
I would definitely suggest a tourist to Hyderabad to opt for local modes of transport which I would like discuss now rather than moving around in AC cabs. It definitely makes one know a lot more about the amazing way people travel here…
1. RTC buses
When I was a student of high school, I always used to walk with to school along with my sister and my other school mates/class mates who used to stay in the same locality. I always used to wonder how people travel in that buses, catch the running buses or wait for our bus to come and so on!
The moment I joined Intermediate College which was 10 kilometers from our home, I had no other option but to learn and get used to travel in state run buses. For students the state government provides bus passes at a discounted rates on monthly or quarterly basis and we used to travel with those. And the journey lasted for almost 7 years for me!! During my 4 years of graduation we used to travel by changing 3 buses or more!!
It was a great victory for us to get a seat to sit down during our journey. We always used to give our bags and other books or drafters or chart boxes to any of our friends who are sitting, need not necessarily from the same college to hold them, in case if we didn’t get a seat. Sometimes many aunts or uncles also used to ask whether we needed any such help if they are seated.
Though we travelled in the same route for years together in the same bus, we never used to get bore, thanks to amazing friends, chats, discussions and many such things we used to have while travelling. Sometimes time would just pass away just like that when we used to watch people around us getting in and out of the bus!!
Every college will have college bus and so was for our college. I never travelled in college bus in the first year for the fear of being ragged, but used to go in rtc buses. But that helped me a lot to get to know the city, its culture, get many friends from other nearby colleges who used to travel in the same bus etc. etc. Now I know Hyderabad each and every corner, thanking to my bus journey during the Graduation period!!
Various types of buses are always there which always suited one’s pocket and luxury. While normal rtc buses are always best and cheapest form of transport, one also can travel in Metro Liner, Metro Deluxe and AC buses which offer most pleasurable journey without letting you miss the taste of city bus travel. The latest release into the rtc fleet is the Pushpak bus which covers many places of Hyderabad and the international airport at Shamshabad. The cost is almost 30% of the cost per head incurred if one travel in cabs to airport.
The bus frequency in all tourist places like Golconda, Charminar, Tank bund, Birla temple, Shamirpet lake, Ramoji Film city, Nehru Zoo Park, Paradise, Hitech city, Koti, SalarJug Mueseum and many others is very good and comfortable. Also it is the best way to escape the demanding auto rickshaw drivers!! As for me I always love to travel in bus sometimes willingly because that always brings back the nostalgic days we spent during our education!!
Auto rickshaws are always a boon in case of emergency. We can even find them during midnights when bus services are not available. Auto drivers talking a mix of Urdu, Hindi and telugu in the Telangana dialect is so interesting to listen. Most drivers can understand Hindi, Urdu and Telugu, though you can’t expect them to talk English. Some drivers even pretend as if they don’t understand Telugu and talk only in Hindi just to demand more money. Beware such people. It is also not safe to travel alone in autos for females especially at nights. I always voted for rtc buses if I had to travel once the sun sets. But not all the drivers can’t be doubted. There are many instances where drivers returned lost items of passengers, including heavy cash, safely at the police stations. There are also many people who run autos as a part time to fund their studies or help their families too!! This entire world is a mix of good and bad, and nobody is an exception, including the Hyderabad auto drivers!! I’ve heard many foreign tourists enjoyed the auto journey as it gives a different view of travelling experience. Nevertheless, travelling in a Hyderabad auto is a not to miss experience!!
3. Sharing autos
Popularly called seven seaters, these sharing autos are available only in some places of Hyderabad. Eight people can sit and travel in them comfortably and the plus point is it is very light on one’s pocket because the fare gets shared and one can get down at anywhere (unlike a bus which only stops in the bus stop and you have to walk back if your destination is in between two bus stops). Women who usually go for shopping with children find it very comfortable to travel in these because they can sit and travel and can get down at any required destinations. Sharing autos are a big hit even among IT employees who do not have own vehicles, students, employees and many other groups.
4. Local cabs:
Many private cabs have come up rather very fast in the past three years. One has a very comfortable process to book them via phone and two hours or an hour before the travel time and the cab is at your door step! This is most preferred mode of option among high earning income groups especially at hot noon days or rainy season.
5. Local trains and metros:
Local trains are available only in some routes and are very comfortable especially if the travelling distance is very long. One need not travel by changing 2-3 buses and can get to home at a go. But they are also to be avoided at nights and for single women.
The ongoing Metro train project is the biggest dream for a commuter in Hyderabad. It is scheduled to be completed within two years or less throughout the city while a part of it is ready for test drive in the next weeks. That should decrease the pollution, travel time and increase convenience for commuters.
Next time you visit, make sure you don’t miss the real taste of travelling in Hyderabad and enjoy your travel in the above modes!! Happy commuting!!!