Amber Palace II - true MASS transportation
One of the more popular tourist items on visits to the Amber Palace/Fort site in Jaipur would be the royal Raj elephants. The path from the parking area up to the palace entrance is a sloping pathway some 500 meters in length. It's a zig-zag back and forth design that allows you to climb to the Singh Pole Gate and the Jaleb Chowk, the opening "courtyard".
You can walk, it's a nice brisk affair that adds a bit up sloping cardio to get your heart pumping. You could take a jeep for the short ride, I understand the cost is 150 Rs for up to six people.
OR.... you can be a tourist and ride up to the Palace in "maharajah style", on the back of a decorated elephant. Riding the elephants was our choice, and we enjoyed the experience. I will tell you that I did learn that I didn't want to ride an elephant on a LONG trip.... kind of bumpy, folks. I also learned a new term, "elephant shower". That's when the elephant blows its nose/trunk as you're walking along. The funny, or perhaps less than funny, part is that YOU and the mahout get the shower. Sigh. Just cover your camera lens.
I guess you could consider riding an elephant to be MASS transit in the literal sense. I'm not sure what shade of "green" taking an elephant up the hill would be, ecologically speaking. I'll bet they can crank out greenhouse gases with the best of them. Then again, last time I checked, there have been some record cold temperatures over the last few weeks all over the world, so perhaps we need to turn up the gas. Maybe I should check with Al Gore. Yeah, right. :^/
The cost to ride to the Singh Pole Gate via Raj elephant is 400 Rs per elephant. Supposedly, each elephant can carry four people, but we chose to ride two elephants - Bonnie & Sara on one, with me on another. This enabled photography a bit more. :) I got over it later, but at first, the "elephant showers" kind of freaked me out. I had both a video and still camera, and I wasn't keen on getting too much pachyderm mucosa onto my camera lenses, not to mention, on ME. As I got off the elephant on the top, I asked my wife if they got a shower or two. They didn't know what I was talking about. I guess I just had an elephant that wanted to clear its trunk a couple of times. sigh. :)
One quick note... many guidebooks make reference to the elephants being not treated well, they reference mahout cruelty and abuse. I was on the lookout for any such issue when we arrived at the Palace, and had our elephants appeared remotely to be in any distress, neglect or agony, we would have refused to frequent the business. I make no claim to being an animal expert, but... from where I sat and from the time I rode up at the Palace, I saw no mistreated animals, no signs of illness, abuse or neglect. Perhaps a previously bad situation is improving, due to the vocal concern of the traveling public.