Taxis from the airport operate 24 hours a day but have a price schedule. These are the tiny black and yellow taxis that will only fit two people with reasonable luggage. Go to the taxi stand to pay for your ticket. They will give you a number that matches a parked taxi. Give the driver the ticket when you reach your destination.
From the airport to Coloba (the southern part of the city) you will pay 325 rupies. You will pay 25% more if you take the taxi between midnight and 5am. You will also pay 5 to 10 rupies per bag. You will also pay more for an airconditioned taxi.
The journey during the day takes about 2 hours. It's much less at night or very early morning.
There are free mini buses to the domestic airport
Fairs to Mumbai central station are 245 rupies.
Going the other way from the city to the international airport will require bargenning.
Taxis in Mumbai are all metred and are generally very safe and cheap and the most convenient way to get around the city. Although as a tourist some naughty drivers may want to quote you a fixed price instead. This happens rarely especially in South Mumbai where drivers use the metre without prompt and give the correct change although you may wish to tip him. The taxi metres attached outside the car and replaces the left rear view mirror. There is a bar which says "FOR HIRE" which is flipped down and starts the metre once you get in the taxi. Most taxi metres are out of date but there is a rough conversion of about 13 times the reading on the metre or a conversion chart the driver should have in the taxi. The Mumbai taxi is easily distinguishable on the streets as India's version of the 1950s Fiat with some funky retro seats. It is very small and compact with little leg room for larger size people. The starting fare is Rs13. There is a midnight surcharge after midnight to 6am.
The pre-paid taxi booth is available after you have passed customs. If you miss it, you should be able to get it from the other counter facing the road outside. Although we said we wanted a taxi with A/C, we got one only to realised halfway that the A/C wasn't even blowing cool air at all! At the airport pre-paid taxi booths, you pay for your taxi and meet your driver outside. The difference between an A/C and non A/C is about 100RP I reckon but I get a chance to relive that episode, I would rather have got on a non-A/C and wind the windows down. I was palputating in that ride from the airport to the hotel and it wasn't even funny. A/C taxis are blue while non A/C are black.
Beware the " lost " taxi drivers. Many taxis drivers will run you around the city trying to find your final destination. most taxi drivers have lived in mumbai all there lives, they should know where they are going! the drivers like to play a game where they drive you around town, constantly stopping to ask other taxi drivers (or pedestrians) where is this place you want to go, meanwhile the meter is running! some never find your destination, or take you to a place where they will get a kick ~ back. My advice to you is if a driver even stops just once to ask directions .. get out and find an honest driver! I would recommend also you familiarize yourself with a map of the city. This will save you alot of time and heartaches.
If you're flying internationally chances are you will arrive late at night or in the early morning. If your hotel does not provide transfers and especially if it's your first time in Mumbai, book a prepaid taxi from inside the airport. The booths are right outside the arrival hall just after customs clearance (before you exit the airport). Do not try to arrange a taxi or a rickshaw on your own. Chances are you would be "taken for a ride" for sure or worse.
Some of my most enjoyable times were in a taxi! here are a few tips/advice
-be friendly...don't be scared to talk/chat to the drivers. They are some of the most friendliest people i've ever met, and you learn such interesting things!
-there's a different taxi rate for after midnight. Initially I thought I was being ripped off...but found out later that there are two rates.
-the minimum amount you will pay is Rs13...i think.... even if it's just down the street.
-in general...the taxi drivers do not cheat you. I found them to be very honest.
The Cool Cabs are blue with a grey roof. They have electronic meters and you pay the amount shown. These taxis are usually 40% higher than the little black and yellow ones but are also air-conditioned and more comfortable. They also have a better track record for less accidents.
Taxi’s are pretty cheap and plentiful. You will mostly see the old Premier Padmini’s (Fiat) in the black and yellow. They are old and not air-conditioning but not a bad ride. They have meters and can be hailed in the street within the city. Just make sure you can see the meter. Most seem to be honest but if you are arriving from the airport or train station, be sure to get a pre-paid taxi where the fare is agreed and paid at the start of the journey.
With the great care and help from the Vietnamese lady, I got the chance to share the taxi with another two french girls. Finally, they were very nice for not letting me pay for the fee.
They got to known a good taxi driver. The taxi driver was so happy by singing the song for us and made some good jokes. We laughed a lot.
China Doll: You are so happy?
Taxi Driver: Yes, happy!
China Doll: Why so happy?
Taxi Driver: Just divorced with my wife. And my son's child was dead because of illness (he delivered this with some black humor)
Three of us stared each other and paused: Is this his happiness? *~*
We lauged behind...
The taxi cost from Columba to Airport during the night may cost from 300Rs to 400Rs, which depends on your neogotiation skill.
The city train operates till 1am. If you are with someone, it is still OK to take the train and transfer with rickshaw to the airport. The closest station to Columba is Churchgate.
Wherever you go, your luckiness still count...
Although we really preferred using the little auto rickshaws whenever possible, for most of our transport around the city, we did use taxis on a couple of occasions for longer journeys or to travel with our luggage to the airport. As the traffic was often busy, we found it could take longer than we had expected to get from place to place.
There always seemed to be plenty of taxis about and we never had trouble finding one, as we walked along the road. They didn’t all have air conditioning and although they travelled along with the windows open, it could be hot and uncomfortable.
We found the price we paid for the journeys much cheaper than using a taxi in London and as most of them showed us the price they were asking on a tariff conversion chart, comparing it to their meter, I think they were charging us fairly. A friend who lives in the city had told us to ask to check this card if the price seemed unexpectedly high.
We booked a pre-paid taxi from the international airport arrival hall. Thankfully got there first. The rates are fixed so no haggling. We were given a taxi number and told to find it outside in the que. There was no que but a sea of taxis. We managed to find it. It was rickety old and our luggage wouldnt fit in the boot so he had to tie ropes around the boot to make sure it didnt fall out. Anyway at the end of the trip, the cabbie was expecting a tip. I told him i booked the pre-paid so I won't have to deal with all this......but he just smiled and persisted. So I told him I had no more cash on me, he left disappointed. The cabs around Mumbai are a mixed variety of old and good. They mostly have fixed prices (one should preferably have change). The cab driver for our trip to the domestic airport was a nice chap who got us there in time, so we did end upp tipping him.
India is a very poor country and some of the taxi drivers actually live in their taxis, literally. It is a good idea not to show your purse when in the taxi, my husband who is Indian made one taxi driver stop and let us out when he was paying too much attention to me as I was delving into my handbag.
Also watch the meter, they have a cardboard converter which converts the amount of money charged on the meter to a current price, make sure you check it.
If you pick up a taxi at one of the big hotels, we stayed at the Taj Mahal in Bombay, the tourist police take a note of the taxi number when you depart, so if you encounter a problem they can pinpoint the culprit.
Taxi drivers and all drivers in Mumbai like their car's horn, its use must be taught at the driving school ;-)... personally I wasn't bothered at all but I heard not exactly compliments about it...
Taxis in Mumbai use a taximeter - or did they do as I was guided by a Mumbai friend? - anyway if they don't, ask for it and remember to get a tariff card - I saw one in the last page of a city guide booklet - to convert the meter reading into rupees.
At the airport, don't miss the counter of the prepaid taxi, the fares of which are at least the fairest.
At the international terminal is just outside the building.
This pic typical Bombay black&yellow taxi.
Mumbai bus are good,but anyone new it took time to used to it.Delhi i nevver think of getting in local buss.
But Bombay one can use bus,its crowded but bus are good maintained.
To going around taxi will be best choice.There is a/c one non a/c available.
A/c one they call cool cab :),the color of taxi is blue color.
Its like Minimum charge Rs13,If its A/C taxi minimum charge will be Rs17.
It goes with meter reading,so no cheating.Night charge will be different rate.
One thing i noticed there,even taxi driver speaks English :).
For sighseeing if you take taxi Its like this,6hrs Rs 800&within 80km,extra km Rs 6.
May be it varies place to place,i heard its average rate.I took 2 days like this rate only.
Try one of the many Taxiwallahs...these are old-school Fiats painted black with yellow Tops, like wasps. They are everywhere, and many Taxiwallahs sleep in them overnight, so you can score a ride anytime, anywhere.
A trip across the city may cost $3-5 US, but the experience is so worth it. You'll first go, 'hey, this car has a steering column shifter', follwed by, 'what, no seatbelts!', at which point in time you'll notice the small shrine in the front windshield and realize god is protecting you so it's all good.