I decided to take the bus from Jaipur to Dehli as they are frequent and you don’t have to book a ticket in advance. In the morning I took an auto rickshaw from Hotel Pearl Palace to the bus stand as it looked like the rain was going to pour down any minute. The rickshaw was Rs 40 (August 2010).
At the bus stand I was directed to a ticket counter, but as the bus to Dehli just started to move the man behind the counter said go, go and I then bought the ticket on the bus. The ticket to Dehli was Rs 175 and the ride took around 5- 6 hours. It was one of those big regular buses with two seats on one side and three seats on the other side. My backpack could not fit in the narrow shelf above so I had it by my feet. Only for a short while the bus was full, otherwise it was plenty of space the rest of the trip. All the open windows can be a nuisance if it gets too windy and dusty. I had to ask the man in front of me to close his window and so he did and then it was okay. Halfway we stopped for people to eat or buy snacks. Beside the bus there was a row of smelly urinals so waiting near the bus was not an option.
In Delhi the bus stopped along a main road in the south part of Dehli. The auto rickshaw drivers told me they could take me to Paharganj for Rs 250. Well, a few weeks earlier I had taken a taxi from the airport, which was further south, to Paharganj for Rs 225. When I told the drivers about this they changed their price to Rs 200 and then Rs 150. I saw a small traffic police booth 20 metres away and walked over to it even if it looked closed. It turned out there were two men inside eating. They told me to wait a few minutes and then I could pay for a prepaid auto rickshaw as this was one of the prepaid taxi booths. To take an auto rickshaw to Paharganj was Rs 95 (Rs 80 + Rs 10 for baggage + Rs 5 for service).
The Govt run/owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has been phasing out the old busses and replacing them with thousands of modern ones.
There are also air conditioned (red) busses, which are priced a bit higher (min rs 10 fare, max rs 25), are much less crowded.
The infamous `blueline' busses, which were known for dangerous driving and being responsible for much chaos on the road, are on their way out.
Bus routes are also being rationalised, so as to connect seamlessly with the metro train network.
There has also been a recent addition of hop on- hop off ( or `ho-ho') busses, which are meant for tourists, and run along routes relavant to tourists. They are not too many in number just yet, but should be easy to spot, since theyre coloured purple! I believe they run at 30 mins frequence as of now. Last heard, there were plans to convert these into double decker open top busses, like the london bus concept, with the lower deck being airconditioned and the upper level eing open...
We took local bus 505 from New Delhi Railway Station out to the Qutb Minar, which proved to be very easy, convenient and above all cheap - only 10 rupees each way! You're surrounded by daily life, people commuting to work, and children to school, sellers of food and all sorts of other commodities leaping on and off!
I found it a really good way to get out into the outskirts of the city, and a good way to see the people of Delhi at the same time.
Due to railwayconstructions there was no reasonable connection to Bikaner anymoe. The detour would just take way too long. So we took the bus from the Serai Khale Khan bus adda (station) thanks to the help of UMA SHANKER here on VT! Thanks for the tip!
The first day in India:
Well, I checked out the station immediately after my arrival. I was told it was not possible to get the ticket in advance (when I was there), so we showed up early enough on the day of our planned departure. At the desk we were still told that the bus leaves at 22:00 o`clock and that he, the guy at the desk, could not sell in advance.
Ok, we thought, still used to the Western style of lining up and waiting in trust of the good of human beeing. Well, when the bell hit 22:00 we finally bought our tickets and were looking forward to our "cozy" seats in the bus..................just to find all the people already sitting in the overcrowded bus or still pushing into it without any tickets (most of them)......
Because the Indian style is rushing into the bus as soon as possible, grabbing a seat and buying the ticket ON the bus........ok, we still managed to get a seat, at least half of my butt had a seat for the next 10 hours of night bus ride through the dark.
But since then we adjusted well to the system jumping over kids pushing away the old, the weak and the disabled to get a seat in a darwinistic style - survival of the fittest....
STOP! Of course Im just kidding, but getting a seat can really become an adventure for itself.
According to some tickets in sanskrit which I cant read, the ticket price was 235 Rupees for the 10h ride.
Buses probably cater for about half or more of Delhi’s commuters. The main bus providers include DTC (Delhi Transport Corp), BlueLine Transport and a few other private bus companies. There is a city bus service which is available at the railway stations to various parts of the city. Busses at night are only available on certain routes.
We were all rather concerned that this was the bus that was going to take us all around India, but fortunately they provided us with a more up-to-date coach for the bigger journeys. I don't think we would have survived a 300-mile journey in this wreck!
Local buses in Delhi are rather chaotic and not very modern. As the taxis were pretty cheap, we moved around by taxi, but I guess taking a local bus to somewhere might be an interesting experience anyway...
Delhi is now served by thousand of environment friendly CNG (Compact Natural Gas) buses. Some of these buses are wheelchair accessible and are quite clean.
Having complained about the state of the tourist bus, I was jolly glad I wasn't travelling on the local bus when I saw this lorry stop to pick up passenegers on the road between Delhi and Agra.