Taxi Scams — Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India

And then there was the taxi that tried to scam us.

Ayaka and I were taking the train from Pune back to Mumbai CST (was called Victoria Station) on our last day when we got off the train (and I can’t remember where but it was the main stop nearest the airport.) I knew from the airport to down-town Mumbai should cost about INR 350. When we got to the street a taxi driver saw us and asked where we were going, and when he found out I asked him how much. He said INR 400. I knew we were a lot closer to the airport than down-town, so we said no thank you, left him and continued on to the bank (we needed the last day’s money.) He followed us to the bank, and then sat outside the restaurant while we ate. When we left the restaurant he was still there.

So I thought, we’ll take the taxi, but we’ll do it my way. First I asked to see the taxi tariff card they all have to carry, and I checked it was the new one issued in April 2007 and insisted to the driver that the meter was reset to 0.01 (as it wasn’t when we got in.) The driver spun it around, but it didn’t reset properly, and he said don’t worry about it. I insisted again, and he reluctantly reset the manual tariff thingy to 0.01. And off we went. Ayaka sat in the back, and to make sure the driver didn’t try and take us a long way, she kept looking at her watch and giving the driver a worried look in the mirror.

When we arrived the driver pulled out the tariff card to show us how much it would cost. But he pulled out the old one which had higher fares on it. I insisted again that the right one be used. He did, and we started to pay. He put the tariff card away, and as we paid he told us that the bags would be INR 20 each. I, again, asked for the tariff card and showed him that it was INR 12 each for the bags. Which we paid.

In all, it cost about INR 180, plus INR 24 for the bags. Much less than the INR 400 he wanted at the start.

And as for being late, we had about 6 hours to kill at the airport.

So, if you ever go to Mumbai, you can take your own rate card from the Mumbai Traffic Police.

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