Transport in India

transport in India
Updated 2020-06-03 12:16

Irrespective of the purpose and duration of your stay in India, travelling and moving around will definitely be a part of your everyday life. The cities offer a diverse range of transport modes like trains, buses, airplanes, metros, taxis, rickshaws etc. Depending upon the distance to be covered and budget, you can choose from a number of different forms of transportation in India.

Although the frequency and fare of public transport are better and more reasonable than private transport, it is generally overcrowded. This may cause some discomfort to newcomers and tourists. Hence, it is preferable that you purchase your tickets beforehand.

Railways in India

Trains are the primary means of transportation in India for passengers, as well as freight. The railways bring people and goods from farthest corners of the country and facilitate businesses, education, sightseeing and even pilgrimages. The Indian railway network stretches over 67,368km, serving nearly 7,349 train stations, both in cities and villages.

While express trains are faster and directly link major Indian cities to one another, the local trains have several stops within cities and villages.

In order to travel by train make sure to book in advance and confirm your ticket. Due to the heavy rail traffic, tickets are not easily available. Hence, do the booking beforehand. You can either buy the ticket from the ticket counter in the railway station or simply book it online.

There are several trains that run overnight and are equipped with bunk seats that allow you to relax and travel long distances more comfortably.


Be very careful and cautious while travelling by train. Petty theft is very common and you are advised to keep a close eye on your belongings.


Metros are very popular amongst city dwellers. The major cities like Kolkata, New Delhi and Bangalore have established metros in order to aid with the decongestion of road traffic. These rapid transit transports ensure faster, safer and more convenient travelling. Regular users can apply for passes that help them with faster boarding, easy payment and seamless transfers.

Useful links:

Indian Railways
Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd
East Central Railway
West Central Railway
South Western Railway


In order to cover long distances in a short time aeroplane is the most suitable mode of transport. There are several regional and domestic flights in India that connect one city to another in a short time. You can try out these flights, but make sure to book your tickets in advance and secure your seat confirmation. There are several airline companies in major cities. You can either book your ticket online, through a travel agent or even directly from the airline company's ticket counter.

Useful links:

Air India
Go Air


Buses are easily available for short as well as long routes. The fares are considerably cheaper than taxis and trains, hence many prefer to travel by bus. There are generally private buses run by independent companies and public transport buses run and managed by state governments. There are different types of buses like air-conditioned buses, non-air-conditioned buses, double-decker buses, eco-friendly buses and accessible buses for the disabled. Note that private buses are generally cleaner and more comfortable. You can take the bus at the bus station or at bus stops that you can find everywhere in big cities. For security reasons, late-night bus travelling is not recommended.

Useful links:

Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation
Delhi Transport Corporation
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation
Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation
Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation

Rent a car in India

Rental cars are easily available in all the major cities of India. You can either hire a driver or simply take the driving seat, provided you have a valid and recognized driver's license. Different types of car are available like luxury cars and economy cars. The rental prices differ depending upon the car type. You can book any car as per your requirement online. The rentals of the cars generally vary between INR 1,400 to INR 1,800 per day. For more affordable travelling you can opt for car-pooling where different passengers travel together, sharing the cost. Note that it is highly advisable to verify the state of the vehicle before starting off.


When travelling from one State to another, you will have to pay road tax. The toll generally varies from one State to another. In some cases, this tax is included in the rent price. This is especially the case with big car rental agencies. However, it is always better to enquire about the extra charges with the car rental agency beforehand.

Useful links:

Zoom Car
Carz On Rent
India Rent a Car
Eco Rent a Car


Taxis have become very popular amongst the people of India moving regularly. The taxis or cabs are easily available at taxi stands or you can also hire them online. In major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad etc., a taxi is just a call away. Taxis are generally comfortable and clean and hence travelling longer routes is also preferred. As per the government's rule, all taxis are required to have a meter installed. The passengers have to pay the amount according to the meter reading.

In some cities, you can also opt for shared taxis that carry one or more passengers travelling to the same destination or place en route to the final destination. In this case, all the passengers share the fare. Some of the top private cab service providers include Ola cab, Uber and Meru cabs.

Useful links:

Ola cabs
Meru cabs


Rickshaws are the most affordable mode of transport, largely used in towns and cities for covering short distances. There are basically two types of auto-rickshaws namely, motorised auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws that are run manually.

Auto rickshaws are easily available near auto stands and you can also hire them from the streets. Generally, motorized rickshaws are equipped with meters and you will have to pay according to the meter. In some cases, the drivers tamper with the meters or declare meter-out-of-order. In these cases better negotiate the price before boarding the vehicle.

Apart from these three-wheeler autos, you will also come across 'tempos' found in the city outskirts and villages. These resemble a small truck like model and transport passengers at very low rates. However, these are not comfortable.

Motor taxi

Motor taxis are found in some regions of India like Goa. These motorcycle taxis carry one passenger at a time with only a backpack as luggage. Easily identified by their yellow-black colour, the motor taxis are cheaper than traditional taxis and rickshaws. However, you must negotiate the rate before starting your journey as there are no meters installed. In some regions it is mandatory for the driver to wear a helmet, but not for the passenger.


If you wish to enjoy a more independent and hassle-free ride, then you can hire a bike of your choice. There are many companies that offer premium bikes on rent namely, Harley Davidson, Triumph and KTM Duke. Apart from these expensive bikes, other options are also available. Whether you want for daily commuting or for a long drive you can just hire the bike of your choice.

There are different applications available online that you just need to download on your smartphone, such as Wheelstreet and ZipHop. These applications will help you book any bike of your choice from the comforts of your home.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.