One of the best-connected cities of the world, Calcutta has a plethora of options to take you from place to place. The International Association of Public Transport ranks this city among the top 40 cities in urban mobility.
This tour is perfect for following the timelines of Kolkata’s transport heritage. Trams were introduced in the 1860s. Horse-drawn at first, they were electrified early in the 20th century. Tram routes have been cut back at a time when our gasping city needs a cleaner means of transport. Taxis – A veritable tank that barrels through our streets, the Ambassador was based on an old Oxford Morris design not in production in England. The car has served as taxis and remains vehicles of choice for our many -since the 1950s.
Autos – Unlike in other cities the auto-rickshaws ply only on fixed routes in Kolkata. A fun crazy ride if you can find one with music and disco lights.
Metro Rail – India’s first and Calcutta’s cleanest – the metro serves millions who traverse from north to south. An East-West Metro and several other routes are now being added. Rickshaws – Officially banned, this archaic mode of transport still plies through old Calcutta’s streets. They are indispensable on days when it rains cats and dogs, and the city is knee-deep in water. Fares need to be negotiated in advance. Buses – The popular joke is buses don’t ply in Calcutta, they ‘fly’. You will come to realise this when you see them hankering after passengers and overtaking each other, often with less than pleasing results. There are various kinds, including air-conditioned services. Trains – Hundreds of trains bring in loads of passengers seeking their livelihood in this city.
Then there’s the circular railway network that can be used to go to different localities within the city. Ferries – Another super-cheap mode of transport, this one is great to bypass the traffic-clogged Howrah Bridge.
Why you will love it
- Enjoying the city’s old transport culture
- Peeking into the charms of the Calcutta of yesteryears and the Kolkata of today
- A chance to enjoy interactions with fellow commuters
What you will experience
In this tour, we will try and get you inside as many of the transport systems as possible thereby decoding for you the way the city moves. More than half of all journeys in the city are made on different modes of public transport jostling for less than 6% road space that our city offers.