It has been almost a month since i started experimenting with Delhi public transport and its been quite an experience as i was hopping buses, metro trains, travelling between stops with Uber, walking and walking 😉 [i love to walk]. It reminded me of student days when hopping buses was a norm, not buying ticket was fun [All you had to say was “staff hai” in those Red line buses!!] and getting an auto was luxury.
My office provides a nice AC cab which picks and drops back at home, so what could be the motivation to even start experimenting with public transport? Well for me, first part was to find a way which was flexible and allows me to work in my preferred office time of 8am-5pm and second part was using public transport keeps you fit. Doing a sitting job day in day out and not being able to exercise as you are overloaded with work always, using public transport is a great exercise.
I tried out various routes between Sector-62, Noida and Rohini, and i would say that Delhi transport has come a long way and has improved a lot but lacks a lot of aspects if you compare with European cities.
There were 3 aspects which i was trying to judge as i was exploring: economical, comfortable and travel time.
Fastest Route : Take Red Metro line from Rohini and get down at “Dilshad garden” [This will take about 40–45 mins]. From Dilshad garden take an Uber [30–40 mins]. This is the fastest, convenient but most expensive. This will cost you somewhere around Rs 250 to Rs 400 one way as Uber fares will vary. A variant of this route which is much cheaper is to take a bus from Dilshad garden to Suryanagar crossing and then take an auto to sec 62 [This will cost you 150 bucks]. This brings down total cost to around Rs. 200 one way but less comfort as compared to first option although travel time is same for both. Another variant route is to get down from Red line at Mansarovar park and take an auto to Karkardooma [this will cost you 50 bucks], from Karkardooma take yellow Line to Vaishali and from there take shared Uber. This brings down total cost to Rs 150 and keeps time almost same.
Most Comfortable route : Take Red Metro line from Rohini and get down at Kashmere gate. Now take Violet line to reach Mandi House and from there take Blue Line to reach Vaishali, from Vaishali take shared Uber to Sec-62. This will cost you 100–150 depending on Uber fares. This route has lots of plus points as you travel in metro all the while and its economical but time taken is quite high, as it will take somewhere around 90–120 minutes to reach.
Worst route : I once tried this route while going back from office. Take Uber to Vaishali metro station and then get down at Anand Vihar, from Anand Vihar take a bus to Dilshad Garden metro station [There are loads of buses plying on that route] but Anand Vihar is one of the most chaotic, polluted area and standing there while waiting for bus is a horrible experience, its soooo polluted. This route will cost you around Rs 120 one way. Another option i tried while going back was to get down at “Preet Vihar” metro station on yellow line and then take bus to Welcome metro station. One of major issues is loads of traffic signals on the road from Preet Vihar to Welcome station and huge traffic on this route which makes it very polluted.
And then i tried Shuttl : So “Shuttl” is a new company which must have done all above experiements before me 😉 and then came out with business idea to provide transport to office goers. Its damn cheap and has a great working model. So from Rohini to Sec 62 Noida, if you take 3 months pass then it will cost you Rs. 55 on one side!! Shuttl starts Operating at 7am and a new vehicle keeps running every 15 minutes till about 8:15, so if you miss one simply catch next. You can always reschedule/cancel at 0 charges. Almost sounds too good to be true!! The catch is that pass is valid only on one route with limited validity. This option is economical, convenient and has good travel time. A great way to office commute, i liked it a lot. But then its comfort level almost touches the level of cab, to my benefit nearest “Shuttl” drop point is almost 2 km away form my home, so 4 km walk everyday …yeahhhhh 🙂
We all know Metro train and how it has transformed our way to commute but the only thing which it lacks is last mile connectivity. Although we have DTC buses but with all the smoke coming into buses, its not the best way to commute. One major change is that chances of getting seats in buses is quite high, you easily get it nowadays which was not the case in college days. If i compare with London, we are far behind when it comes to bus travel, in every area. Even today in age of internet, we cannot buy a Bus pass online!! Almost unbelievable.
I have loved this experience and will continue. Although this means that you may sweat at times, may not get seat, stand in crowded places but then i download my music, tv series and i never get bothered by all those hassles.