“Autos” (tuk-tuks)

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What are otherwise called tuk-tuks in the rest of South Asia are known around here as “autos”, shorthand for auto-rickshaws. This common transport for most people who don’t have private drivers or use the more upscale sedan taxis.

The relocation consultants and other expats generally advise to avoid them for reasons ranging from price gauging to their inherent lack of vehicular safety in the event of an accident to personal safety (especially at night). Although I’m still unclear as to why one would be less safe with an auto driver at night than with a sedan taxi driver… {Firstly, it’s easier to escape from an auto at any traffic light or in congestion — there are no doors. Secondly, just because a sedan costs more, to me it doesn’t follow that the driver is automatically a better person.} Luckily for me, I have my own driver, C, so don’t have to test this.

On C’s day off, I do occasionally take an auto — in day light and in neighbourhoods I know well. Every auto ride I have thus far as be very professional.

PS In smaller Indian towns with less traffic — Goa, Pondicherry, etc– and around Sri Lanka autos are embraced by expats without the hesitation I observe here in Bangalore. Perhaps it’s because Bangalore has so much more traffic.

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Passenger view from back of an auto

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