In Bangalore, we always had interesting experiences with the auto-drivers. I have heard Mumbaikars complaining a hell of a lot about the auto-drivers in Mumbai. But, then they probably never had to encounter the Bangalore species of the same.
We have something called meters in our autos in Mumbai. Yeah, the Bangalore ones also have that but they never are down. I mean, even if the auto is occupied the meter will never be down. They have their own rates and their own logic. Here, if it is beyond midnight the auto will charge double the fare. Fair Enough. In Bangalore, even if it 10:00 am in the morning, he will ask for double the fare( usually they settle for a round figure : 100 if it is within15-20 minutes, 200 if it is within 30-45 minutes. Beyond that, I don't have much experience).
The very first day, we took an auto to the IGATE's office. He said the fare will be around Rs.100. After the morning experience, I didn't try to haggle with him in any language(leave alone Kannada). We told him our address and he said he knew the place but not the company. I said no probs, take us to the place and the rest will be handled by me. He took us to that place(Whitefield). Now, it so happens that IGATE puts Whitefield in their address and nothing else. And the sad part is that IGATE actually is quite far from the real Whitefield and actually near ITPL. So, we get a menancing glare from the auto-driver and a lot of gyaan too. "Saar, you should know the address. Now, you are only in a loss(Well, he charges us 100 bucks more). One should not be so careless...and so on". I was too ashamed,tired and pissed off to argue with him.
We regularly used autos during our stay in Bangalore primarily because the public transportation system sucks in Bangalore. The only good thing that I can think about the public buses is the fact that they provide daily/monthly passes which allow unlimited rides on the city buses which turns out quite cheap. The daily pass was priced at Rs. 25/- which is quite VFM if you are going to use the bus service more than a couple of times during the day. Other than that, nothing much to cheer about the public transportation system in Bangalore.
Other interesting experiences with the auto-drivers would be the one time we were stranded on a deserted highway after the auto broke down. It was quite an uneventful 15-20 minutes spent on the road flashing the mobile phones into the auto's posterior. And the other , when an auto-driver refused to take me to a particular location and I angrily asked him as to why wouldn't he take us there. I was ready for a good fight that day but the auto-driver wasn't and he readily took me to the location and charged me on the meter(What Bliss!!). Another, unique thing about some of the Bangalore autos was that they had Electronic Meter which meant that the fare to be paid was always displayed on the meter and one needn' t go through the fare care which is actually good. Offcourse, it is a different thing that the meter is never down but still....