Every trick in the rickshaw
I’ve written the guide on Delhi Rickshaws before, but now I wish I’d waited, as my most recent ride would have been a much better medium to tell how the drivers try to rip you off.
As I approached the rickshaw driver, outside the foreigner’s registration office, he waved and nodded at me, despite there being a number of available rickshaws between myself and him – these guys are very proactive.
Having told him where I needed to go, the flat rate came out – 120 Rs. I said no, I wanted the metre. “No metre, metre is broken” he said shaking his head. “No it isn’t. Chalo (let’s go)” I replied as I jumped on. He turned on the perfectly functioning metre and we set off.
About 50 yards on, he started to make a U-Turn. This is fairly standard in Delhi, as the carriageways are often separated by walls and fences, so simply finding a turn to go in the opposite direction can take up to a mile. But we were already going in the right direction, so I shouted ‘SIDA!’ (straight), and the speed at which he changed his course was telling.
“This is old metre!” he shouted over his shoulder after a minute. These start at lower fares, and have a lower Rs/Km rate, so the drivers who haven’t installed the new metre carry a conversion chart.
Once arrived, the driver looks around – the tally was 10.5 kilometres, or around 50 Rs.
“Show me the sheet please”
The driver pulls the sheet out and the fare is actually about 90Rs. If I’d been riding between 11pm and 5am. He was showing the side of the sheet for night charges. Turning it around, the actual day time charge (this was around 3pm) was 76 Rs. I hand him 80; “Sorry, no change”.
Considering how hard he tried to rip me off at every stage, I think he kinda deserves the extra 4 rupees.