Unfair Fare ñ Rickshaws, Taxis, and other Identified Looting Objects

Taxi ride in Karachi
And the audacious rickshaw driver replied, ëI have to buy a cell phone, thatís why!í

A moment ago, I had asked him, ëExcuse me, bhai sahib. Why are you charging Rs. 160 for a stretch that costs Rs. 90 at the max?í And this was the answer. Right. A cell phone. Mr. Rickshaw needs a cell phone so how about I endorse his new fancy? I mustnít think for ONE WEE MOMENT that Iím not his mama, buying him a birthday gift. And whatís up with me never giving it to my boss, never asking for a double salary raise. I did want a car there, once!

Remember the rule of thumb in Karachi:

a rickshaw or a taxi driver would ask you for Rs. (2x ñ 10) where x is the amount which you should legitimately pay. So hereís what you do. First you add Rs. 10 to his asking price. Then you divide by 2. Then you act smart, and quote ten bucks lesser. Then you wait for luck. Yes. The next thing is either the rickshaw/taxi driver looking at you with an, ëOye, eskuuuze mee!?í or the damned thing speeding off. So. Ahem. If itís an odd hour, donít minus the ten. Hop on quietly and cuss your vulnerabilities all the way home.

But stick your ground, eh. Especially if the hour isnít odd and you see other rickshaws and taxis coming round the corner.

Ride on!

5 Comments so far

  1. zeeshan (unregistered) on December 5th, 2005 @ 4:09 pm

    thats a very use full formula but its not applicable when you are at karachi airport and wanna go home some where in the city.

    anyways when ever i get back to karachi i will give it a shot hope rikshaw will not reply like “chal phoot yahan say”

  2. Twintopaz (unregistered) on December 5th, 2005 @ 7:32 pm

    Zeeshan..i suggest you to use Radio cabs at Karachi airport..

  3. Imtiaz (unregistered) on December 5th, 2005 @ 11:05 pm

    ooh..you guys missed out one thing….

    they always charge us guys a lot higher!!!
    when we tell female how much we paid, despite the haggling, they laugh at us!

  4. Ramla A. (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 1:33 am

    We really should have a regularly updated chart with estimated fares. Honest shmonest.

    But given the crazy traffic blocks, I do think sometimes these guys are justified. There’s one more formula: the fare is a product of (driver’s time X gas price)….

    Ah, leave that one for later!

  5. Junaid (unregistered) on December 13th, 2005 @ 1:29 pm

    Is there a map of the bus routes in Karachi? If not I think that would be a great project to do using the API’s of Google Maps…obvioulsy the bus is way cheap and if you can avoid the rickshaw just once in a while youll save a bit.

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