In Kolkata, the transport system is combined of modern transport and old transport. Old transport like rickshaws, trams and the modern transports are metro, AC bus, and others. The advantage of living in Kolkata is, one can travel in ease and also it is exceptionally cost effective. Like in other metropolitan cities the daily travel cost is much more than ‘City of Joy’. Another advantage is that the public transport is easily available here. All the people can travel around the town with ease.
Now let’s categorize Major transports in Kolkata,
- Underground Metro Railways
- Water transport
Kolkata is well-connected to the rest of our country by extensive railway network of the Indian railways. Two divisions of the Indian railways – the Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway are headquartered in the city. The two major railway stations of the city are Sealdah and Howrah. A third terminal has recently been created called Kolkata. This station is in North Kolkata and can be reached by a road opposite to the RG Kar Medical College just beyond Shyambazar.
The Circular Rail surrounds the whole city of Kolkata, and at present it’s being extended. A new railway line auxiliary has been built to connect the airport to the lines going to Sealdah.
Underground Metro Railways
In early 1950s, then the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy first got the idea of constructing an Underground Railway for the people of Kolkata. After facing many difficulties, the idea finally took place into reality. In the year 1972, 29th December then the Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi laid the foundation stone of the project. In 1973-74 the construction work finally took place.
Now Kolkata is the second busiest metro system in India, still work in progress to make it big and top the list. There are 300 metro services which carries daily around 650,000 people. Also another interesting fact is, Kolkata Metro is the first Metro Railway in India which opened for commercial services in the year 1984. This particular transport is very much important for the daily-passengers and also less time-consuming.
Kolkata has a widespread complex of government run and privately run buses. The system for ticketing is; one has to purchase separate tickets for buses, metros, trams and trains. The bus tickets are simple paper tickets obtained from the bus conductor after you get on the bus.
There are several organizations of buses, a private organization, and multiple government services like CSTC, CTC, WBSTC and others. There are also different types of privately run buses. There are two types of private-owned buses. The mini buses and the regular ones. The mini buses have lesser number of seats and of brown/yellow colour. The regular buses colour is yellow and light blue. In late 1970s the mini buses started for helping office commuters.
Lately air-conditioned buses have been commenced by the WBSTC & CSTC. This initiative was taken for the people to have a comfortable journey. One will also find long distance buses in Kolkata, going to different places like; Siliguri, Digha, and other cities.
Taxis are also very much important part of the transport system in Kolkata. Before their use to be metered-taxi but now taxis mostly have digital meter system. Recently in Kolkata an air-conditioned Radio Taxi service has been introduced by the ORIX Auto Infrastructure Services Limited. These particular taxis have some interesting and useful features in them. Features like; digital tamper-proof meters, GPS monitoring, receipt printers and lost-and-found facilities and even have relaxing seats. It is gaining popularity quiet fast among the people in Kolkata. Due to some issues and strikes which is taking place by the taxi union, other prospective Radio Taxis are doing well good in this business. Like Ola, uber and others.
Another fact which one should know, from December 2013 onward all taxis in Kolkata must have a calibrated electronic meter, because to help the passengers from getting cheated. For this system, passenger can pay the precise value showed on the meter. The bare minimum value is Rs.25 for first 2 km; the value will be showed on the meter when one will hire the cab.
All yellow colour cabs are non-air conditioned other than this one will find white livery with a blue strip air conditioned taxi. The air conditioned taxis will be little more expensive than the ordinary taxis. Overall for a pleasant journey taxi is not a bad choice in here.
Tram is one of the oldest transports in Kolkata which is still living. Another interesting fact is that, it is at present the only tram network functioning in India Since 1902. Then the viceroy of India Lord Curzon got the idea of this transport system. That time his purpose was to ensure a comfortable journey for the people of Kolkata. In present days tram is considered one of the slowest transport in Kolkata. It is slow compare to other transport but safe to travel in.
The Tram system in Kolkata falls under the Calcutta Tramways Company. This is also known as CTC. CTC owns around 257 trams, out of that 125 trams traveling daily basis in the streets of Kolkata. The system of ticketing is very cheap, tram is considered as one of the low-cost travel transport in Kolkata. Presently there are only 7 tram depots which exist in Kolkata and just nine terminals.
Seven Tram depots are,
- Park Circus
Rajabazar and Tollygunge depots are the major for tracks and area. Khidirpur depot is the oldest and Kalighat is considering being the smallest.
Auto-rickshaws have turn out to be a very useful transport for covering petite distances. Usually they are not metered. There are numerous routes, and the auto-rickshaws of a particular route work between two separate places of that transmit only. Auto-rickshaws can house three people in the backseat, and a passenger in frontage next to the driver. The fares are more often than not quite low contrasted to other metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai, the smallest amount being 6. These auto rickshaws are not approved in major roads and certain place of the city. This particular transport is popular in Kolkata. One can travel short distance consuming less time and also paying reasonable fare.
Totos are just modified autos. One can say; Toto is a younger brother of Auto. This particular transport is useful for covering short distances with a cheap fare. This transport is battery operated and is not approved in major roads. With a reasonable fare this transport practically is handy for the passengers.
It is believed that in the 1860s the rickshaw has been invented in Japan, because this transport was inexpensive for that reason in the 19th century this transport started working across Asia.
Before in Kolkata rickshaws were pulled by men, several drifters from Bihar and rustic Bengal were very much involved in rickshaw pulling. In south Kolkata, the rickshaws heaved by men have been substituted by cycle rickshaws. Fares were habitually put by the rickshaw unions. These rickshaws usually use to function over short distances suitable to the physical effort concerned, and mostly ran on slender lanes where buses and auto-rickshaws don’t work. These Rickshaws are not approved on main roads of Kolkata. Hand pulled rickshaws is mainly found in old vicinity of North Kolkata and some old neighborhoods of South Kolkata. Moreover, Cycle rickshaws are also a frequent transport found in many localities of Kolkata. In modern times, one will also find battery operated rickshaws in Kolkata.
Kolkata has a major port; it is considered to be one of the top performers in the country. They have regular passengers traveling with the help of water transport. Howrah and Kolkata are linked by local water ferries through the widespread Ghats like Howrah Ghat, Fairlie Ghat, and Shibpur Ghat etc. Petite boats are used for relaxation purpose.
In addition to all this sort of transport, walking is the general way for traveling between the workplace and near railway station otherwise bus stop. Other than these transports, some people use in private owned car. Overall the transport system in Kolkata is well-structured, maintained and economic.
Use these transportations & visit such walking tours to heritage sites.
Author: Aurosish Chakraborty
” You have only two ways to survive in this world. Conquer or get Conquered.”
Interested towards writing, a movie buff & aspiring to be a Philosopher.
Sports Person, Dreamer, Foodie