Meru to the rescue

If you are like me, who arrive in Bangalore by train on mornings, you would have experienced the auto menace.  They are akin to street dogs, who flock around you, barking.  In this case, the auto drivers swarm around you, begging you to board their vehicle.  Not out of consideration for you, but to fleece you with their exorbitant rates.  Meters mean nothing here - they know you have no other options.

We pay Rs.150/- or so for a 5 km ride from K R Puram to our place and it was that which came to my mind when we boarded the train to Bangalore.  This time it was going to be tougher - we had quite some luggage and a six-month baby as well.  We had three of our close relatives coming with us as well - two adults and a three year old.  They stayed close to our place.

A thought struck us as the train departed - why not call Meru Cabs?  We have used its services a few times - to go to the Airport or Railway Station.   They charge Rs.50/- extra if we call and book their service, but not if we do it online. I logged into their website and specified the necessary details - pick-up and drop points and the time.  If you are wondering how I did that in the train, it was thanks to a laptop and datacard that was accompanying us. 

I had some misgivings about the pick-up, having had challenges with taxis not keeping their time or hiking their rates at the last minute.

Imagine our surprise at 3.30 AM, when we get a call from the taxi driver, saying he had already arrived. 

Meru Taxis are typically Mahindra Logans with a large boot space.  Our train was on time as well.  We got a porter to transfer the luggage across platforms and could board the taxi, luggage and all, with space to spare.

We dropped our relatives and reached our home - right next to the elevator - a total of about 10-11 km and the metre reading showed Rs.158/-  I was more than happy to tip the driver.

Looking back, I realized we would have each ended up paying Rs.150/- or even more to go to our homes, if we had taken autos.  In addition, we would have had challenges with the luggage.  There are a few taxis in the station, but mostly Indica - too small for all of us and the luggage.  That would have meant our relatives would have had to take another taxi or auto.   Auto would have meant bearing the cold and wind of early winter morning, with possibility of catching an illness to boot.

So, the next time you plan to arrive in Bangalore early morning, seriously consider taking Meru (or EasyCabs) - both running on meter 24 hours - with polite drivers and excellent service.

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