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Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
Expatriates generally prefer to commute in chauffeur-driven vehicles. However, having a vehicle at your disposal (whether self-driven or otherwise) is a must.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
To drive in India, one must either have an international or a locally approved license, which can be obtained from the local Road Transport Office (RTO). Further, third-party insurance is mandatory. However, given the conditions, most choose not to drive themselves.
What side of the road do people drive on?
Driving is on the left side of the road.
Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
Chennai’s MTC (Metropolitan Transport Corporation) bus service provides a network that covers the entire city. This service, operating from 4:00 a.m. to about midnight, is affordable and frequent. Apart from the regular buses, there are limited-stop services, express services and point-to-point services. The suburban train service also helps provide fast and inexpensive commuting within the city. The most prevalent mode of hired transport in the city is the auto rickshaw.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
Chennai is connected to all important parts of the country by many domestic carriers. Apart from this there are several international carriers that operate regular flights to Chennai from foreign destinations. Chennai is served by an international airport. The Anna International Terminal and the Kamarajar Domestic Terminal are situated at Thrisulam, 17 km from the city center. Regular prepaid taxi services and auto rickshaws provide easy transfer to and from the terminals.
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
Traffic rules are often flouted. Trucks, buses, motorcycles, auto and pedal rickshaws, hand carts, bullock carts, dogs, cows, goats and pedestrians all use the roads with almost total disregard for each other. Given such circumstances, it would be advisable to drive your car only when experienced enough to understand the driving patterns.
Carry a good first-aid kit; you should be able to clean and dress scrapes and cuts at all times. Do not expect any roadside assistance if you have an accident. Not only is there no ambulance service in most places, it is not uncommon for the bystanders to be afraid to offer assistance when an accident occurs out of fear of the police and ignorance of what to do.
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
At stations and within the bus/train.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.