Cheaper options to go home from Chennai Airport
Reaching Chennai Airport from my home/office in a call taxi costs Rs 360+/- 20. (fast track call taxi)
However, reaching home from Airport costs almost double, about Rs 600
This difference is because of high parking charges levied in the airport and other fees.
However, there’re a few alternate options to save some money while going home.
Option 1: Take MTC bus @ Rs 120 per seat.
MTC has deployed few AC mini buses to ply between Chennai Airport and CMBT (Koyambedu). A ride in this bus costs Rs 120 per seat, irrespective of where you get down (Same fare for Guindy, Ashoka Pillar, Vadapalani or Koyambedu)
The bus is too old and shakes too much. The rattling noise of the vehicle, its glasses is unbearable. A/C is hardly effective. There’s one bus every 30 minutes or so, but not many people are aware of it. Sometime these buses ply empty, but often they manage to fill most of the seats by the time bus leaves airport campus. Because the conductor keeps the door open and keeps shouting Koyambedu,Koyambedu, whatever little effect Air conditioning had gets nullified till the bus leaves the campus and door is closed.
This mini bus service is only to Koyambedu. No service to other popular destinations in city like say Central or Siruseri etc. It is a budget option if you have some luggage and going towards CMBT. If you’re more than 3 people, renting a cab makes sense instead of buying 3 tickets at Rs 360.
Option 2: Catch an empty cab outside the toll gate.
Cars coming to drop off passengers are given a short 5 minute window. They need to drop passengers within that time and leave, else an hefty parking charge is applied. While primary motive to put 5 minute restriction seems to be ease traffic, the main motive is to prevent these cabs from picking up passengers at lower fares, so that other cabs paying heavy fee to airport do not lose business. If you can walk few hundred meters beyond the taxi exit gate, you’ll find many taxi drivers willing to ferry you for very nominal fee (they would have got their full fare while dropping off passengers. Whatever they get now is a bonus. At times the cab you flagged down might be heading to another part of the city. In such cases, try the next one.
Option 3: Come to main road and catch a bus.
Hundreds of MTC buses ply in front of airport every hour, but there’s no organized way to stop for some time and pickup air passengers. The buses rarely stop at designated places and passengers are often forced to catch them at signals. If you’re healthy and have not much luggage, this is the cheapest option.
Option 4: Airport Metro- coming up, god knows when…