The 2012 Mumbai Auto-rickshaw fare card

11th October 2012: I’m currently updating these cards, so please hang on till I put them up here. I’ve taken the download links off for now to avoid any confusion.

Updated version here.


Update (30th April 2012): The different versions of the tariff cards have seen well over 200 1000 downloads since I released it last Friday. If this has been meeting your tariff-assessing needs well, please do spread it around by passing it on to others (via Bluetooth, Twitter, Facebook or any other means you fancy). Do give The New Vitruvian Man’s Facebook page a like, or follow along on Twitter so that you can keep abreast of updates and revisions, if and when they happen. Comments/feedback would also be much appreciated.

Almost exactly a week ago, Mumbai saw its second hike in rick fares in less than a year. When it happened last year, I couldn’t find a version of the fare-chart to carry around with me. The ones that the auto drivers carried around themselves seemed dense and cumbersome. So in the interest of convenience (and saving paper) I made a chart that I could carry around on my phone. The idea was to create a scrollable list of the basic information needed (meter reading, regular fare and midnight fare). Every tenth entry is marked to allow the user to move quickly to fares at the bottom without having to keep track of each meter reading number while scrolling down. I kept the overall look of the list light, mostly because I’ve always ended up having to use the brightness of my phone’s screen to get a better look at the meter reading in near pitch darkness in the middle of the night.

I’ve uploaded two versions, a light (248kb) PDF version (which you can view on your smartphone’s PDF reader) and also an averagely light for its dimensions (619kb) JPEG image for phones that don’t support PDF files. The image file is 480 pixels wide, which should read clearly on most phone screens. If you have trouble with this, do get in touch and I’ll upload a few more sizes of it.

I’ve triple checked the data in these charts myself, but in case you come across a discrepancy or have feedback regarding its use, do add your comments to this page.

These lists were designed solely for phone/screen use. Please do not print them; be kind to the trees.

To bring your smartphone to this page, scan in the following QR code:


Download the PDF Mumbai Auto-Rickshaw Fare card here (will open in a new window/tab).
Download the JPEG (image) Mumbai Auto-Rickshaw Fare card here (will open in a new window/tab).

I’ve also made a version of the Thane rate card this time around. There were cases in the city where unsuspecting people had been fleeced after being shown rate cards with the higher Thane fares. In fact I also came across a bunch of kids selling fare cards at traffic signals in Bandra with the Thane rates, so watch out for those. Thane fare cards downloadable below:

Download the PDF Thane Auto-Rickshaw Fare card here (will open in a new window/tab).
Download the JPEG (image) Thane Auto-Rickshaw Fare card here (will open in a new window/tab).

I wrote the following FAQ out for the last fare card, but I think it’d hold true for this one also:

How do I get this on my phone?

This depends on the type of phone you have. You can either browse (from your phone, if it will let you) to this page from the home page of, where this page will stay for a few weeks, and download the image directly. You can do this over WiFi or a data plan. If you don’t have a data plan, you’ll have to either download it onto a PC and then transfer it to your phone (via cable or Bluetooth), or ask someone with a data-capable phone to download it for you and beam it over to you via Bluetooth.

Which version should I get, PDF or JPEG?

Again, this entirely depends on whether your phone can read PDF files. Most smartphones (running Symbian, Android or iOS) can read PDF files. If your phone isn’t very smart, you could go ahead and download the image file. Almost all phones have cameras these days, so viewing images is rarely an issue.

Which is better, PDF or JPEG?

PDF, for two reasons. Clarity (you can zoom in as far as you can and the text and numbers will be crisp and sharp) and size (PDF is a vector format, which means that its file sizes are very low).

I’ve provided a JPEG version solely for phones that don’t have the ability to read PDFs.

Why? (Since there’s an app for that already)

I’m sure there is. This is meant for those folks who don’t have a phone that can run fancy apps and hook onto the interweb to download said apps. I know there are a bunch of online services where you can enter the meter reading and have it calculate the fare for you. Again, this isn’t possible if you don’t have a data plan or are in an area where your coverage is iffy (or if your data service decides to be petulant and misbehave spontaneously; who hasn’t been there?).

Is there such a fare card for taxis?

Not yet. I might be inclined to make one though, sometime in the near-distant future. I mostly travel by buses, trains and auto rickshaws, hence such prioritising.

Why does the image show up as a long vertical band on my phone?

Your phone is probably trying to fit the entire image onto your screen. This is normal. Zoom into the image to fit the width in your screen and then scroll up and down the list.

Is the data accurate; where was it sourced?

The tariffs have been put up on the Mumbai Traffic Police Website. The data is off their PDF file.

(This was of course for last year’s version. At the time of the writing of this article, the list on the Mumbai Traffic Police website is still the old one from last year. I actually created the list as a spreadsheet and cross checked it with published versions of the fare chart and

How do I know what size my phone’s display is?

You could look it up here.

My phone’s display doesn’t match the three versions here, what now?

Choose the version closest to your display resolution. If the image does not fit precisely, you can easily resize the width of the image using Paint, Gimp, Photoshop or iPhoto.

Why not a printed version?

Practically everyone has a mobile phone capable of carrying image files on it these days. It’s just more environmentally friendly to have it on your phone than as a printout in your wallet or pocket.

Just another small step towards keeping the city litter-free.

Are there versions for other cities? Why Mumbai?

Not yet, no. Mumbai, because I live there.

Is this an act of shameless self promotion?

Why, of course. However, The New Vitruvian Man is all about better living through design, this being a prime example of the same. If you find this endeavour interesting or useful in the smallest way, you might also find the rest of the content on this site worth a quick look-see. Or you might not, but I’m not insisting you stay and read/look.

You could always give the site’s Facebook Page a “like” to keep abreast of updates or add the site to your RSS aggregator. You can also follow along on Twitter.

Can I distribute this around?

Please feel free to spread it across to all your friends and family who live in Bombay. Don’t make them pay for it though.

Is money being made from this?

Nope. Just the satisfaction of having people across the city use something created by me to better the way they get things done through their day.

Can we have advertising on these images?


And if you’re also a designer:

Why on earth was Helvetica picked for this?

I think Helvetica is ideal for this. This is a simple list after all, there’s no need for soulful typographic expression or fancy font-work. This is meant to inform you, rather than inflict thrill or pleasure.

Issues like high x-height and things don’t really matter because the bulk of the data is numeric. Helvetica is plan, it is simple. This list needed to be plain, yet simple. I rest my case.

Couldn’t the type have been a little larger?

It could. Larger type size also means it’d be a longer list, which in turn would entail a lot more heavy duty scrolling.

Why the morose grey colour palette?

I originally wanted the overall image to be as white as possible, but since black text on white can look exceedingly dull, I made it grey. Colours behave differently on different qualities of display, so I thought it best to leave colour out of it for the most of it.

73% of the graphic is light because its always nice to have a light, bright mobile phone screen while reading the meter in the dark.

The column on the left is condensed because the meter usually has numbers in a condensed format too (and is set against black). Half the times I read the lists the drivers have I end up losing track of which column I’m supposed to be looking up the meter reading in. This should make that connection slightly clearer.