On Mumbai traffic, and giving up driving

I like to drive, but lately I haven’t enjoyed driving.

Mumbai has the worst traffic of any city I’ve seen… Yesterday, for example, going to a mall 10km from my home took me over two hours; driving on a Saturday and not during peak hours. For now, it seems that the only time I can drive without facing traffic is in the middle of the night—maybe after 1am, as I have got stuck in traffic when driving at midnight.

There are countless construction projects active right now to improve the situation: from creating new flyovers, to building an alternate metro line, building a Monorail, and building pedestrian crossings at major road intersections. Unfortunately, all these projects are being undertaken right now, which means that many frequently used routes are blocked. This compounds the problem, but hopefully the situation will improve in a couple of years, when the new infrastructure is in place.

Thankfully, I work from home, so I don’t have to commute daily. I usually take the car out maybe once a week, as driving to any place close-by is a waste of time.

Which brings to mind the question: do I really need a car? I don’t, really. If I want to travel, booking a cab is a better option than driving: at least one can relax if stuck somewhere.

So, no more driving for me. My sister, who lives in Nagpur, has ‘borrowed’ our family car. Hopefully, she’ll put it to better use…

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