I want to fly into Mumbai and then commute to Pune one way. What method of transportation would be the safest? The fastest? The cheapest? The easiest with a lot of luggage?
The quickest and nicest way to get from Mumbai to Pune is by road. There is the famous Mumbai Pune Expressway that connects both cities, and takes only about 2.5 hours. Its a very scenic route and crosses the Western Ghats, a major mountain range in Western India.
Very easy to find taxi or Volvo buses that connect both cities and quick to travel. However cheapest way to get to Pune is of course by Rail. Mumbai-Pune is a major route and plenty of trains connect both cities. Trains usually would take around 3 hours travel time.
For finding trains lookup Mumbai CST to Pune Jn in http://erail.in/
And for finding buses, lookup http://redbus.in
Do let me know if there is anything more you would like to know.
Have a pleasant stay and a fun trip!
My recommendation would be that you book a large taxi like Innova using a reliable cab company. Safe, reliable, fast and cheap.
There are many shuttles which ply between Mumbai airport and Pune. For example you can book a shuttle at www.kktravels.com. The pick you up at the arrivals terminal and drop at any address in Pune. I use this shuttle very often. They are safe, fast enough (considering the fact that you land at odd hours in the night) and fairly cheap too.
There is another way to do this - if you have not booked your tickets yet, Pune can be your final destination.
The second option may cost you about 100$ more than flying in to Mumbai, but, this way it is much easier.
Take a cab, from the Mumbai airport, it will not be the cheapest, but sure the fastest and also since you have lots of luggage I would not suggest train or bus. It would be good to book the cab from one of the counters within the premises of the airport and not engage somebody outside. Some well known cab companies in Mumbai are Ola, Meru etc.
Head to Dadar East. Just outside the railway station, you have every option. Rather than haggling with the travel agents, you can book a cool cab. They have a fix rate and you have plenty of them.
It is safe. The fastest way to reach Pune is by road. Cool Cab is not necessarily the cheapest one by Indian standards but quite reasonable.
You can share the ride if you wish. Outside Dadar East you will have the option of car rental with chauffeur and bus. Of course, bus will work out to be the cheapest and they will accommodate all your luggage. safest too. However, not sure if it is the easiest way.
You have to book the train ticket well in advance, say about a month before your date of journey to be sure to get reservation.
If you don't have time for reservations, you have "Shivneri" bus as an option. These are state operated good buses, and you can more info about them here.
- Fastest- the fastest would be a flight, ofcourse, but this is far from the cheapest!
- The Cheapest would be a bus. Tons of Volvo buses run from Mumbai - Pune, multiple times a day. You're always good with luggage on a bus, if you're talking about 1 or 2 suitcases. These buses cost about 400-500 rupees(that's about 7-8 USD), and take about 4.5 hours to reach Pune. They are quite comfortable, air conditioned volvos. Once you're in Pune you can take a taxi to your final desitination.
- A more convenient alternative however, could be hiring a taxi. You can hire taxis that take you from door to door. These would be more expensive, my guess would be 4000-5000 Rupees.
Hope this helps!
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A lot of taxi providers give you a service right from the airport to get from Mumbai to Pune. Ask around for the pre-paid taxi service (usually slightly more expensive than private players like Meru or TABCAB) - this is usually very safe, but you might not enjoy the comfort of the generic taxi.
Ola Cabs are like the Uber of India and offer you a comfortable option, for booking a cab and going to Pune from anywhere in Mumbai - This will be the easiest with a lot of luggage https://www.olacabs.com/car-rentals/mumbai-pune
Check them out as well. You shouldn't be paying more than 2000 INR for the journey for most generic taxis, but i'm not sure how much Ola charges. A quick google search will give you a lot of results of cab services, but make sure you call them, and be very direct with them as to your requirements to get the best service.
I will not recommend taking the bus or train as this is your first visit. Book an intercity cab / taxi and I would suggest making these arrangements before you arrive in Mumbai. You can visit of the many sites suggested in the answers below or look at http://www.merucabs.com/intercitybooking. This may not be the cheapest but is the safest and fastest option. Again, please do not consider taking a bus or train considering you (may) be arriving late with plenty of luggage, are not familiar with the language and are travelling for the first time! Good luck!
Take Mumbai-Pune train from irctc.co.in OR take bus from Dadar East (Shivneri) or any other. It takes 4 hours and around INR 400/- To reach Dadar Eat, take a train from Churchgate and get down at Dadar Station (20 minutes max). And then ask someone for the Eastern side. When you are out, ask someone to point you to Shivneri or the flyover on the main road. Its ten minutes walk.
safest private taxi hertz or avis
fastest would be the same
cheapest is between train or bus
easiest with a lot of luggage is taxi again