This is really interesting. Unlike other cities in India, the auto-rickshaws in Calcutta work in two ways. Either “reserved” (as in other parts of India) or as a mini public transport with a route and a fare, holding up to 5 passengers. So for instance, an auto might be heading in the direction of the City Center Mall and charge each passenger picked up along the way 5 rupees to get there. Or you could hire the entire auto rickshaw for a negotiated price (say 20 to 25 rupees for the same distance). This micro (and ad-hoc) form of public transport fascinates me.