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Most Kolkatans rely on buses, trams, and the metro to get around, but you will probably rely on taxis, rickshaws, and your feet (the bus system is indecipherable, the slow, rickety trams are good only for an early-morning ride, and the metro is somewhat limited).
The base fare for Kolkata taxis is Rs. 20, and the meter should read about Rs. 30 after 5 km. The legal inflation factor, however, is 100%, and it changes periodically; so ask your hotel for the current inflation factor. If a driver refuses to turn the meter on, find another taxi. Traffic, unfortunately, plagues Kolkata, and it might bring your cab to a full stop amid humid air and diesel exhaust, so at rush hour you may just want to find a sweet shop and wait until it's over.
Auto-rickshaws are cheaper than taxis, but they're not as easy to find in the city center. At rush hour they can be more efficient (albeit dirtier) alternatives; taxis are liable to get stuck in traffic.