I have lived in Bangalore and now staying in Chennai. During my recent visit to Hyderabad, without intent to do so, I drew up few comparisons and conclusions. Here it is:
(If I say A is good and don’t mention about B there it means B is bad or pathetically bad. And vice versa).
For Chennai I have a simple thumb rule. Bargain for 1/3rd of the initial quote of the driver. At the maximum agree for 1/2. The problem is non-existence of meters. They demand like crazy without any justification or logic. Hyderabad and Bangalore are lucky for that matter, with meters available and decent enough drivers.
Another tip I would like to give while taking auto either in Hyderabad or Chennai is : Once you sit inside auto, hold the auto firmly for safety and close eyes and pray God. At least you pray during this time, you can pray for your health and safe journey. Even if you don’t want to pray, keep your eyes closed – to avoid heart missing beats due shock. Dear Bangalore auto drivers, you are worse compared to other drivers in Bangalore. But thank God, you don’t yet know how bad can you still get.
Frequency/Connectivity looked good in Hyderabad and Bangalore. Cost wise Chennai wins marginally. Crowded factor leaves Bangalore and next Hyderabad lot more likable.
Cost of living:
For food and accommodation, Chennai wins. Hyderabad is no less cheaper than Bangalore.
(Let me not go into the variety of food available because any normal veg food is ok for me and all are good at it. Hyd is supposedly good for non-veg.)
You do not exist in Hyderabad. If you can cross roads in Hyderabad you can cross any obstacles in life.
You are more important than vehicles in Bangalore. So you shall obstruct the vehicles on road which are helpless anyways.
Thankfully Chennai has a good balance among vehicles and pedestrians. There are available good number of subways and most of the civilized people use them.
Hyderabad has this unique switch language mode. If you request to change the switch, people would change the language to Hindi (or Telugu) even from a mid sentence! Hindi language eases the entry of outsiders.
Bangalore is out of race. Here there are multiple switches for all important languages: English,Tamil, Telugu,Hindi and sometimes Kannada. (When I get out of railway station in either Chennai or Bangalore, I won’t know the difference because I am spoken to in Tamil at both places.)
The vehicle density is more in Bangalore. In adhering to rules dept, Bangalore and Chennai are good. Chennai because of a stricter Police. It is total chaos at traffic junctions in Hyderabad even with the Police watching it. Lane rules etc are mostly followed quite well in Hyd.
This is one place where Bangalore fails miserably. It is out of comparison. Hyderabad, Chennai both have good and durable concrete roads but Hyd wins easily what with cleaner, wide roads and plenty of flyovers.
The traffic is bound to go bad in big cities. It is all in how it is handled.
Bangalore is again out of comparison, this time because it is heavenly in Bangalore and other two places fight out to prove which can get more hotter.
All these are not on the fly comparison after 2 day visit, but includes accumulated facts and opinions.