For an extended hire, organise a driver through a travel agent or large hotel. You might pay a little more, but the driver should be reliable and you’ll have a point of contact should something go wrong. Non-AC rates are around Rs 450 per half-day (five hours) within the city, and Rs 5 per kilometre, with a daily 250km minimum, beyond city limits. Note that the clock starts ticking when the driver leaves the office.
Efficient MRTS trains run every 15 minutes from Beach station to Fort, Park (at Central Station), Egmore, Chetpet, Nungambakkam, Kodambakkam, Mambalam, Saidapet, Guindy, St Thomas Mount, Tirusulam (for the airport), and on down to Tambaram. The second line branches off at Park and hits Light House and Tirumailar (at Kapaleeshwarar Temple). Tickets cost between Rs 5 and 10.