Both airport terminals have pre-paid taxi kiosks. There's a pre-paid taxi stand outside the south side of Egmore station; a ride of 7km, such as to Alwarpet, costs about ₹240.
Relatively reliable Fast Track taxis charge ₹100 for up to 4km, then ₹18 per kilometre (with a 25% hike in rates between 11pm and 5am); bookings are by phone.
Chennai Metro Rail, a new, part-underground rapid transit system, is expected to open in late 2015 and should make moving around the city much easier. Line 1 goes from the airport to Teynampet, Thousand Lights, Central train station, the High Court and Washermanpet in northern Chennai, running beneath Anna Salai for several kilometres. Line 2 goes from Central train station west to Egmore and the CMBT then south to St Thomas Mount.
Fixed autorickshaw fares are ₹25 for the first 1.8km (minimum charge), then ₹12 per kilometre. Some drivers still refuse to use their meters and quote astronomical fares, while others take unnecessarily long routes or ask for 'meter plus extra', but most will go by the meter if you insist. Avoid paying upfront, and always establish the meter is on before getting into a rickshaw. Rates rise by up to 50% from 11pm to 5am.
There are pre-paid autorickshaw booths outside the CMBT (₹125 to Egmore) and Central station, and 24-hour pre-paid stands with fare charts outside the north and south exits of Egmore station.
Tempting offers of ₹50 ‘city tours’ by autorickshaw drivers sound too good to be true. They are. You'll spend the day being dragged from one shop or emporium to another.