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Old 1st February 2006, 21:54   #1
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Default Mumbai-Pune Volvo bus: State vs. Private

I travel regularly on the Mumbai-Pune and Pune-Mumbai expressway routes by Volvo B7R buses.

Here is my frank comparison of the Maharashtra State "Shivneri" Volvo B7Rs, versus Neeta Volvo B7Rs.

1) The "Shivneri" has very little battle-scars. Looks like:
a) They are driven more carefully by drivers with long service-tenure and clean record.
b) Prompt repairs to any scratches, surface damage, replacement of broken taillight lenses, ...
2) They have taken care to clearly mark emergency exits and provided hammers.
3) The driver wears a uniform and is polite and refined in communications with passengers.
4) The bus leaves on time, even if it has unfilled seats.
5) The fare is exactly Rs. 200 and tickets are always issued.

On the other hand,
1) Neeta's fleet of Volvo B7Rs seems seriously aging.
2) Most of the buses have battle-scars, cracked fiberglass bumpers, wire-tied/bandaged or missing rearview mirrors and non-functioning videos, the Pune-Dadar buses being several shades worse than the Pune-Borivli buses.
3) The drivers and definitely the conductors are increasingly shabby in attire and manners.
4) Road manners are atrocious too.
5) Safety and security is a joke with no emergency exits marked.
6) The Mumbai bound bus wastes 10-20 min. at Aundh and the Pune bound bus wastes time at Vashi waiting for empty seats to get filled. Passengers get in at Wakad and even occupy the jump-seat meant for the conductor at the door.
7) Ticketless cash transactions are on the rise, with fares arbitrarily varying between Rs. 200 to 260, depending on rush and weekend traffic.
8) Noise, Vibration and Harshness have seriously gone-up. I even wondered if the air-suspension has malfunctioned and been shoddily repaired.

Do you suppose, it's high time that the state regulates private bus-operators and checks fitness for expressway and fitness for merchantability.

Last edited by Ram : 1st February 2006 at 21:59.
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Old 1st February 2006, 22:24   #2
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Why would the state regulate private bus operators and improve them to compete with the state buses itself! The state is doing its job by giving good service, if the private operators dont come up with better service than the ppl will shift to the state owned buses. There is no reason why the state should regulate private buses, yes if you say that they need to make sure that safety is given importance by private buses then its just justified.
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Old 1st February 2006, 23:26   #3
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Thats a very nice comparision ram.
I haven't travelled a lot by public transport, however following are my observations

State owned Volvos are only good, rest buses are nothing to write about.

For private buses, from where do you catch bus?
I have always taken Neeta Volvo from their office near Ideal Colony, Paud Road or Metro Link is on the other side of the road. Those buses do leave on time however private buses take from route unheard of.
As for private buses from station area, they leave only after seats get full, or else no show.
However for last two trips about 8 months ago, we 4 poeple preffered to take cool cab as it works out pretty much the same but time required is reduced to great extend.
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Old 2nd February 2006, 09:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil
Why would the state regulate private bus operators and improve them to compete with the state buses itself! The state is doing its job by giving good service, if the private operators dont come up with better service than the ppl will shift to the state owned buses. There is no reason why the state should regulate private buses, yes if you say that they need to make sure that safety is given importance by private buses then its just justified.
I wasn’t referring to competition with state buses.

I agree that market forces will ensure that only the best service providers will survive.
Still, any johnny with a bus cannot start operating and selling tickets. That would be illegal.

The sovereign government of the state of Maharashtra (and every state in the Constitution of the Republic of India), is also legally responsible for ensuring some compliances:

The government gives permission to the supplier to do business in its territory on the conditions
1. That the vehicle is suitably insured.
2. That only a licensed driver will drive.
3. That the timings of start and end of journey will be met, within reasonable norms expected for such a travel.
4. That there will be no risk to life or limb for the contracted passenger.
5. That contraband (and octroi-not-paid) goods will not be permitted to be carried.

If any of these tenets are violated, the contractor can and should lose the license to operate.

When you buy a ticket for a single seat on a public transport bus for long-distance travel, legally you enter into a Contract Carriage agreement with the licensed private-operator.

Another thing: While private operators may apply for and obtain a contract carriage license, they cannot run a service like the municipal bus transport, which has multiple scheduled stops where a passenger may embark and buy a ticket for another scheduled stop to disembark. That would be misuse of the license.

So technically it is illegal to have intermediate stops where a traveler may embark and buy a ticket on the bus from a conductor. That privilege is only with the BEST, PMT and municipal buses. Having intermediate stops violates the government-given contract carriage license. A contract-carriage must be strictly point-to-point, with no intermediate commercial stops (restaurant/toilet stops don’t count for this).

Remember how Autoriders private aircon buses in Mumbai had to be point-to-point and not allowed to define stops to pick up passengers?
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Old 2nd February 2006, 09:45   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33
Thats a very nice comparision ram.
I haven't travelled a lot by public transport, however following are my observations

State owned Volvos are only good, rest buses are nothing to write about.

For private buses, from where do you catch bus?
I have always taken Neeta Volvo from their office near Ideal Colony, Paud Road or Metro Link is on the other side of the road. Those buses do leave on time however private buses take from route unheard of.
As for private buses from station area, they leave only after seats get full, or else no show.
The bus starts from Ambika petrol pump at Sadhu Vaswani chowk and goes via the Mun. Corporation, to Deccan, Null stop, Kothrud and via Chandani Chowk to Pashan, Baner Road to Aundh Parihar Chowk. Then via Wakad junction it finally hits the 100+ km long expressway. There is one nature-halt at Lonavala and the bus continues to Mumbai.

Even thought the Neeta Volvo bus leaves on time at Ambika or Kothrud, it takes one hour to reach Aundh and then waits upto 20 min (sometimes more) at Aundh for anybody to take-up the last empty seats.

The "Shivneri" goes swiftly via Simla office, E-square and University circle to Bremen maitri chowk and Aundh and promptly hits the expressway, regardless of whether or not every last seat is filled.

The logical question: Why should Neeta passengers who paid and booked tickets in advance, have to wait ˝ an hour after starting out on time a 2˝ hour trip, for Neeta to fill every last seat to maximize their profits? Doesn’t Jet Airways (another private operator) leave on time, even if seats are unfilled?
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Old 2nd February 2006, 11:05   #6
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Any body travelled by Raj National Express lately ?seem very professional clean buses, uniformed staff , you can book ticktes online and have 14 frequencies betwen Pune and Mumbai daily, Am given to understand they depart from Mangaldas road in Pune to Bandra and are non stop ..
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Old 2nd February 2006, 11:32   #7
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Default abt Raj Volvos

http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Advi...s-89630-1.html

http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Advi...s-88397-1.html
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Old 2nd February 2006, 11:37   #8
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There is definitely a big difference in the quality of service offered by Neeta and Shivneri. My father was travelling by Neeta to Nasik about a year ago. He was so fed up with the way the bus kept circling about in Ghatkopar and Mulund, that he vowed never to travel again by Volvo. However, both my parents travelled to Pune and Goa by Shivneri and Kadamba respectively and were pretty impressed. The buses were well maintained, started on time and reached their destinations without any fuss. Their drivers and conductors were much more professional too.
The Raj National Express guys seem to be very good too, but, I don't know anyone who has travelled by their buses and so, I won't pass a judgement.

Last edited by Aditya : 2nd February 2006 at 18:52.
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Old 2nd February 2006, 13:51   #9
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I havent travelled in any of these Volvo's but i here they are pretty good.
But what we need now is a Super Luxury private bus service between these cities, catering to the Businessmen. Since the train is almost useless now becuase it takes alot longer, its time a Bus service kicks in to replace the Business class that the Satabhi train had. Raising the standards by bringing in top class buses with leather seats reclining along with a reasonable amount of tv screen fitted and audio through headphone jacks in the seat. Sort of like an flight experience but on road. Also the bus service should have around 2-3 well trained personnels to serve snacks so that there is no time wasted in stoping on the way to eat. Such buses should start at commerical districts such as BKC and other prime office locations. I think people will pay atleast 50% higher for such service.
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Old 2nd February 2006, 14:34   #10
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having a chemical toilet will also help ...but these volvo operators have more seats 41-50 ..in doing so teh legroom is reduced ....instead if teh number of seats are reduced ...there would be more comfort ...


recently i found an ALL 2+1 bus having more legroom than a B7R on a bangalore -mangalore route ...

even here the KSRTC B7R buses are better than the private operators
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Old 2nd February 2006, 17:27   #11
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My two bits. When I was in Mumbai and used to shunt between pune an mumbai the Volvo services were not there/were not so popular.

Now just last week I had to go to Mumbai on an urgent need. I used the Volvo service of APTDC (Andhra Pradesh Tourism). It is just fantastic. They provide you with blankets, almost full recline seats, water bottles etc. Buses are absolutely A grade. They also pick up people from Pune on their way to Mumbai but do not keep seating like others waiting to fill-up (Govt Service you see).

If that is not all, they have a tough competetion from their siblings, APSRTC who also run equally impressive Volvo services on all the routes under the brand Garuda. Give these a try if you can. I liked it!

P.S. : The pune-mumbai run costs Rs.150 on these buses, I am told. That works out cheaper than any other similar service.

Last edited by Zappo : 2nd February 2006 at 17:28.
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Old 2nd February 2006, 17:55   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram
The bus starts from Ambika petrol pump at Sadhu Vaswani chowk and goes via the Mun. Corporation, to Deccan, Null stop, Kothrud and via Chandani Chowk to Pashan, Baner Road to Aundh Parihar Chowk. Then via Wakad junction it finally hits the 100+ km long expressway. There is one nature-halt at Lonavala and the bus continues to Mumbai.
that is one long route.
as for Neeta, I haven't travelled much but when I did I had a good experience with it.

Quote:
The logical question: Why should Neeta passengers who paid and booked tickets in advance, have to wait ˝ an hour after starting out on time a 2˝ hour trip, for Neeta to fill every last seat to maximize their profits? Doesn’t Jet Airways (another private operator) leave on time, even if seats are unfilled?
Good question. Next time I will insist on going by state transport. (thank you for unbiased review)
It simply seems a case of state transport beating private operator in their own game
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Old 2nd February 2006, 18:19   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33
that is one long route.
as for Neeta, I haven't travelled much but when I did I had a good experience with it.



Good question. Next time I will insist on going by state transport. (thank you for unbiased review)
It simply seems a case of state transport beating private operator in their own game

only in a ST Volvo ..
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Old 2nd February 2006, 18:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya
only in a ST Volvo ..
My first post said

Quote:
Originally Posted by me in my first post of this topic
State owned Volvos are only good, rest buses are nothing to write about.
(message too short BS)
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Old 2nd February 2006, 19:54   #15
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even in bangalore the state owned volvos are cleaner and neater.
for example the "paulo travels" volvo that head to goa is poorly maintained, tires are bald, he overloads the luggage. stops at most places to pick up luggage, the seating is uncomfortable, the drivers are in lungis and vests..

also the tirupati-bangalore volvo's (both karnataka and andhra) volvos are clean and neat. the drivers are also in uniform..

bangalore has just started 3 volvos for local communting, lets see their condition as the bangalore drivers are very notorious
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