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Old 1st March 2011, 19:15   #1
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Default Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Owing to personal developments I had been traveling to Bombay almost every weekend since November 2009. Initially I would drive down in enthusiasm. But, slowly realized that the traffic in Bombay wasn't worth the effort to drive down every single weekend. The alternatives were bus and train travel. The Pune railway station is around 15 kms from my residence and the timings of trains wouldn't match. I had traveled quite a few times on the Volvo's run by MSRTC under "Shivneri" brand. I took up to travelling by Shivneri against my regular drives and would drive down only when I wasn't sure of my timings.

Shivneri's have been introduced about 3-4 years ago between Dadar and Pune and they have evolved to be the largest carrier of people with the most punctual and orderly service I have ever witnessed on inter city bus travels. The first bus leaves Pune and Dadar at 05:30 am and the last bus is scheduled for 23:00 hrs from each location. The only problem I face initially was to go and do an advanced booking which was later solved by an online booking facility being introduced. They only charge an extra Rs. 5/- as a convenience charge which I am always willing to pay. The overall cost of each journey is Rs. 275/-.

You can now book your tickets online at: http://public.msrtcors.com/

The other options I had was Neeta Volvo but their fleet is poorly maintained and I believe the only thing holding them together are those advertisement vinyls. You can read Ram's review on State v/s Private operators here here. (Mumbai-Pune Volvo bus: State vs. Private)
They take incessantly long hours whereas the travel time on Shivneri's has been between 02 hrs 30 mins to 04 hrs maximum. Their stops are fixed and a polite request does help in alighting at your choice of destination in Bombay or Pune.

While on a recent trip last weekend I was amazed at the sight of an all new bus terminal under Dadar flyover. The current booking counter at Dadar was a nightmare during weekends with never ending queue's and stench from a nearby public toilet. The new location as seen in the photographs below is swanky with air-conditioned waiting rooms. Queue managers. Staff to direct you to the correct bus. This facility is quite class leading and never seen before.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, the new bus station is manned by Zicom security camera's. The station master monitors activities at all areas on multiple monitors. Good move!

MSRTC is also undergoing a revamp and replacing their older fleet of Volvo B7R's with the new generation 9400's. I always pray to be onboard a 9400 due to availability of charging points for every seat and a much comfortable experience. They have also done away with their KingLong and Tata buses they ran for a brief period.

They also have bus services from Swargate to Thane, Swargate to Borivali. The routes travel via Pune station - Parihar Chowk (Aundh) as well as directly via Kothrud - Chandni Chowk.

I am yet to try out the newly launched "Purple" by Metro Link. Their fleet comprises of the 9400 double axle buses and are neatly maintained. But being a private operator I am sure they take their own sweet time to start the journey unlike Shivneri's which had once left with only 15 passengers on board. The last time I had a similar experience was on a Southwest flight from Phoenix to San Jose with 4 people on board a Boeing 737.

Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar-picture-122.jpg

Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar-picture-123.jpg

Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar-picture-124.jpg

Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar-picture-125.jpg

Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar-picture-126.jpg


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Last edited by moralfibre : 1st March 2011 at 19:43.
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Old 1st March 2011, 20:00   #2
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Superb move indeed by MSRTC. I guess they are really cashing in on the decline of service standards and timings offered by Neeta. The new bus station looks good also, and with AC lounges and security cams, they are right there.

In the recent past most of the Govt. operated services has seen an incline in standards, be it the MSRTC with new fleets or BSNL. Good move indeed.
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Old 1st March 2011, 20:38   #3
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

I did a Shivneri ride the day the new Bus stand was inaugurated. Neeta service sucks, besides they take a longer route to reach Dadar.

Yes the MSRTC new bus stand at Dadar ROCKS !
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Old 1st March 2011, 21:45   #4
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Fantastic. The first couple of times I travelled Mumbai- Pune by bus in 2009 (before I got my car) was on Neeta because I foolishly believed private operator is necessarily better than old MSRTC. Later realised how wrong I was and now whenever someone is coming over I recommend only Shivneri. They run like clockwork and it's much easier for me to pick them up.
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Old 1st March 2011, 22:08   #5
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Now whenever someone is coming over I recommend only Shivneri. They run like clockwork and it's much easier for me to pick them up.
+1 to that, i have myself recommended their services to many people.

I have myself been regularly using the Shivneri buses and to my amazement they are very punctual; and very comfortable. Agreed, that they expensive when compared to other bus operators but in my eyes it is definitely worth it. The online booking is extremely convenient and the buses are very modern. Till date i have never faced any delay while traveling to Pune by the Shivneri.

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Old 1st March 2011, 22:34   #6
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Fully agree with you here moralfibre.

In fact i stay near Vanaz and if i don't have a booking i have 2 options - wait at the travel agents office for Neeta bus or walk 20 steps and wait at the ST bus stop. I always do the latter. This is because, as you rightly mentioned Shivneri has fixed stops unlike the private operators who stop at every corner travel agent shop.

This bus terminal at Dadar is news to me. I think earlier that place was used for Pay n Park and by the AC Cool Cabs. Has the AC Cool Cabs boarding point shifted somewhere else?
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Old 1st March 2011, 22:38   #7
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Going a little OT here, MSRTCs semi deluxe service ('2X2 parivartan') is a fantastic alternative for people staying places away from Aundh/Shivajinagar (in Pune) and runs from Swargate stand as well. They've even introduced the Sheetal service which is AC semi-deluxed, priced between semi deluxe and Shivneri.

I travelled last weekend from Kothrud to Panvel and it took shade under 2 hrs to cover the distance with a 20 min halt. Not bad. Not bad at all !!!
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Old 1st March 2011, 22:45   #8
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Even I had the misfortune of taking the Neeta bus once. Otherwise it was always MSRTC. I can board them at Aundh, book tickets at Aundh - all in all very convenient for me.

What happened to Raj Travels? I thought they too were very professional. But I am not seeing their buses these days. Are they still in operation?
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Old 1st March 2011, 22:46   #9
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Without a doubt the "Shivneri" is the king of the pune-mumbai expressway. They have a relatively new fleet now and only a couple of aging green colored B7Rs and some not so old mercedes buses remain, which imho are not a patch over the new 9400s. I have taken every possible bus service between pune mumbai and can say that Shivneri is easily the most puntual and no nonsense bus service. But now a 1 way ticket costs nearly 270 which is a bit too much especially when metrolink purple can easily be got at about 170 between Vashi and Pune which is my usual route. But seriously notwithstanding the high cost nothing beats the Shivneri.

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Old 1st March 2011, 23:21   #10
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
Even I had the misfortune of taking the Neeta bus once. Otherwise it was always MSRTC. I can board them at Aundh, book tickets at Aundh - all in all very convenient for me.

What happened to Raj Travels? I thought they too were very professional. But I am not seeing their buses these days. Are they still in operation?
This is one of the worst nightmares to travel by Neeta . Half of the time they would make you travel around the city ,until they finally leave .

Raj Travels : Honestly speaking this was 1 service operator who had the zeal to operate excellent , but somehow couldn't withstand the Neeta competition , finally shutting down operations about 1.8 years back . The staff was courteous /professional and all good adjectives .

Shivneri Buses : The best in its class , punctual ,clean etc etc . The only negative being the arrogant staff at times / always crowded (advance bookings )

A private operator currently operating decent would be Metrolink with a decent fleet and somewhat fixed kind of charges ( though it again has its own woes ) .
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Old 2nd March 2011, 07:17   #11
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Glad to see so many supporters for Government operated services.

Quote:
But now a 1 way ticket costs nearly 270 which is a bit too much especially when metrolink purple can easily be got at about 170 between Vashi and Pune which is my usual route. But seriously notwithstanding the high cost nothing beats the Shivneri.
I doubt the Purple services are that cheap. I think they are at par and between Rs. 250/- to Rs. 300/-. Varies consistently based on the type of crook booking your ticket.

From what I can guess, Neeta travels usually moves their old long haul buses from Bombay-Goa, Bombay-Bangalore, etc to short routes after the buses are to their end of life. They belch thick Black smoke, rattle like crazy. The engines are almost done. They have miserable failures and its a common sight to see their buses stranded on the expressway.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 08:55   #12
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
I doubt the Purple services are that cheap. I think they are at par and between Rs. 250/- to Rs. 300/-. Varies consistently based on the type of crook booking your ticket.

From what I can guess, Neeta travels usually moves their old long haul buses from Bombay-Goa, Bombay-Bangalore, etc to short routes after the buses are to their end of life. They belch thick Black smoke, rattle like crazy. The engines are almost done. They have miserable failures and its a common sight to see their buses stranded on the expressway.
You can easily bargain for a 170 ticket on your way from Vashi phata to Pune and those ticket walas on the road will gladly oblige. I do this a lot of times myself and I last got myself a 170 ticket just 3 weeks back and that too on a monday morning. However if you book your ticket in advance or from a proper shop, there will be no discount and you will have to pay the full fare. The only problem I see with the Shivneri, is that unlike Asiads and other ST buses, you have to pay full fare whether you get down at Dadar or Panvel on on your way from Pune.

Yes I agree with your observation about Neeta employing their older buses on the Mumbai-Pune route. Once an over eager ticket seller got me into a brand new Mercedes Neeta claiming that it would go to Pune, only to leave me near Chandni chowk on its way to Mahabaleshwar. I have stopped using Neeta since then. Nowadays I prefer to the Metrolink purple on my way back to Pune, as it leaves me near Nal stop which is near my apartment complex.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 09:03   #13
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

I haven't travelled by Shivneri yet, so no opinions on interiors. BUT, the maintenance from an external perspective leaves much to be desired. I've seen a lot of Shivneris with busted lights, unwashed. On few occassions even broken down near the Wakad flyover.

I guess new buses are being deployed on Pune-Dadar. Old buses move into the Swargate -Borivili/Thane sector.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 09:49   #14
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

I stay in Camp, and travelling by Neeta is always a 5+ hour nightmare.
I travelled to Bombay once, and got a "Pune-darshan". I always recommend the Shivneri. The Neeta buses is a BIG NO, for any destination
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Old 2nd March 2011, 10:09   #15
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Default re: Shivneri Bus Services : Dadar - Pune - Dadar

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
I haven't travelled by Shivneri yet, so no opinions on interiors. BUT, the maintenance from an external perspective leaves much to be desired. I've seen a lot of Shivneris with busted lights, unwashed. On few occassions even broken down near the Wakad flyover.
Could be, but their failure rate for me has been zero so far. I have only seen two buses broken down so far. One was due to a flat tyre and one for unknown reasons. The buses are always cleaned at Dadar as well as Pune from the inside at least.

Quote:
I guess new buses are being deployed on Pune-Dadar. Old buses move into the Swargate -Borivili/Thane sector.
You'll be surprised to see far newer buses between Swargate - Borivali / Thane / Kolhapur / Sangli sector. I am not really sure what they do with their old buses. I am told they have Shivneri's to Nasik, Bangalore as well.

MSRTC was aiming to scrap all buses older than 8 years. Article link.
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