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Old 16th May 2011, 16:51   #1
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Default Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

Dear BHPians

I could've discussed my opinions in the Interstate Bus Travel Reviews thread but since the thread mostly discussed West and South India, I thought I won't be able to get a proper response.

Although I've never travelled by a Volvo ever or any other bus for that matter, the BHPian instinct and the fascination towards CV's since childhood does generate a lot of interest in the Volvos I see here in Delhi. Volvos are most popular with Delhi-Manali section with one famous boarding point being Ramakrishna Ashram Marg Metro Station, Panchkuian Road. I think about 3 Volvos originate from this point near about 1700 hrs.

The thing is that the Volvos which I get to see here resemble the old rickety DTC Buses, full of Scratches and Dents and other visible signs of poor maintenance including thick black smoke from exhausts. The operators whose buses fall in this category are Hari, Rana and Mukul. Also, few of these buses appear to be heavily refurbished owing to the custom tail-lamps, windows et al which conveys the fact that an unskilled fabricator undertook the cosmetic job. Lately, I've been spotting Libra Volvos (PB Registered) which I believe with time shall resemble the Volvos from operators mentioned before. Sometimes I see the Cream coloured Volvos by Swagatam, one of the best Volvos on Interstate routes.

If one checks the fare for Delhi-Manali, it can go as high as 900 bucks one-way for a Volvo. People aspire for a comfortable ride but the exteriors of the Bus does make me understand how much comfort lies inside. A friend who happened to travel by Himachal Tourism Volvos, which originates from Himachal Bhavan, near Mandi House/ FICCI Auditorium was all praises about the Bus.

The sole purpose of this thread is to share my views about the buses as one who has never travelled in these buses but is passionate about quality services and invite opinions from fellow members who've travelled in the said buses.

(I shall try getting some pics from the boarding point and Timarpur Yard, where these buses are parked during the day. This yard is right off-GT Road before Wazirabad Signal when coming from ISBT)
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Old 16th May 2011, 17:16   #2
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk13 View Post
... A friend who happened to travel by Himachal Tourism Volvos, which originates from Himachal Bhavan, near Mandi House/ FICCI Auditorium was all praises about the Bus. ...
I have travelled in HP tourism buses from Shimla to Delhi.
I was extremely happy with the travel.Time was punctual while departing and at arriving.A water bottle and a shall was given and the ride was also extremely good.The only thing which was surprising me was how the driver could drive the 12M long bus in the ghats. But he made it with ease.
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Old 19th May 2011, 04:56   #3
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

I don't see as many buses in north as I see here, down south. The bus network here seems far more widespread and organised! You have 1000s of players. Quality of service is good too!

Up north, the Volvo's I have seen are mostly state run, with very low frequency. Destinations are endless! What could be the problem then?
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Old 19th May 2011, 09:10   #4
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
I don't see as many buses in north as I see here, down south. The bus network here seems far more widespread and organised! You have 1000s of players. Quality of service is good too!

Up north, the Volvo's I have seen are mostly state run, with very low frequency. Destinations are endless! What could be the problem then?
Not just compare Volvo, entire transportation sector is very pathetic in North even in the capital city.
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Old 19th May 2011, 09:58   #5
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

Most so called Volvo buses are not Volvo. Volvo is being used as a generic term for 'better buses'. It is shocking to a big painted Volvo on the rear of a bus of normal bus.
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Old 19th May 2011, 10:22   #6
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

yes, volvo's are not that much in business in north but this is because the state transport deptt are very organized and cover most long routes be it delhi / jaipur to jammu or del - leh. the private volvo's are mainly used by private transporters for group / religious tour to various places . additionally one can find isuzu bus;es with hrtc and lexus or lexia ( don;t remember the exact name ) bus;es of PRTC . u can find a volvo every hour to CHD . The lexus or lexia one runs from del to amritsar where as isuzu i know run from del to hamirpur via nadaun / jawalamukhi .
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Old 19th May 2011, 11:12   #7
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

@.auahilkumar; Almost none of the buses you are referring to are made by Volvo. Remember Volvo is a brand name and cannot just be used like that.
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Old 19th May 2011, 11:15   #8
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

Not exactly sir . The Buses run by H R T C are authentic volvo's. they run mainly on del - dharamshala , manali , shimla route .
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Old 19th May 2011, 11:21   #9
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

@sushil

I think almost all the time KSRTC and TNSRTC have been doing a very good job of providing bus transport in the south. I would say better or atleast as good as any SRTC in the north.

And anyway, in the south, it was KSRTC with its Airavat's which would be credited to really bringing about the initial shift to Volvo's and not private operators. Today private operators are big on Volvo's but not 6-7 years back.
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Old 19th May 2011, 12:01   #10
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

After having travelled in Private Volvos in the south between Bangalore, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and even Mumbai-Bangalore, I travelled in a Volvo in the north last month between Delhi-Manali and Shimla-Delhi.
I have to say that the private transport sector is completely unorganized even in the capital of the country. The private operators are much better in the south and don't cheat the customers too much ( except on the Bangalore-Hyderabad route where the smaller private operators cheat customers a lot ).
Here is my experience of my trip.

Delhi-Manali trip: Booked a ticket from Himachal Volvo tours for the Easter weekend online from Ticketvala. The ticket cost 1200Rs. The bus was supposed to leave from 4:30 PM from Ramakrishna Ashram Marg. At 2PM on the day of travel, I got a call from the operator saying the Volvo bus had a breakdown, so there would be a replacement bus which wouldn't be a volvo bus a Tata Luxuria bus. I had no other option so I said ok.
Since we were starting from Gurgaon, we left early and reached their office by 3:45 PM. Now, the bus that was supposed to start at 4:30 PM did not even arrive till 5:30 PM and the guys were not even bothered about the delay and kept saying they would be starting in another 5 min. Meanwhile I realised that other customers had paid varying amounts for the same bus ticket varying all the way from 900 to 1200 Rs.
Finally the bus started at around 5:35 PM. When we boarded the bus, the helper guy took 10 rs per baggage. I asked them why they were taking this money and he said it was a normal practice here. After arguing why they didnt mention while booking tickets, I let it go ( my problem was not with the money, but why they didn't inform before hand about this charge ). I asked them if they would be charging for giving blankets too and the guy laughed and said no they wouldn't be charging for that ( I didn't realise what he meant till later ).
So finally, after picking up everyone, it was already 8 PM before we left Delhi. I couldn't believe I had left Gurgaon at 2 PM for this bus which was in Delhi till 8 PM. The guys from the travel company got down from the bus and only the driver and the helper were left in the bus. Now, the helper guy gave one water bottle for each 2 seats saying they didn't have enough bottles. I asked him what happens if the 2 people sitting next to each other were not related and he had no answer. Then when i asked him about the blankets, he said they didn't have any blankets and that he was not liable to answer anything as this bus was just a temporary replacement and they were not related to the travel company with whom we had booked our ticket.
The bus was not comfortable at all and the seats were very bad ( it was not a Volvo afterall) . The driver got lost once and he had turn back after traveling a few kms on the wrong route. After that one of the guys traveling in the bus sat at the front and guided him. The bus was supposed to reach Manali by 9 AM but we reached there by 11:30 AM. There was only one driver for the whole distance which took around 18 hours ( unlike in the south where even the private operators have 2 drivers for any journey more than 8 hours ).

On the return journey from Shimla to Delhi, I had booked my ticket online on the HPTDC Volvo bus. This bus was very good. The seats were very comfortable, everyone got a bottle of water, although no blankets ( I realised that they probably don't give blankets in volvo buses in the north ). The staff was very courteous and the bus started on time and reached before time.
Got my lesson that it is better to travel on the government buses than private buses when you are traveling in the north, while it is the opposite in the South.
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Old 19th May 2011, 12:39   #11
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

It is true that bus network and service is much better in South. You have so many Volvo buses from different operators doing Bangalore - Chennai route.

Comparatively, an as important route as Delhi - Chandigarh has very few good options at regular intervals.

My analysis is that (atleast for Punjab, Haryana), 1)here the distances are relatively short. For eg Delh- Amritsar is one of the longest routes from Delhi to a destination in Punjab/Haryana. And it is about or less than 450kms one way.

2) The nature of travel here is unorganized. i.e the percentage of regular travel between two places is less because of comparative lack of industrialization or organized industry in this area.

3) People here generally can or opt to travel by own transport.


Having said that, Amritsar to Chandigarh bus route is quite developed. And I think this route is dominated by Mercedes Benz (mostly double axle buses) and Volvos are relatively scarce.

These MB buses, even of different operators tend to run together. And it s sight to behold as one MB bus after another swooshes past you.
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Old 19th May 2011, 14:30   #12
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

@rrsteer +1 to what you said.
I have stayed in Hyderabad for about 4 years and have been to Pune / Banglore / Tirupati by Volvo buses and thay were quite comfortable. They used to give a water bottle and a blanked per seat.
Here in north the bus services are not that good.
On some sections like Delhi - Chandigarh you will get good service.
Recently I travelled by a Volvo(I guess UP roadways) on Delhi - Dehradun route. The quality of bus and the service was quite good.

I advise that, one should opt for a Govt bus only unless the private bus you have opted for has a decent fleet of buses and a reputation of providing good services.
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Old 19th May 2011, 14:32   #13
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

Recently i have seen quite a few Volvo BEST buses on Mumbai roads. Looks like public transport is really improving in our country. On one hand where the fuel prices are increasing the government is also working on public transportation.
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Old 19th May 2011, 15:15   #14
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

I couldnt agree more with the fact that private volvo operators in north are unorganized and undisciplined ..

Me and few friends booked a bus online to manali from delhi through phone. We reached the Ramakrishna Ashram Marg much earlier than anticipated and went out for sight seeing.. The tour operator was very courteous to us and reminded us to come back at 5 pm which was the prescribed time.. When we came back, we got the same story that the original bus had broken down, and they are getting a replacement bus..

The volvo was pretty shoddy and arrived more than an hour late.. Moreover, even though we had asked for front seats, we got allocated seats at the back.. Thank fully, we didnt feel the usual "effects" of back side of the bus..

Otherwise, the a/c of the bus was horrible and lots of rattles too.. Learnt that we should never book buses through private operators in north india..
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Old 19th May 2011, 17:22   #15
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Default Re: Volvo Buses Originating from Delhi

Last year April we traveled from Delhi to Manali in Volvo buses operated by Himachal Tourism Department. Tickets were booked by me at their Chennai office during February itself. We had a hassle free journey. Some of the photos of the bus taken during the journey I am posting here... Travelling was a memorable one. Don't remember the exact time it started from Delhi, but it reached Manali around 8.45 AM. The bus halted at two hotels both were found to be good. Buses were at par with private Volvo buses operated in the south
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