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Old 3rd July 2012, 22:30   #1
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Default Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

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Volvo Buses begins the trial of their 8400 low-floor CNG city bus in Mumbai. They will be looking to impress the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply & Transport Undertaking (BEST), the government body concerned with bus transportation in Mumbai.

The trials are expected to last a month, after which BEST will decide on any future association. Volvo city buses currently operate in 13 cities across India.

The vehicle is designed with low-entry which is convenient for passengers alighting and boarding, including those with impaired mobility. The CNG variant is equipped with the new transmission from Volvo – Ecolife - aimed at fuel efficiency and a retarder system for jerk-free movement.

These are the safety features that the bus has to offer.

Container valve, self-diagnostics:
The containers are equipped with a self-test device, watched over by a fuel tank monitor to ensure the function of the container’s solenoid valves.

Crash Sensor:
The crash sensor equipped at the electrical box above the driver area is connected to the fuel tank monitor. In case of a sudden drop in system pressure or impact on the vehicle due to an accident, the sensor gets activated, shutting down all cylinders via the solenoid.

Heat/Fire Sensor:
Heat sensors (located in the engine cabin side) warn the driver if higher than normal heat is detected inside the bus. The fire sensor is adjacently placed and equipped with an automatic fire extinguisher. It can also be activated manually by the driver.

Other features include an automatic transmission, Electronic Braking System, Disc Brakes, electro-pneumatic safety doors, anti-skid protection, brake temperature warning and poor brake performance warning.

BEST currently has more than 4,700 buses in its fleet, composed of diesel and CNG-run buses. Most of these buses have been supplied over the past 15 years by the likes of Ashok Leyland, TATA Motors and King Long.
My grouse is the route they have chosen for the trial. For a trial, the route should be challenging. But the route chosen by BEST runs on plain roads and its not that crowded either. There are other routes far more suited for testing the abilities of the bus.

Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai-download.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 5th July 2012 at 08:50. Reason: Adding our own article to the opening post
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Old 4th July 2012, 11:22   #2
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Default Re: Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

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But the route chosen by BEST runs on plain roads and its not that crowded either. There are other routes far more suited for testing the abilities of the bus.
They may try other routes later. BMTC does that all the time, they trial runs on more than one route.
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Old 4th July 2012, 12:06   #3
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Default Re: Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

I want them to try out the route AS2 or AS70. Possibly the 2nd longest and busiest routes for BEST with good volumes. I travel daily in AS2 and Kinglong is the worst bus to travel in. The only good thing is the seats otherwise its like travelling in a microwave or refrigrator. Two extreme conditions!
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Old 4th July 2012, 12:07   #4
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Default Re: Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

This is great news. I have seen BEST operating sub standard AC buses like TATA Starbus and Kinglong which would struggle on a simple flyover.

Whereas Thane had swanky Volvo buses. I hope after 2 bad experiences, BEST slowly introduces Volvos in Mumbai. The city needs better infrastructure.
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Old 4th July 2012, 12:34   #5
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Default Re: Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

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My grouse is the route they have chosen for the trial. For a trial, the route should be challenging. But the route chosen by BEST runs on plain roads and its not that crowded either. There are other routes far more suited for testing the abilities of the bus.
Which route has been chosen for the trial?
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Old 4th July 2012, 12:56   #6
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Default Re: Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
They may try other routes later. BMTC does that all the time, they trial runs on more than one route.
As per information obtained till now, the trials will be only on one route.

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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Whereas Thane had swanky Volvo buses. I hope after 2 bad experiences, BEST slowly introduces Volvos in Mumbai. The city needs better infrastructure.
Sorry for nitpicking, but Thane has Tata marcopolos. Its Navi Mumbai that has Volvos.

Yes, Mumbai desperately needs Volvos. But unless these trials translate into actual orders, there is nothing to cheer about. The excuse offered earlier for not purchasing Volvos was the unavailability of CNG option. I hope they do not come up with some other excuse now (high price, for example) to reject Volvos once again.

I don't trust BEST on this! Common sense does not work in BEST these days. Consider this: They took trials of quite a few buses (Tata marcopolo CNG, Mercedes-Benz, Tata marcopolo hybrid), but did not deem it necessary to have trials of Kinglong before purchasing them in bulk. Forget trials before purchasing. Even after the first lot of 20 Kinglongs for which HORRIBLE would be an understatement, they went ahead and bought 250 more! Some "other" (you-know-what) forces were at work which influenced the decision to purchase Kinglongs.

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Which route has been chosen for the trial?
AS-4. I would have preferred A-70express/AS-461/AS-700/AS-1/A-13Express for the trials.
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Old 4th July 2012, 13:11   #7
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Red face Re: Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

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Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
Sorry for nitpicking, but Thane has Tata marcopolos. Its Navi Mumbai that has Volvos.
+1 to that. Thane does not have Volvos, atleast I havent seen them on roads.

It may sound a good intitiative by BEST but is this backed by good infrastructure as far as refilling is considered. Would MGL provide CNG to BEST at subsidised rates? I wish this trial run is a success as I am frustrated with the smoke spewing Kinglongs and Marcopolos.
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Old 4th July 2012, 13:29   #8
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Default Re: Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
It may sound a good intitiative by BEST but is this backed by good infrastructure as far as refilling is considered. Would MGL provide CNG to BEST at subsidised rates? I wish this trial run is a success as I am frustrated with the smoke spewing Kinglongs and Marcopolos.
Since MGL is already providing CNG to BEST for the Kinglongs, why would they not want to supply for a Volvo bus??
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Old 16th September 2012, 10:37   #9
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Default Re: Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

I got a chance to travel in the bus yesterday. It The bus was working on route AS-440 which runs between Borivali and Wadala. It is a class act as usual The engine showed no hint of struggling. Driver was cautious though, perhaps because the bus is not owned by BEST. I travelled from Kandivali to kalanagar (bandra). Here is a video clip of the journey:



View from the first seat:
Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai-2012091520211.jpg

Dashboard. A point to be noted is that this bus has only the regular D, N and R buttons where as the bus on trial with NMMT had an option to individually select gears by the means of 1, 2 & 3 buttons.
Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai-2012091520311.jpg

Rear view camera display:
Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai-2012091520321.jpg

Rear of the bus. The engine cover is significantly different from the previous 8400s. Moreover the additional air vents seen in the NMMT's trial bus are missing in this bus.
Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai-2012091520341.jpg

PS: Here is the post containing pictures of the NMMT bus for reference. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...ml#post2621268
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Old 16th September 2012, 12:35   #10
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Default Re: Volvo CNG City Bus trials commence in Mumbai

In the last week, the BEST has also invited EOI for supply of 200 AC buses against advertising rights. Hope this time we mumbaikars will get a decent volvo ride.

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