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Old 20th November 2009, 10:26   #1801
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The buses are full does not mean the program is successful.

The question is what is the coverage? To elaborate, it is better to cover 20,000 people a day with X crores rupees and slightly lesser service - lesser acceleration, quality of sealing of glass panes (surely these are not our biggest worries in urban transportation) rather than 13,000 people with the same amount. The Volvos with their higher cost price reduce the number of buses possible.

I was settled in Bangalore till recently. I had traveled every single day in BMTC buses from 1999. I would rather have more 'humbler' buses where I can sit/stand comfortably, rather than standing in a jam packed Volvo buses with my nose in my neighbors' armpit and still fifteen minutes to go! I am not suggesting that Volvo buses are inferior. They are superb. No doubt. But when the bus is jam packed we do not tend to notice these advantages.

The point is simply, because of this craze for Volvos we should not compromise on the number of units and price of transportation. In a country with more than 1 billion people I think we cannot afford to forget this fact.

Sorry to be critical about this, but I appreciate these buses as well.

Last edited by Trapezio : 20th November 2009 at 10:36.
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Old 20th November 2009, 11:31   #1802
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind View Post
Are the JNNURM buses in Bangalore different than the Mysore ones reported in today's Hindu?
AFAIK the state governments can choose which bus or variant they want from a list given by the central govt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapezio View Post
Personally I find Cochin more urban than Trivandrum any day. But perhaps I am wrong here.
The only reason they introduced these buses in Trivandrum was because
1) its the capital.
2) Trivandrum always had city bus services which are run by KerSRTC.
3) It is the technohub of Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by manishalive View Post
By KSRTC do we mean Kerla or Karnataka one. The Karnataka one is Profitable (but then TVM means it's Kerela). Busses under JNURM are sponsered by Central Government.
You needn't have any doubt,its the Kerala one.
The central govt. will provide funding to buy the bus, but maintenance is the state's affair.

Last edited by harishnair : 20th November 2009 at 11:36.
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Old 20th November 2009, 11:42   #1803
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudheeshnairs View Post
At least not in Trivandrum city buses run by KSRTC. Seats for the ladies are at the back, with doors at the back and front/middle. The rear door is supposed to be for entry only while that in the front is for exit.

The front/middle entry will have a door openable from inside only.
I was just referring to Binaiks post. I guess Binaiks was referring Bangalore and it is different in TVM. It makes more sense as Sudheeshnairs mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
In bangalore, as I said earlier, there are about 4000 buses with the door at the middle. The "rear" door is used by males to alight/board the bus, while the front door is used by ladies. The front section in ALL these buses are reserved for ladies.

So where is the point of "no-reservation" here?
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Old 20th November 2009, 12:13   #1804
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
How much losses will KSRTC run up on this account?
Does it matter? The Government wont care about the losses KSRTC make. IAS/IPS officers in charge of KSRTC does not care about the losses KSRTC makes.
I am sure some body made money from this deal...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapezio View Post
To sum up, what is the priority with these buses? Is it buses for the usage of ordinary people? OR is it 'extraordinary' buses which ordinary people can watch from the side of the road?
It is a prestige for the ruling Marxist government. They can boast that they introduced Volvo city buses in next general election. Nobody talk about the loss or profit KSRTC makes at election time.
.
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Old 20th November 2009, 13:14   #1805
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Kumar, Harish, Trapezio,
I agree with your point that K(erala)SRTC may not be the right people to manage these buses, but on the volumes, not all buses under JNURM are VOLVOs. I think it is only 20 or 30% of all the allotted capacity are VOLVOs the rest are semi low floor buses.
the tax payers money is not only used for premium VOLVO, and VOLVO gives a comfortable ride
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Old 20th November 2009, 13:29   #1806
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At least had Volvo come out with CNG or LPG buses, the extra cost may have been a little worthwhile! No one talks about the operating cost profile of these Volvo city buses, even assuming that we don't take into the calculations the investment cost. I doubt even at these high ticket tariffs, the buses break even.

In Bombay, the cheaper King Long buses are running at a loss, despite some stiff tariffs - say, Rs 55 for a 40-km ride from Thane-Fountain.
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Old 20th November 2009, 13:44   #1807
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
No one talks about the operating cost profile of these Volvo city buses, even assuming that we don't take into the calculations the investment cost. I doubt even at these high ticket tariffs, the buses break even.
The Kerala transport minister was saying that it costs Rs48/km to run the Volvos while its only Rs19/km for their normal fleet.
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Old 20th November 2009, 14:13   #1808
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The Volvo CitiBuses are no way economically viable. They only survive by subsidies. It only makes sense if the strategy is to achieve a minimum level of BRT(Bus Rapid Transport) connectivity and then introduce city-limit-tolls for private cars.
Of course, there is a learning curve during which it is bound to be unviable. However, in this case, even post-learning curve, economic viability is quit hard to achieve, I believe.
Alas, everyone knows how efficient and non-corrupt we are at implementing such complicated systems.

--------------------------------------

Au contraire, just to play devil's advocate, whats so efficient about let-aam-junta-remain-aam-junta strategy!
Why shouldnt you charge the ones who can afford?
Case in point:
Got to know this sometime back. Telecom License Auctions.( I guess this is from The World is Flat! - not too sure.)
No matter how low the telco pays the Govt for a license, he is gonna extract fair market value for his service from average subscriber. In that case, whats the harm in charging the telco quite high upfront. ( And, in an ideal world, use the fat margins for infrastructure development)
Now, we are getting into the intricacies of socialism, eh?

PS: For example, the total number of JNNURM-sponsored buses stands at ~10000. Only about 600-800 of those fall in the "Volvo" category.

Am i talking some sense here?

Cheers,

Last edited by jagan0677 : 20th November 2009 at 14:21.
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Old 20th November 2009, 14:37   #1809
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harishnair View Post
The Kerala transport minister was saying that it costs Rs48/km to run the Volvos while its only Rs19/km for their normal fleet.


Their maintenance costs of their regular buses is a good indicator on how efficient things are.

Delhi is spending seven Rupees per km for the Tata Marco Polo citybuses in comparison!

Plus
1. Driver training for Volvo costs more
2. Higher fuel consumption
3. Much higher accident repair costs (One thing that KSRTC (Kerala) does well is crash testing!)

I think these beauties have a place.

But only after we ensure that normal people has got buses which meet some basic standards rather than the contraptions that run around. KSRTC (Kerala) can start with these perhaps:

1. make it rust free
2. seats with basic cushions
3. some amount of sound insulation (excluding the metal cover for the engines)
3. a suspension! (I doubt whether they ever think about such a component until the leaf springs break)
4. leak proof roofs
5. proper windows (we still have buses with tarpaulin covers!)
6. proper lighting (entering some buses at night is almost like entering a movie theater)

All the above are not that hitech. There are Indian solutions running around for years reliably. Recently I entered one of those buses in Cochin. I must say that particular bus could have been driven directly into a museum and parked! It was a complete shock!

@@@jagan0677
I agree that if they had business cases individually they could have been justified. But that particular aspect is never mentioned. Also, then they do not have to buy them in people's money.
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Old 20th November 2009, 14:46   #1810
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harishnair View Post
The Kerala transport minister was saying that it costs Rs48/km to run the Volvos while its only Rs19/km for their normal fleet.
After this, are we still saying that Volvos are the way to go???!
I think we should simply stop paying taxes - Ministers make money buying buses, we get ripped off on taxes to fund such extravaganzas, and some stand by to applaud the comfort of such buses - I don't think we need Mercs when a M800 will do! Let the private sector run such buses, not the STUs.

Think of all those who are standing and thumbing rides on highways and cities, there is no bus service or any other form of public transport.

During my recent drive to South, I saw people begging for lifts - in MH, KA, but the super-efficient aam-janta bus transport in TN meant that they were well-connected - and they were paying cheap fares too! KL too has efficient bus transport - thanks to the private buses - and one does not see jeep-taxis and hitchhikers unlike the other States.

I think both KA and MH should take the cue and focus on improving the mofussil and short-distance bus transport in their respective states instead of throwing away money on swanky expensive buses which only a few well-heeled people like us can afford and are going to use.
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Old 20th November 2009, 21:56   #1811
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More of Volvos on Trivandrum

Ajay had taken a ride on the new Volvos today. He boarded the bus from Kumarapuram on JNT 1 (Kovalam to Kaniyapuram via Eastfort-Kumarapuram-Technopark). The bus was about 60% full at the off peak time of 1.40 PM.

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The bus gets in to Technopark, the IT hub of Kerala. This is Phase I with a total built up area of about 3.2 million sft in 180 acres.

At the entrance of the Park, a security personnell will get in and travel in the bus so that only perons having an identity card gets down the bus. The bus touches/passes through the main buildings of the campus like Gayathri, Tata Elxsi, NILA, TCS, Tejaswini, Bhavani, Park Centre etc.

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Old 21st November 2009, 10:48   #1812
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I think we should simply stop paying taxes - Ministers make money buying buses, we get ripped off on taxes to fund such extravaganzas, and some stand by to applaud the comfort of such buses - I don't think we need Mercs when a M800 will do! Let the private sector run such buses, not the STUs.
Sorry this is in Malayalam. But the ex transport minister talks about what is wrong with KerRTC.
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Old 21st November 2009, 12:38   #1813
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapezio View Post
1. make it rust free
2. seats with basic cushions
3. some amount of sound insulation (excluding the metal cover for the engines)
3. a suspension! (I doubt whether they ever think about such a component until the leaf springs break)
4. leak proof roofs
5. proper windows (we still have buses with tarpaulin covers!)
6. proper lighting (entering some buses at night is almost like entering a movie theater)

All the above are not that hitech. There are Indian solutions running around for years reliably. Recently I entered one of those buses in Cochin. I must say that particular bus could have been driven directly into a museum and parked! It was a complete shock!
I wish KerRTC fix these first before spending money cozy buses. Photo Courtesy individual owners...Flickr


As long as i see these every where in Kerala, i will fight tooth and nail, in every available forum, against these cozy buses.


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Old 21st November 2009, 12:56   #1814
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Rome was not built in a day-- They own huge chunks of land in the middle of the cities and they are in the process of building multi-storey bus stands in every district. So we should give KerSRTC time to improve.After all, Rome was not built in a day.

PS-IMO we are going OT by discussing the short comings of KerSRTC in this thread.It would be better to create a new topic in "Shifting Gears" section.

Last edited by harishnair : 21st November 2009 at 13:15.
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Old 21st November 2009, 21:22   #1815
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harishnair View Post
Rome was not built in a day-- They own huge chunks of land in the middle of the cities and they are in the process of building multi-storey bus stands in every district. So we should give KerSRTC time to improve.After all, Rome was not built in a day.
Exactly, agree 100%.

Modernisation of bus stations with private participation is happening. I know about Calicut and Trivandrum. In Trivandrum the existing station is aleady demolished and a 10 floor tower plus a modern station would be coming up. They are also going to have an interstate/long distance terminal at Enchakkal in Trivandrum NH bypass.

I would say KeSRTC is improving. At least I can see it in Trivandrum. The city service fleet is improving. We saw the changes happening from 2005. A fleet of new blue/white city buses, branded 'Ananthpuri Fast' & 'Ananthapuri Air' started rolling out from that year. These buses are not world class or top of the line, but better when compared with any other private urban transport bus in the state.

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The Hindu : Kerala / Thiruvananthapuram News : KSRTC to augment fleet strength

And that is continuing in 2009 also

' Fifty fast-passenger services were launched from the city depots of the corporation.'

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The Hindu : Kerala / Thiruvananthapuram News : Pay revision soon for KSRTC employees

Some snaps of those buses. I had posted all the images (taken my me)earlier except the last one.

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Photo courtesy: Aleksip

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One last picture from inside a Trivandrum City Volvo yesterday. Seems the patronage is good. Photo courtesy Ajay

Commercial Vehicle Thread-img6964rs.jpg

Last edited by sudheeshnairs : 21st November 2009 at 21:31.
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