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Old 7th March 2012, 15:54   #1531
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Default Re: SRS Volvo Multi Axle Bangalore - Trivandrum Review

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Originally Posted by dhandapanik View Post
One of my friend used their buses couple of times and he gave a good review. If i'm not wrong, they start and end their journey in T.Nagar.
Roadlink starts their service from Adyar, near the BSNL telephone exchange. It's a small office there, and I've seen mostly parcels being loaded there and less people.
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Old 7th March 2012, 19:01   #1532
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Default Re: SRS Volvo Multi Axle Bangalore - Trivandrum Review

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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
Very true... The very reason I took SRS was because I had a coupon for some 500 bucks for a Chennai - Bangalore cancellation I had done a few months back and this was due to expire end of March !!!

They also had a special bus on the Trivandrum - Blr route which was charging some 1299 or 1399 per ticket when I booked mine by the normal bus... Should stay away from them like plague I guess !!!
SRS offer cheaper tickets if you book in advance. They follow the pricing model similar to airlines I guess, the last minute tickets cost a bomb. I have booked the same NGL-BLR trip for 600/999/1499 at various times. if you book in advance you even get some discount. As for the service, I think they are better than KPN any day.
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Old 8th March 2012, 00:34   #1533
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I am a big fan of Parveen Snooze bus service(sleeper,Madras - Eranakulam). Since they started, I have at least used their service for four to five times. The service has been good so far, they do stick to the departure time of 7PM from Koyambedu and it is very convenient for me. I usually take my company cab, get down near Koyambedu bus terminus and walk down to Omni stand.I usually arrive 30 - 45 min before the scheduled departure, and pass time by some bus sighting.

I had my doubts on the interior build quality of Corona buses and was right this time. The flimsy a/c blower control broke and was blasting cold air in full glory against me. I closed it by shoving the curtain. The LCD screen was shaking a lot too. This time I tried the upper berth, and was not pleased because you cannot sit upright.

I always chose seat just behind the driver on the lefthand side, and hence had a very good view of the instrumental panel. He was doing consistent 100-105 Kmph. He was not enjoying the drive though, he was constantly complaining about the lack of power of Corona when compared to Volvo and Benz.

The low end performance of Corona was shocking, I watched him drive from Coimbatore onwards. Whenever he slowed down to 10-20 Kmph, it was taking ages to reach 50-60 Kmph and after that its got enough punch. Not sure if he was driving that way. Even KSRTC was faster to 50 Kmph from standstill compared to Corona. Had few failed drag races between the two, after Kuthiran. Reached Trichur by 6:30AM

All in all a good service and a very polite crew as well .
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Last edited by ecenandu : 8th March 2012 at 00:37.
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Old 8th March 2012, 10:47   #1534
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Well, if the fare is not a constraint, then I'll suggest Olivea. They'll drop you at the destination on the dot. Guess they have a 5 o'clock or 6 o'clock service - you'll be in Bangalore by noon..
Is Olivea's so good for the fare they claim.
A truly world class fleet, lounge and a great vision from the Management too.
But DC's work on these coaches are little too much and just adds to the fare cost - Also the quality of interiors and the built quality is a case to study in commercial vehicles.
If its costing as much as 2000 for a five hour travel, what will be the fare for a 10 to 12 hrs(for about 800 kms) travel.

IMHO,Unnecessary customization has increased the induction cost and passengers are charged for that. By reducing fare the occupancy rate can be increased and would be a industry benchmark by all means.

I do think why not this kind of service be started by other operators?
A regular bus and a premium one in same route.
Parveen to an extent does this with their brand Snooze bus and a non branded with Mercedes Benz / Volvo in Interstate route.
(Here I am not speaking about the quality of service but as a concept only)

I think Parveen and Kesineni has such potential in near future.

Tail piece info : Soon you may see some Mercedes running in Olivea's fleet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecenandu View Post
..
I had my doubts on the interior build quality of Corona buses and was right this time. The flimsy a/c blower control broke and was blasting cold air in full glory against me. I closed it by shoving the curtain. The LCD screen was shaking a lot too. This time I tried the upper berth, and was not pleased because you cannot sit upright. ....
The swinging type displays from Carbon/ or any other make, lasts only for few months.
I never seen them working in any bus I have traveled. But when I did Nagpur - Hyderabad operated by Saini Travels, surprised to see all the displays were functional. They were actually fixed in the front wall and remote was used to switch on, on request. There was a volume control also for individual compartment.
I dont remember the make of the display but understand it was an imported one.
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Old 8th March 2012, 11:25   #1535
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
But DC's work on these coaches are little too much and just adds to the fare cost - Also the quality of interiors and the built quality is a case to study in commercial vehicles.
I recently had a chance to see one of their first buses (according to the driver). The interiors looked tired, but has certainly been able to withstand the usage. The driver said the newer buses are even better in terms of comfort.

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
If its costing as much as 2000 for a five hour travel, what will be the fare for a 10 to 12 hrs(for about 800 kms) travel.
The Bangalore-Chennai route sees variable fares - the lowest being Rs. 1200, and the highest being Rs. 2200. The rates vary according to day/time of departure. From two services in a day, Olivea has gone up to 4 services each way/day now.

They have launched Bangalore-Ernakulam (The timings are absolutely awful though) - they are charging Rs. 1500 (lowest fare) for the journey.

The timings of the Bangalore-Ernakulam service are:

Bangalore (dep): 2300hrs. Coimbatore: 0515hrs. Ernakulam: 0945hrs (arr).
Ernakulam (dep): 1130hrs. Coimbatore: 1600hrs. Bangalore: 2215hrs (arr).
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Old 8th March 2012, 11:39   #1536
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Is Olivea's so good for the fare they claim.
A truly world class fleet, lounge and a great vision from the Management too.
But DC's work on these coaches are little too much and just adds to the fare cost - Also the quality of interiors and the built quality is a case to study in commercial vehicles.
If its costing as much as 2000 for a five hour travel, what will be the fare for a 10 to 12 hrs(for about 800 kms) travel.

IMHO,Unnecessary customization has increased the induction cost and passengers are charged for that. By reducing fare the occupancy rate can be increased and would be a industry benchmark by all means.

I do think why not this kind of service be started by other operators?
A regular bus and a premium one in same route.
Parveen to an extent does this with their brand Snooze bus and a non branded with Mercedes Benz / Volvo in Interstate route.
(Here I am not speaking about the quality of service but as a concept only)

I think Parveen and Kesineni has such potential in near future.

Tail piece info : Soon you may see some Mercedes running in Olivea's fleet.

I have used Olivea on a few occasions from Chennai to Bangalore and here's my take on their value proposition:

Target Segment is the air traveller and not the usual joe bus traveller who is particular about the extra 50 bucks he wants to shell out. Instead of shelling anywhere in excess of INR 5000 for a one way air ticket on the Chennai - Bangalore sector where you are not sure of the punctuality of the planes (given the delays on flights), Olivea takes you from point A to B in the promised time. Their buses are usually punctual (1130PM from Chennai Koyambedu and drops you at HSR Layout by 445 - 500AM). In any case, an air journey on MAA BLR takes ~4 to 5 hours from door to door, given you need to be at the airport 45 mins prior to departure and the minimum 1 hour drive from BIAL to anywhere in the city.

For ~INR 1700, the selling points of Olivea IMO are as under:

- Comfortable leather seats that will let you sleep for 5 hours, as compared to waiting in the airport endlessly for the plane to take off
- Punctual and assured commute time from door to door
- Costs 1/3rd of an air ticket (dont forget the additional 1000 bucks to take you home from BIAL by a taxi)
- Eliminates the other hassles associated with a typical bus journey such as filthy or non existent waiting rooms (for most buses you end up becoming victims to mosquitoes when waiting for the bus whereas Olivea offers lounges / boarding from good hotels with complimentary beverages), washroom in the bus, haggling with auto rickshaws at Madiwala or Silk Board at 430 in the morning (Olivea arranges cabs from their lounge at HSR to your residence at affordable rates, so you zip off in a taxi as soon as the bus reaches HSR), Polite and Helpful staff
- For those seeking entertainment, you have plenty of movies on demand from personal LCD screens
- Wifi
- Palatable food (definitely better than airline food)
- Sedate driving which will let you sleep peacefully

All in all, I am quite satisfied with them and use them often as I can complete late night meetings and take the bus to be back in Bangalore fresh in the morning. On most occasions, even weekdays, I have seen the bus to be ~60% full, which is not bad as I would assume even normal Volvos would be only half full on a weekday. Only issue I notice is that the ride quality is not as good as other Multi Axle volvos.. Maybe it is because of the lesser weight (fewer passengers) or some changes to the suspension owing to the different structure (build and passengers)

Will be interesting to see responses of other BHP-ians
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Old 8th March 2012, 11:59   #1537
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Agree with you. This should be a great vision from the Management to bring such a business class service to Roads.


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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
... Only issue I notice is that the ride quality is not as good as other Multi Axle volvos.. Maybe it is because of the lesser weight (fewer passengers) or some changes to the suspension owing to the different structure (build and passengers)..
This is what I wanted to touch.
DC, though they have done a good looking job in Interiors, they have build this coach like a tank - read as heavy as a tank and not in the meaning of Versatility. I have seen this in several creations they have done so far.
In this so much of modification in the interiors they have considerably increased the ULW, and also the process they follow are not highly appreciable - with lots of FRP's, ply woods, steel flats and angles.
That should be the cause, I believe.
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Old 8th March 2012, 12:53   #1538
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
I have used Olivea on a few occasions...

Will be interesting to see responses of other BHP-ians
I concur with everything you've mentioned! I'd posted a review here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
DC, though they have done a good looking job in Interiors, they have build this coach like a tank - read as heavy as a tank and not in the meaning of Versatility. I have seen this in several creations they have done so far.
In this so much of modification in the interiors they have considerably increased the ULW, and also the process they follow are not highly appreciable - with lots of FRP's, ply woods, steel flats and angles.
That should be the cause, I believe.
I have a question - if they've built it so heavy, then shouldn't it compensate for the lesser number of passengers (24 against the usual 45+) and luggage/parcel that the regular buses carry?
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Old 8th March 2012, 13:18   #1539
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
I have a question - if they've built it so heavy, then shouldn't it compensate for the lesser number of passengers (24 against the usual 45+) and luggage/parcel that the regular buses carry?
Aha.. you have taken a different route.
I mean to say they make heavy and this leads to lots of rattles and higher maintenance costs in long term - the thick FRP panels in roof and side are always painful in long run..
Though the reduced number of seats have compensated to some extent.
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Old 8th March 2012, 14:02   #1540
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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They have launched Bangalore-Ernakulam (The timings are absolutely awful though) - they are charging Rs. 1500 (lowest fare) for the journey.

The timings of the Bangalore-Ernakulam service are:

Bangalore (dep): 2300hrs. Coimbatore: 0515hrs. Ernakulam: 0945hrs (arr).
Ernakulam (dep): 1130hrs. Coimbatore: 1600hrs. Bangalore: 2215hrs (arr).
The timings are basically to cater to BLR Coimbatore travel and there is a huge opportunity here. For such a short sector, the air fares are quite high and with Kingfisher flights becoming erratic, Jet Airways is currently the monopoly operator. There will also be quite a few takers for BLR COK as well since thanks to Kingfisher pulling out their morning flight, the earliest one can reach down twon Kochi if you take a morning flight from BLR is by 1 PM (1130 arr at COK airport). There will also be quite a few takers for the CJB COK segment I guess.


Also with regards to the Multi Axle fares, why is it that I pay the same or more for a Bangalore Trivandrum journey (750 km) than a Bangalore Mumbai journey (1000 Kms)???. Trivandrum costs 1000 Rs or more while Mumbai never exceeds 1000 most times. Koch is even more of a rip off if you consider distance.
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Old 8th March 2012, 14:34   #1541
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Also with regards to the Multi Axle fares, why is it that I pay the same or more for a Bangalore Trivandrum journey (750 km) than a Bangalore Mumbai journey (1000 Kms)???. Trivandrum costs 1000 Rs or more while Mumbai never exceeds 1000 most times. Koch is even more of a rip off if you consider distance.
Guess it is purely a demand supply equation. You end up paying ~INR 750 for a Bangalore - Chennai on Volvo Multi Axle (even higher sometimes) for a 330 kms distance, which is one third the Blr - Mumbai distance !!! Fares to Coimbatore (larger distance than Chennai) are always lower than Blr - Chennai !!! Even an ISUZU AC or a normal ABT / SRS A/C on a weekend to Chennai is over 600 bucks !!!
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Old 8th March 2012, 15:17   #1542
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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There will also be quite a few takers for the CJB COK segment I guess.
Looks unlikely - it leaves Coimbatore at 5 in the morning. Kochi-Coimbatore will surely have takers, but the price tag is surely a stumbling block.

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Also with regards to the Multi Axle fares, why is it that I pay the same or more for a Bangalore Trivandrum journey (750 km) than a Bangalore Mumbai journey (1000 Kms)???. Trivandrum costs 1000 Rs or more while Mumbai never exceeds 1000 most times. Koch is even more of a rip off if you consider distance.
Purely supply-demand ratio.

Bangalore-Mumbai route has some 30 Volvos (including Govt ones), while the Bangalore-Trivandrum route has some 16 Volvos (including the KeSRTC B7R), both routes combined (Alappuzha and Nagercoil). As the number of buses to Trivandrum increases, the fare would obviously come down.

Edit: There are just 3 Private and 3 Govt Volvos dedicated for Ernakulam! Thats just 6 buses each day! The other ones pass EKM at odd hours and passengers are forced to rely on the dedicated buses.

Last edited by binaiks : 8th March 2012 at 15:19.
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Old 8th March 2012, 15:32   #1543
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Fares are purely based on the competition in the route.
There will be a min fare and if some one starts offering them and stats to get patronage, others will start the same.
This has happened in Mum-Blr route, by VRL etc and it has reduced the fare.
This is yet to happen in other routes.
@aroonanand: Interstate fares are always higher than than Intra state fares like Che-Cbe due to entry taxes.
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Old 8th March 2012, 16:06   #1544
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Edit: There are just 3 Private and 3 Govt Volvos dedicated for Ernakulam! Thats just 6 buses each day! The other ones pass EKM at odd hours and passengers are forced to rely on the dedicated buses.
Interesting observation indeed; I thought there were many more volvos in this route (KPN, Kallada, KaSRTC (Volvo + Merc))


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@aroonanand: Interstate fares are always higher than than Intra state fares like Che-Cbe due to entry taxes.
Guess my post was ambiguous; I was referring to Bangalore - Coimbatore (and not Chennai - Coimbatore) which is always cheaper than Blr - Chennai !
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Old 8th March 2012, 16:36   #1545
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Interesting observation indeed; I thought there were many more volvos in this route (KPN, Kallada, KaSRTC (Volvo + Merc))
The dedicated buses to Ernakulam are (Night services): 1 Kallada, 1 KPN and 1 Shama. Then there are three Airavat Club Class (1 Volvo + 2 Benz). Other than these, the buses that pass through Bangalore are 8 Volvos to Trivandrum (including one B7R of KeSRTC), 1 MB to Pathanamthitta (Bharathi), 1 B9R to Alappuzha (Kallada), 1 B9R to Changanassery (Kallada G4), 1 B9R to Pathanamthitta (Viji) and 1 Isuzu to Pathanamthitta (Padikkal).

The Trivandrum ones would pass Ernakulam between 0200hrs and 0400hrs, and these guys would drop passengers on the highway itself (not that the highway is far from the city, but public transportation is absent at that hour in Kochi).

KeSRTC has been avoiding Ernakulam very badly - the have just one Super Express running between Bangalore and Ernakulam, via Hosur. They have one Super Deluxe and one Super Express as well - but they go via Mysore-Kozhikode.
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