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Old 7th April 2012, 00:38   #1606
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Kesineni has been really doing a good job.

According to the driver, Kesineni gets the most passengers on the route followed by Kallada. KPN has been struggling to get the loads - they recently reduced their fare to Rs. 1500 to get pax. Kesineni has been operating without a break since the service started - the driver was claiming that he once drove a trip with just 4 passengers on board! For the running time it offers, the bus is a superb option for the time conscious passenger (the trains takes 25hrs on the same route). Once the Avinashi-Walayar/Walayar-Mannuthy stretches are done, the running time would come further down.

Overall: Recommended!
Good to know that they have improved their standards. The last time I took this bus from Tsr to Hyd, was one hell of a journey. The driver told me it was a spare bus as the normal bus was in service. This one developed some sort of problem midway during the journey (i think it was after crossing AP border) which made the engine stall after every 50 kms or so. The driver had to turn off the engine and a/c to let the wholile thing cool down for atleast 15 minutes before it would start again. We limped our way to Shamshabad by 1 p.m where finally the bus gave up all together in a big puff of black smoke.

I remember Binaiks mentioning in some earlier post that Kesineni had put two new buses for this route and I guess they have become more punctual now.

Need to try the Kallada next time, I see them coming on time too recently.
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Old 7th April 2012, 11:29   #1607
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Guys is there any Kallada or private bus running from Tirur/Valanchery to Kottayam ?
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Old 7th April 2012, 12:09   #1608
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Originally Posted by binaiks
Krishnagiri-Palmaner-Madanappalle-Dharmavaram-Anantapur route.
!
Binai hows the road between krishnagiri and anantpur?driveable for a car?i am wondering if I should take this route next time to thrissur from hyd.How long did it take between the two places?
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Old 7th April 2012, 15:58   #1609
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Binai hows the road between krishnagiri and anantpur?driveable for a car?i am wondering if I should take this route next time to thrissur from hyd.How long did it take between the two places?
I slept for most of the distance - so comment on how good or bad the road really was. But there were no major shakes in the bus - so I guess the road is in decent shape. It had heavy traffic all the way - lots of trucks. The bus was trailing trucks for long time before it could overtake them. We crossed Krishnagiri around 2350~0000hrs and entered Anantapur bypass around 0500. Approximately 5 hours for around 350kms - not really bad.
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Old 8th April 2012, 09:37   #1610
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Took the 1943 Multi Axle of KaSRTC- the first one of the three Club Class services between Bangalore and Ernakulam operated by a Merc. Only the last service is operated by a Volvo.

Boarded from Shantinagar which has a waiting room for "ac bus" pax open from one hour before departure time of your bus. The room is also supposed to be AC but if the ac was working it was difficult to feel it. The 1943 Dep Multi Axle is preceded by a 1915 Dep Kottayam Multi Axle and a 1830 Rajahamsa to Ernakulam. The 1830 Dep Rajahamsa was an old rattle trip which developed mechanical trouble and the bus did not depart till 1930. The Kottayam multi axle departed on on time but our bus caught up with it at Angamaly.

Our bus departed only at 2000, and was 95% full. Interestingly only one break, at Krishna /Mc Donald after Hosur. Bus started late at 2000 , had a few parcel loading/unloading stops which were handled efficiently and the driving was smooth. First people to get off were at Alathur and the bus went into Trichur bus stand where a lot of people got off. Reached Aluva at 6.15 AM. The conductor was courteous and adjusted people around to ensure that a mother and child stuck in the last row of seats were accommodated in the front when a couple of reserved pax did not turn up. Also the people getting down at Alathur were quietly alerted when the bus reached so that the rest of the pax were not disturbed. He also had a clear idea of who were getting down where (people only got down at Alathur ,Trichur and Aluva) so lights inside the bus were only switched only close to these points.

The other point I would like to make is that KaSRTC offers a 10% discount if onward and return are booked at the same time. So a Bangalore Ernakulam and return works out to 1620 for the multi axle which makes it very cost effective. There is also now a boarding point at Aluva which you can specify at the time of booking. The drop off point at Majestic is also an attraction for those of us for whom life does not begin and end at Silk Board/Madiwala.
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Old 9th April 2012, 16:24   #1611
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Today saw the Kallada Hyderabad Kochi Volvo (I am assuming it is the HYD one due to both the AP registration and the Jabbar badging). First saw it around 1145 at Aluva and then again the same bus at around 1.45 PM near Gold Souk, Vytilla. While it is good to see the bus keeping time, I checked the timings in Kallada website and it shows a 4.30 PM dep from Hyderabad and a 1.30 PM departure from Ernakulam which means the bus will run atleast 40 hours in a 48 hour peiod. I just hope the drivers are given adequate rest for running such long hauls. Kesineni already had one bad accident reported elsewhere in these forums on the Coimbatore Hyderabad route and Binaiks has already mentioned that the driver in his trip to HYD drove 15+ hours and in another post if I remember correctly, mentioned in these forums, that a 2 man crew do both a a night trip and a day trip on Bangalore Ernakulam Bangalore back to back on Kallada Volvos.

I have no objection against long hauls and in fact am a regular long haul traveller (I prefer Volvos to trains any day) but most of my travel in early days were with government operators who had good crewing patterns and dual driver operations. KaSRTC seems to have a good rest pattern as well Most of their Kerala volvos have a 8-10 hour break (agreed this does not help their bus utilisation) and SETC of TN which runs a lot of long hauls from TRV have good rest facilities at TRV for the crew. But is this the same for private operators???

Duty hours in airlines are regulated by law and in addition in many of the ultra long hauls like Bangkok New York or Singapore New York Non stops by Thai and Singapore Airlines, additional crew are carried who do the monitoring enroute. An Air India Mumbai London New York flight gets a fresh crew at London both directions. As bus journeys get longer and longer thanks to Volvos I just hope that the indistry in its very challenging task of making these routes profitable do not compromise on crew rest periods and thus endanger the passenger safety.
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Old 9th April 2012, 22:11   #1612
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Today saw the Kallada Hyderabad Kochi Volvo (I am assuming it is the HYD one due to both the AP registration and the Jabbar badging). First saw it around 1145 at Aluva and then again the same bus at around 1.45 PM near Gold Souk, Vytilla. While it is good to see the bus keeping time, I checked the timings in Kallada website and it shows a 4.30 PM dep from Hyderabad and a 1.30 PM departure from Ernakulam which means the bus will run atleast 40 hours in a 48 hour peiod. I just hope the drivers are given adequate rest for running such long hauls. Kesineni already had one bad accident reported elsewhere in these forums on the Coimbatore Hyderabad route and Binaiks has already mentioned that the driver in his trip to HYD drove 15+ hours and in another post if I remember correctly, mentioned in these forums, that a 2 man crew do both a a night trip and a day trip on Bangalore Ernakulam Bangalore back to back on Kallada Volvos.
Private operators have a type of crew operation called "Day-Night". As the name signifies, the crew work in these buses day and night. Such crew would be in pairs, who would divide their duty hours equally.

In case of Kallada's EKM-Bangalore service, the crew pair would work Ernakulam-Perundurai/Perundurai-Bangalore. That is, the first guy works the first leg during which the second guy would be sleeping. Then the second guy takes over and the first guy heads to sleep.

In case of the Ernakulam-Hyderabad buses, the incoming bus (HYD-EKM) usually would reach EKM around 1130~1200hrs, and the bus turns around almost immediately (Kallada leaves at 1330hrs, Kesineni at 1345hrs and KPN at 1400hrs). All these buses are worked by two drivers, and they all usually have an attendant as well. Interestingly, the Kallada bus is not switched off when its at EKM. That means, the bus starts running at around 1430hrs or so (that is the time at their first pick up point in HYD) and keeps running until around 9AM on the third day! These buses typically do 1100+ kms in a 24hr period, and the Kesineni bus that I traveled in had clocked about 1.25lakh kms in just three months!

In case of the Kesineni bus that I was in, the relief driver was to turn up at Salem - which never happened! The guy who took over at Coimbatore had to continue all the way to Hyderabad. Kesineni usually have two drivers, who change their positions frequently (thats what I got to know from the drivers). From what the crew said, they change positions at every break.

These tight trips pay more, and hence crew are more interested in these runs. However, Malayali crew are more laid back, and they prefer the typical ones with 8+ hours break at each end (according to a driver at Kallada - who prefers the 8 hrs rest pattern over the day/night runs).
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Old 9th April 2012, 23:07   #1613
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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..... Interestingly, the Kallada bus is not switched off when its at EKM. That means, the bus starts running at around 1430hrs or so (that is the time at their first pick up point in HYD) and keeps running until around 9AM on the third day! ....
Any specific reasons for this?
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Old 10th April 2012, 08:29   #1614
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Crew rest periods are I feel very important . At one point one of the Malayalam channels (forgot which one) was highlighting this issue for KeSRTC buses pointing to the fact that one of the routes having relatively more accident/incidents was the Trivandrum Vazhikadavu schedule which was then operated by one driver with a relatively short rest period.

One of the earliest long hauls I had taken (and I am speaking of a period more than 30 years ago) was in a KeSRTC FP sevice between Trivandrum and Thekkady which used to depart Trivandrum at an unearthly hour of 3.30 AM and reach Thekkady by 12 Noon. There were two separate crews for the up and down run as the bus was operated by the Chengannur depot. The bus used to reach Chengannur by 7.15 AM or so, Pax were deboarded, the crew changed, and the bus given a quick mechanical check before the next leg cup the hills ommenced. Similarly during that period , the Trivandrum Chennai SETC (then Thiruvalluvar) used to have a crew change at Trichy.


This comfort zone is increasingly disappearing now adays. Atleast one KESRTC bus of Mala depot used to have a schedule where the crew did a run starting around 5 PM from Mala, then after a couple of short runs do one up to Calicut reaching around 1.30 AM and then start back around 4 AM and finally terminating around 11 AM at the home depot. This sort of scheduling is dangerous as a 2 hour break in the early hours of the day is far less effective than during the day time hours.

Similarly many of the private operators seem to have these "reduced rest hour" shift patterns - let us face the fact - sleeping in a moving bus in many cases is far less effective than in a proper normal rest area and also for many of the crew of the less disciplined operators, the option to make a few extra bucks selling the "cabin/crew rest " seats is too good to resist.
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Old 10th April 2012, 10:07   #1615
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post

Similarly many of the private operators seem to have these "reduced rest hour" shift patterns - let us face the fact - sleeping in a moving bus in many cases is far less effective than in a proper normal rest area and also for many of the crew of the less disciplined operators, the option to make a few extra bucks selling the "cabin/crew rest " seats is too good to resist.
Have seen KPN, SRS and some other operators few Volvo's compromise few last row seats and got a decent bed separated with a curtain to rest the spare driver. I think at least this should be provided to such long haul services.
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Old 10th April 2012, 16:36   #1616
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Did an Ernakulam-Hyderabad journey by bus last Thursday (March 29, 2012). A short review:

The bus: AP-31-TB-6868 of Kesineni Travels. The bus was delivered in November 2011, and had already clocked about 1.25lakh kms.

Overall: Recommended!
Good review. Salutes to the endurance of both man and machine - the driver and the bus.
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Old 10th April 2012, 19:38   #1617
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Some Added Info:

Hope most would have known about CONTI travels. They operate to Chennai and Bangalore from Coimbatore. Both Non-AC semi sleeper and AC [ISUZU] are part of their service.

Got to know from a source working with them that the service is now sold to a different operator and it is agreed to run with the name present name for some period and change the name in future.

To me, their service is always good. Let us see how it goes with the new operator.

Last edited by BulZire : 10th April 2012 at 19:40.
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Old 11th April 2012, 23:17   #1618
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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
These tight trips pay more, and hence crew are more interested in these runs. However, Malayali crew are more laid back, and they prefer the typical ones with 8+ hours break at each end (according to a driver at Kallada - who prefers the 8 hrs rest pattern over the day/night runs).
Slightly

Binai, what kind of money are these guys paid for a return trip from Hyd to Cochin ?
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Old 12th April 2012, 09:32   #1619
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Completed the return part of my Bangalore Aluva Bangalore trip on KaSRTC. Return was on the 2035 EKM BLR Volvo multi Axle.

For people travelling up to Aluva or even Ernakulam, KaSRTC now offers an excellent and cost effective alternative. With the 10% discount on the return trip if booked together, the cost is only 1620. The boarding point at Aluva is a real boon (althoug the contact number printed on the ticket is not a valid one). Also the expected pick up time at Aluva (2055 for my bus) is fictional.Bus reached at 2135 and had a stop at the Jubilee motel at Angamaly for food.There was another break at Bhavani bye pass around 4 AM. Bus reached Majestic at 7.30 AM. Overall very good value for a round trip/weekend break esp if you are taking the first bus (the 1944 Merc) from BLR as you reach by 6 AM in Aluva. Also very safe driving.At the Dinner stop, there were a lot of KaSRTC buses including the 1605 TRV BLR Volvo multi axle (this does not have an Aluva Boarding point), the 2005 EKM BLR Merc, the 20305 EKM Mangalore multi ale as well as a B7R to Mysore. Saw one Kallada and the Bharati Multi Axle also using this place for their dinner stop.


Also a word of caution for people booking the Mangalore KaSRTC Volvo bus leaving EKM at 2035 from Aluva. The boarding point is shown as Aluva Bus Station which is incorrect. The bus only stops at the bye pass along with all the others.


Overall KaSRTC is highly recommended on this sector.
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Old 12th April 2012, 11:01   #1620
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My friend is coming from Goa to Bangalore in Paulo Travels on 17th April, I would like to know whether they have a drop anywhere in South Bangalore. I am staying in Bannerghatta Road and will have to pick him up. I think he is coming in the 7:00 PM bus from Goa. Also, any idea about the arrival time(approx)?
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