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Old 12th April 2012, 12:27   #1621
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Thumbs down Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

PALAKKAD - CHENNAI with KALLADA travels Volvo twin axle
Verdict: Extremely poor quality of service
Recommendation: Opt for this as a last resort only

Trip In detail:

I booked the ticket through redbus and the departure time was mentioned as 7pm. I reported at the Kallada office at 6:30pm. The person in-charge informs me that the bus is actually at 7:30 and that the website timing was updated after I booked my ticket. This officially becomes the start of all the irritation! The travels did not have the courtesy to call or message me about the change in timing (I had to sacrifice my supper in order to reach the boarding point on time!).

The second irritant: The bus finally arrives at the boarding point at 7:45pm. It was not even dusted (forget about a wash)! I could just imagine the interiors if the condition of the outer body was so bad.

Third irritant: There is only one driver for a journey of 500+km & 10-12 hours! I can't imagine someone driving continuosly for more than 4 hours. This according to me is a very serious crime. You are putting all passengers at the mercy of one tired driver. I enquire whether there would be any halts on the way and the driver "proudly" informs me that he will do a non-stop and will get me to Chennai within 10 hours! Now I get worried! At a later stage, I chatted up with the driver to understand their working conditions. He informed me that Kallada has no policy on rest. The more you work, the more you get paid. They operate the drivers on a pure commission basis. Again the driver "proudly" tells me that he works 2 - 2.5 months without a break!! Parveen travels has a nice policy on this regard. I was told that Parveen drivers work for 20 days and rest for 10 days in a month. They also use 2 drivers for a trip such as this.

Fourth irritant: There is buzzing (high pitched frequency) sound from the internal lights! This was extremely irritating. I hoped this would go away once the bus begins the journey and the driver switches off the lights.

Fifth irritant: The bus breaks down within 14km of travel! The radiator water boils up and this caused the clutch cable (which supposedly travels over the engine) to snap.

Sixth irritant: The driver informs us that a separate bus has been arranged from Coimbatore and that we will be picked up and dropped at Coimbatore by other Kallada buses which are passing along the same route. After 30min, he informs us that the spare bus arranged from Coimbatore is smaller than the Volvo and would not seat us all. Hence a separate Tempo traveller has been arranged for us to Chennai. There were only 10 passengers from Palakkad to Chennai, the remaining were boarding from Coimbatore. He also told us that we would be partially refunded for the change in transport (from Volvo to Tempo).

At around 10 (almost 1.5 hours since breakdown), a Tata Winger reaches us. The new driver informs us that there are no Tempo Travellers and that this is the only option. We are now very angry. We did not board the Winger and insisted for a Traveller. After a lot of argument, the Kallada team agrees and Traveller is arranged from another town (Alathur). We continue our wait. The traveller reaches the point sometime after 12 and we "re-start" our journey.

Seventh irritant: Nobody from Kallada is there in the new Traveller and the drivers have no clue of any refund! We were also too tired to fight any longer and wanted only to get to Chennai. Hence the refund discussion was flushed down the drain. We had as it is paid about 10% higher than the normal rates for this bus. Some of the passengers had paid close to 30% higher!
Kallada actually had the cheek to dupe a poor passenger to pay Rs.1300 for the same trip in the Traveller. He was sold the ticket after the operator was aware of the breakdown! So much for business ethics of big players!

Eighth irritant: The Traveller which was arranged for us was quite old. It had to huff & puff to reach even 70kmh (in one way I was quite relieved, the tires were almost bald). The AC stopped working (and started to leak water inside the cabin) around 6am. So, when we really needed the AC, between 9am and 1pm, it did not work.

We finally reached Chennai at around 12:30pm and this officially becomes the longest journey I've had in a Tempo Traveller. To be honest, the journey in the Traveller was not all that bad. I did not have my usual back and knee pains after an overnight journey!

The only positive point I takeaway from this trip is that I was able to interact with a couple of nice people whom I would have never talked to on a normal overnight trip.
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Old 12th April 2012, 12:29   #1622
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by arun_josie View Post
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)?
I've seen Paulo buses picking up passengers from Jayanagar, JP Nagar and Madiwala. I guess they must be dropping passengers at the same points as well.

The Paulo website says that the 7pm bus from Goa is a "Volvo Seater and Sleeper". This bus has drops in Jayanagar, JP Nagar, Madiwala and Electronic City.
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Old 12th April 2012, 12:30   #1623
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by arun_josie View Post
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)?
This bus IIRC, will be going to Chennai so a drop will be possible in Bangalore South.
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Old 12th April 2012, 13:07   #1624
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajman28 View Post
PALAKKAD - CHENNAI with KALLADA travels Volvo twin axle
Verdict: Extremely poor quality of service
Recommendation: Opt for this as a last resort only
Must have been quite a nightmare ! Good that you could see the positive side as well..
I had a horrible experience with Shama Sardar recently and was planing to post it sometime soon.. I wonder if the customers have any choice of getting compensated by them in case pf such events or is it just our luck.. I sometimes get really mad at that moment but then don't take it forward due to lack of time ( or will??) to pursue it..
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Old 12th April 2012, 14:42   #1625
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by autotranny View Post
Slightly

Binai, what kind of money are these guys paid for a return trip from Hyd to Cochin ?
Salary of Rs. 10000 and 1 rupee per km as Bata....
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Old 12th April 2012, 14:49   #1626
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Let me try to do a quick summary of the main operators I have travelled recently.

Karnataka SRTC

1 Their Multi Axles (Volvos and Mercs) are good value between Bangalore and Ernakulam. With a 10% discount on the return journey , this works out to be the cheapest option for Multi Axles on this route Starting point at Shanti Nagar has a lounge for waiting, with TV and mobile charging facilities. Boarding point at Aluva is a big plus for people in the area. Well maintained buses and courteous crew most times. Only negative is the relatively longer journey times (10-11 hours is a lot for a multi axles on this route) but these are compensated by safe driving by well rested drivers. Their Rajahamsa Non AC buses are to be avoided. Buses seems to be going down in maintenance and journey times are long

VRL

Used this recently on Mumbai - Bangalore and they are a class act. Very competitive pricing and well maintained buses. Do not waste time waiting to pick up last minute passengers. Well behaved crew

Neeta

Used this regularly on Mumbai Pune. Most Team BHP members on this route appear to prefer MSRTC (Shivneri) services but Neeta is not bad as is made out generally, especially if you are travelling to the western suburbs (Andheri, Borivali etc) where they have far more frequencies than MSRTC. It is like a hop in hop off service where you dont have to reserve in advance except on peak times. Nowadays a lot of new buses including B9Rs and Mercs are put on this route but you get quite a few old B7Rs also. Customer service is non existent but between Mumbai Pune being such a short hop this is not really an issue.

Sharma

Used their Non AC 2 x 1 quite a few times between Aluva and Bangalore. Bus reaches Kalasipalayam only by 8.30 - 9AM. Buses are reasonably well maintained and crew OK. The main attraction is the 2 X 1 seating , good if you are travelling alone.

SPS

Non AC bus 2 x 2 between Ernakulam and Bangalore. Bus does not appear to have been changed in the past 3-4 years and one of the blokes who drive on this route is a cranky guy whose "mood of the day" appears to be unpredictable. He has reached BLR at 6 AM some days and as late as 9 AM other days (with no traffic blocks all times). Used to take this regularly until KaSRTC introduced their boarding point at Aluva since this was the only operator other than them with whom you had a reasonable chance to reach Kplym/Majestic by 7 AM. Avoid them since they are a small player and if bus breaks down you have next to nil chances of being accommodated in other services.

KPN

Of late have improved a lot especially in their Multi Axles. Customer service still leaves a lot to be desired. But buses are well maintained and driving is not rash.Crew inside the bus are generally well behaved.

KeSRTC

After their Tata Globus ACs have been withdrawn most buses are changed to Super Express on a 2 x 3 configuration and I have of late avoided them. Their B7R on TRV Bangalore still operates but the buses are getting old and with with only one service in each direction you are dumped if the bus breaks down for any reason.
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Old 12th April 2012, 17:35   #1627
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Let me try to do a quick summary of the main operators I have travelled recently.

Karnataka SRTC

VRL

Neeta

Sharma

SPS

KPN

KeSRTC
+1 to your review on VRL, KaSRTC and KPN.

But the following are my grievances on KaSRTC

1. Inadequate leg room for long distance travel (compared to KPN, SRM)
2. Some of their drivers prefer to drive only on top gear even at low speeds leading to engine knocking and not-so-smooth drive. Also, some of them are very slow and hence you reach the destination late.
3. They switch on the AC only 10-15 mins before departure, so if you reach the bus stand early, you have to remain seated inside a bus as hot as a cooker.


Let me add my 2 cents based on the other buses I have used often:

Olivea
By far the best bus travel experience (at par with the international scene in Singapore / Malaysia / Europe) although this comes at a price. Super spacious buses with 21 leather seats, good entertainment options, On time departures, steward on call, free food, Wifi, washrooms on bus, lounge for waiting, cabs arranged for pick up and drop, clean english speaking crew, extremely well driven buses where you can sleep without any disturbance... and the list goes on..... You pay the twice of other Multi Axle buses and get all these added comforts.


ABT
Consistently good service - usually punctual with clean buses and clean blankets. Crew are usually polite and the driving is sedate. By and large, very reliable and can be trusted to reach the destination on time. Clean waiting areas with washrooms in Madiwala, Chennai and Coimbatore for waiting passengers.

SRS
Found them ok on the Bangalore Chennai sector (hear from friends they are reliable on the Karnataka sectors too) but was quite unhappy on their Multi Axle service to Trivandrum. Have heard the same from other BHPians and friends - they do not start the bus from Nagercoil unless it is full and if there are empty seats then you are always late. Also pick up passengers for short hauls (Nagercoil - Madurai, Madurai - Salem etc) inconveniencing passengers as lights are switched on at every town en route. Less said about the friendliness of the crew, the better.

SRM
Found them to be reliable whenever I have used them on Blr - Chennai and Blr - TVM. Good quality of buses but driving is usually very aggressive. If I recall, their Multi Axle on the Blr TVM route met with a serious accident a year or so back. Their sleeper AC buses are also very rashly driven and hence sleep is disturbed by frequent honking and braking.


Has anyone tried the newly launched Hindusthan Travels from Coimbatore?

I was also a fan of the Raj National Express which was launched with a lot of fanfare in 2005-06 but for some reason never really took off. They had very clean coaches, departed on time, had decent lounges to wait, clean and friendly crew and charged only ~10% more than other volvos.
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Old 12th April 2012, 22:42   #1628
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

just now noticed that most fares between BLR and CBE has been inched up.

eg: Conti Isuzu from Rs.500 to 570, KPN sleeper from 625 to 665.
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Old 13th April 2012, 11:04   #1629
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

For those who are looking for a deal on Olivea bus:

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Old 13th April 2012, 12:20   #1630
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
just now noticed that most fares between BLR and CBE has been inched up.

eg: Conti Isuzu from Rs.500 to 570, KPN sleeper from 625 to 665.
That's due to increase in omni bus permit coat from Rs.3000 to Rs.3500
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Old 14th April 2012, 10:59   #1631
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
That's due to increase in omni bus permit coat from Rs.3000 to Rs.3500
An increase of Rs500 in the cost would translate to Rs10 or Rs12 per seat in a 48 seat bus. Here the increase is not proportinate.

People tend to increase the rates at the drop of hat.
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Old 14th April 2012, 22:51   #1632
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by gururaj r View Post
An increase of Rs500 in the cost would translate to Rs10 or Rs12 per seat in a 48 seat bus. Here the increase is not proportinate.

People tend to increase the rates at the drop of hat.
You are speaking about the cost, but the result is increased Price and not cost.
So it need not be proportionate.
If the economics are realized always, ticket fare in Multi axle should always be less than a single axle bus. But current ticket fare between these two type of buses is known to all.
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Old 15th April 2012, 14:17   #1633
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

My advocacy for free market pricing does not change but it may be of interest to know that today Ernakulam Bangalore on Viji Yatra Multi Axle is being sold at 1999 by Sona Travels!!!
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Old 15th April 2012, 18:13   #1634
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by gururaj r View Post
An increase of Rs500 in the cost would translate to Rs10 or Rs12 per seat in a 48 seat bus. Here the increase is not proportinate.

People tend to increase the rates at the drop of hat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
If the economics are realized always, ticket fare in Multi axle should always be less than a single axle bus. But current ticket fare between these two type of buses is known to all.
There is a law of economics that states that prices are always elastic going up and inelastic going down.
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Old 18th April 2012, 11:42   #1635
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Heard Benz is operating a sleeper coach from Blore - Ekm. Is it true? Can anyone let me know if there is any reliable sleeper coach running between Blore and Ekm?
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