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Old 18th April 2012, 13:01   #1636
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

As of now the best and most reliable option seems to be Karnataka SRTC AC sleeper leaving Bangalore (Shantinagar) at 2045 and in the other direction the Ernakulam KSRTC Bus station at 1915. Add another couple of hours to the advertised 10 hour journey time though! If you want an early arrival at either place, take the first Multi Axle of Karnataka SRTC in either direction (1944 from Bangalore and 1828 from Ernakulam). Both these services are operated by Mercedez Benz 2x2 Semi Sleepers.
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Old 19th April 2012, 06:11   #1637
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by naveen.raju View Post
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?
Kallada is likely to come with MB sleepers. But no idea about the route planned.
If launched, it will be first Benz sleeper coach.
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Old 19th April 2012, 07:37   #1638
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

My friend is looking for a ticket to reach Mumbai before 7am on Monday. Can anyone recommend a reliable service which leaves Bangalore by noon and reaches Mumbai (I think Vashi) around 7am?
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Old 19th April 2012, 09:32   #1639
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Coolclouds

Go for VRL. THey have Volvo Multi Axles at 12 Noon and 1 PM. I suggest the 1 PM since the 12 Noon is listed as going via Swargate (Pune) and the 1 PM apparently goes direct via the Katraj Byepass, hence will reach earlier and defintiely before 7 AM at Vashi. I took their return 12 Noon service from Sion and despite a breakdown, reached at 7 AM at Yeshwantpur. Was very very impressed by their service. They do not hang around waiting for passengers at enroute stops and their IT systems are one of the best. I booked through an agent, and immediately got a SMS confirming booking details. 1 Hour before the scheduled arrival of my bus , got a SMS confirming the bus number as well.

Do not book the 8 AM VRL service (their first bus from BLR) as this is the Ahemadabd service and will reach too early at Vashi.

None of the Karnataka SRTC buses are timed to reach early at Mumbai and can be ruled out. Neeta has a 12.30 servicefrom BLR as well but will almost certainly waste time picking up passengers fo empy seats between Pune and Mumbai if feedback elsewhere in these forums are to be believed. Also Neetas customer service is hopeless while VRL service is quite good and the crew are friendly ( I was a regular on the Neeta Mumbai Pune route).

Avoid operators like HKB, GeePee, Kesineni etc. While the service on some of them may be good, most of them have only one or 2 services on the route and in case of breakdowns (in the unlikely event it happens) you are in for a big delay, while KaSRTC and esp VRL are big time operators on BLR BOM Route who also have a good system in place for such eventualities. In my case with VRL, the alternate bus (another VRL Volvo) was made available in 1 hour!!!
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Old 19th April 2012, 10:12   #1640
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Thanks TKMCE for the quick response. I will ask him to book 1pm VRL. Hope they have a boarding point at Madiwala. He is going to Andheri (Not Vashi as in my previous post)

I had very had experience with Konduskar once. They simply terminated the service at Pune and arranged a connection bus, that too in very bad shape, only after more than 1hr.
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Old 19th April 2012, 12:38   #1641
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Coolclouds

I just checked in their (VRL) website and the 1 PM bus also goes to Ahmedabad and does not show a Andheri drop and it is also sold out for Sunday. But the 12 Noon service is a Borivali one and even if it goes via Swargate (Pune) it will still be arriving early in the morning at Pune and hence should not loose too much time getting in to/out of the city and should still get your friend to Andheri by 7 AM. For Borivali buses they have multiple drop off points and your friend can get off wherever convenient in the Western Express Highway.

As far as Madivala boarding is concerned, they have the same only for evening buses, so your friend will have to board from Kalasipalayam or
Anand Rao circle. But do check with the VRL office in Madivala as they may have a van pick up.

Also please do post the feedback here post his travel for the benefit of other members as there are very few reviews on BLR- BOM route on this thread.
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Old 19th April 2012, 13:38   #1642
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Thanks TKMCE for the quick response. I will ask him to book 1pm VRL. Hope they have a boarding point at Madiwala. He is going to Andheri (Not Vashi as in my previous post)

I had very had experience with Konduskar once. They simply terminated the service at Pune and arranged a connection bus, that too in very bad shape, only after more than 1hr.
Coolclouds,
Take the 12:00 PM one. I have travelled on that multiple times. It does pass thru Pune but that is generally at approx 4:00 AM.
On all occassions, it has dropped me at Sion by 6:00 AM (6:30 AM tops)
Your friend should be able to reach Andheri easily by 7:00-7:30 AM.

I believe the 12:00 PM service starts from Kalasipalyam and hence I dont think there is a Madivala pickup. They might have some other bus/temo traveller that might do the pickup.

Last edited by f1fan : 19th April 2012 at 13:41.
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Old 19th April 2012, 15:02   #1643
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Recently travelled in the Chennai to Kozhikkode Kallada Multi Axle volvo. Good experiences - Boarding from Perungalathur (there are few more stops till before Mahindra City/Chengalpet) makes it easy having not to travel till Koyambedu in busy city traffic amidst Metro construction chaos (for folks staying south Chennai). Also no need to leave early from officesince it starts late. Seems more buses have started taking Ulundurpet route since road widening and other stuff are in final stages.
Boarding time was 9:55pm on the dot, no dinner breaks (atleast on the day I travelled) since it already starts kinda late. Interior was good/decent so too the staff and the drive. It goes "through" Coimbatore city which is a deterrent- this I think will take close to an extra hour, but given it is a new route (hardly couple+ months old) it gets a good portion of Coimbatore going passengers too, to fill up the seats. This also make it a bit easy to get seats during the last minute/few days. And last but not the least, I could get down a few steps away from my home sweet home gate. :-) (though about 30mins late than schedule)
Within the last week or 2, I see the rates have been revised - up by 100 Rs! There is also return trip which says reach at 7am at Chennai. Any one could share their experience on tgat here pls.
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Old 20th April 2012, 09:20   #1644
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Expect buses with pantry and toilet
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: Are you among those who have always been wary of travelling by bus, especially for hours together? Then this is going to honk in some good news for you. The
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is getting buses with a pantry and toilet.
Transport minister R Ashoka said the government has decided to procure 25 such buses (also called recreational vehicles) from Volvo Corporation to operate on long-distance routes.
Ashoka said the buses with toilet and pantry (offering tea, coffee, milk and snacks) will help travellers, especially senior citizens and children, during the long hours of the journey. Thought the exact routes haven’t been finalized yet, the trial run will start in May, probably in the Mumbai-Pune route. After assessing the demand, the facility will be extended to other routes like Chennai, Hyderabad and north Karnataka cities — Gulbarga, Bidar and Belgaum, he said.
KSRTC sleeper buses have been a hit with travelers, so the government decided to purchase 50 more such buses, the minister added.

source: ToI Bangalore
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Old 20th April 2012, 15:22   #1645
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankan.m.blr View Post
Expect buses with pantry and toilet
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: Are you among those who have always been wary of travelling by bus, especially for hours together? Then this is going to honk in some good news for you. The
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is getting buses with a pantry and toilet.
Transport minister R Ashoka said the government has decided to procure 25 such buses (also called recreational vehicles) from Volvo Corporation to operate on long-distance routes.
Ashoka said the buses with toilet and pantry (offering tea, coffee, milk and snacks) will help travellers, especially senior citizens and children, during the long hours of the journey. Thought the exact routes havenít been finalized yet, the trial run will start in May, probably in the Mumbai-Pune route. After assessing the demand, the facility will be extended to other routes like Chennai, Hyderabad and north Karnataka cities ó Gulbarga, Bidar and Belgaum, he said.
KSRTC sleeper buses have been a hit with travelers, so the government decided to purchase 50 more such buses, the minister added.

source: ToI Bangalore
Saw this in the paper today and am a bit skeptical about this - will not be an easy task to keep the toilets clean for a 15 - 18 hour journey from Bangalore to Mumbai... Unless they have dedicated staff and stops where this will be done.. Also, if the bus is going to be a normal configuration with 40+ seats, will get messy with the large number of people.

Olivea manages this well because their buses are premium (targeting only the traveler thats willing to pay 2.0x a normal volvo), seat only 20 passengers and so far, have focused on short distances (< 6 hours) where not everyone uses the washrooms !

If I recall, APSRTC did introduce a few volvos with toilets on the Hyd - Mumbai and Hyd - Shirdi route... Not sure if they still operate these buses... Fellow BHP-ians with first hand experience can comment...

TOI also carried an article where KaSRTC was rapped for introducing the AC Mayura buses which were a big flop (measured in terms of profitability for KaSRTC as well as operating metrics) leading to all the buses being scrapped!
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Old 20th April 2012, 19:28   #1646
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

APSRTC operated a few Garuda(KingLong) busses with Toilets around 2005/06 in the Shirdi route. The toilets were removed after a few months. Only 2/3 KingLongs are in service now and AFAIK they dont have toilets.
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Old 21st April 2012, 15:09   #1647
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Had a good expereince with kesineni on Pune-BLR route (to and fro). Bus pickup was on time and reached destination ahead of time, and multi axel B9rs are extremely convenient too. Good for last minute unplanned journeys as I was able to get tickets easily (probably because no major holiday that week).
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Old 21st April 2012, 16:23   #1648
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Default Speed Governer's in Omni buses

With almost all the omni buses in Coimbatore numbering 120 completing the installation of speed governors, the speed being fixed at 90 kmph, the Transport Department has found their compliance level almost 100 per cent.

Officials of the department said that following accidents involving omni buses claiming more lives and in the wake of the accident near Vellore recently, the Transport Department began cracking the whip by instructing the operators to install speed governors and have emergency exit provision in the buses.

SURPRISE CHECKS

Motor Vehicle Inspectors and Regional Transport Officers are ensuring the compliance at the starting point as well as at the terminating point of the buses besides en-route surprise checks.

According to K.N. Uthayanun, Deputy Transport Commissioner, whenever the omni buses are brought to the RTO office for renewal of fitness certificate or any other transaction, their compliance to these regulations is checked.

As on date, all the 120 buses have complied with the directive in Coimbatore.

In case of buses registered elsewhere and operated in Coimbatore, they are being checked and the original registering authority is being informed.

In terms of emergency exits, it was also being ensured that tools such as hammer were kept in the bus in a visible place to break the glass for escape of passengers in the event of an accident.

Prominent display of emergency exit provision was also being checked, he said.

The Department was also planning measures to ensure that even buses registered in neighbouring States complied with the directive for operating their fleets inside Tamil Nadu.

Source - THE HINDU
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Old 21st April 2012, 23:35   #1649
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Traveled from Chennai to Bangalore and back on Olivea. Here are my experiences

Overall
1) Tickets booked by my company through red bus and they sent me an m-ticket.
2) The bus no longer runs on Chennai OMR. It starts from Radha regent in Arumbakkam and stops at HSR layout.
3) To cab arranged for pick up and drop (infer that they were doing it earlier)
4) Food offered was ok. no coffee
5) Stewards were friendly
6) No water in toilets. After use, the stewards use room spray to ward off the smell.
7) Seats were excellent (only 24 seats in 2 X 1 configuration )

Onward trip
1) Had a pretty new bus for the onward trip.
2) Seats were excellent, Dish TV, movies, music was available on touch screen monitors along with Wifi.
3) Was sitting on last but one seat and the ride quality was nothing great to write about. Felt that Single axle volvos from KPN /Rathimeena that I had traveled earlier had better ride.
4) The driver did Arumbakkam to silk board in 5 hrs including a 10 minute loo break for himself. Could have reached even faster if not for the slow moving truck traffic between Krishnagiri and Hosur.
5) The drive was not smooth with the driver applying sudden breaks many number of times.
6) There was some rattling from the last few rows

Return trip
1) Bus was from the first lot. Still had Luxur(y) stickers.
2) Monitor, head phones were old. The head phones were not fitting onto the slots
3) No wifi
4) Similar ride quality even though I was sitting slightly on the front this time
5) Better driving but the trip took 5.5 hrs.
6) The used plates were kept on the floor near the toilets. Could be handled better.
7) The waiting area was good and they offered tea/coffee unlike that of Radha regent.
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Old 21st April 2012, 23:52   #1650
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by Sridhar K View Post
6) No water in toilets. After use, the stewards use room spray to ward off the smell.
As in, the toilets were the airport type where water isn't used (also like those used in Ginger hotels) or there was no water supply?

What is the current fare?

Given the premium they charge (IIRC, it was 1800/- when the service started), they ought to ensure the service remains premium.
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