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Old 6th June 2012, 11:29   #1801
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
The routes are very interesting
Hope KTC keep its reputation and hope these new routes will become profitable.
Hopefully they will add more routes and buses in the future.
Earlier there used to be buses from Kerala to Bombay and Pune (Sangeetha, Akbar etc) Hopefully one day we will see these routes gets re-introduced. Any body knows any operator planning such long distance buses from Kerala?
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Old 6th June 2012, 11:40   #1802
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Tppu Sultan operates a non AC service and I recently saw their bus. Looked quote battered from outside. They are one of those operators who are around for a long time but do not seem to have more than one or two routes.
Tippu Sultan launched Ernakulam only recently (or may be relaunched). The last time I saw their bus, it was new looking. Although Tippu might not be a direct competition to KTC, one non-AC bus might still reduce the total passenger population on the route.

There is one more non-ac operator - PSM travels. KPN also has a non-AC bus on the route. KTC might be able to succeed if they go to Chennai without touching Pondy, and may be their timings would help.

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
Hope KTC keep its reputation and hope these new routes will become profitable.
Hopefully they will add more routes and buses in the future.
Earlier there used to be buses from Kerala to Bombay and Pune (Sangeetha, Akbar etc) Hopefully one day we will see these routes gets re-introduced. Any body knows any operator planning such long distance buses from Kerala?
I hope KTC adds buses on the Bangalore-Kerala route - that route requires some class operators.

Cochin-Mumbai is doable in about 24~26 hours with a Volvo. Mangalore-Mumbai currently takes 17~18 hours. Add another 8 hours for Mangalore-Cochin (Considering that the run would be at night), then Cochin-Mumbai is very possible.
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Old 6th June 2012, 12:07   #1803
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Cochin-Mumbai is doable in about 24~26 hours with a Volvo. Mangalore-Mumbai currently takes 17~18 hours. Add another 8 hours for Mangalore-Cochin (Considering that the run would be at night), then Cochin-Mumbai is very possible.
I was wondering why there is no Kochi-Mangalore-Mumbai service. Though the number of trains in Konkan route increased, there should be takers for it and a B9R can easily beat the train timings.
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Old 6th June 2012, 12:12   #1804
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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I was wondering why there is no Kochi-Mangalore-Mumbai service. Though the number of trains in Konkan route increased, there should be takers for it and a B9R can easily beat the train timings.
I doubt if buses can beat train timings. Trains are doing Cochin-Mumbai in 25~26 hours already, with the fastest train doing it under 20 hours. Mangalore-Mumbai itself takes 17~18 hours by road, with B9Rs. Unless the whole of NH17 (now NH66) is four-laned, it is not possible for buses to be faster than trains.

There is considerable demand on the Mumbai-Kerala route, that a bus would be able to fill seats even if it doesn't offer much of a time advantage.
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Old 6th June 2012, 14:40   #1805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks

I am not very sure of the Kozhikode-Chennai route - that route has only Kallada. SRM ran for a very short time as well.

.
Kozhikode-Chennai has also got service by Parveen Travels. Infact, just noticed today that redbus shows availability status in this bus now. Till now I was not able to see this parveen service in redbus site.


Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks

Tippu Sultan launched Ernakulam only recently (or may be relaunched). The last time I saw their bus, it was new looking. Although Tippu might not be a direct competition to KTC, one non-AC bus might still reduce the total passenger population on the route
My travel in Tippu few weeks back from chennai to thrissur was good. It was non-ac bus but new well kept and with really good leg space too. The ride was also good. The ticket price of 700+ is the draw when compared to 1200+ in a volvo!!!
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Old 6th June 2012, 15:00   #1806
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Do you guys think these buses will have to remove the curtains and sunfilms? Would be really bad sitting next to that huge glass areas even with a super strong AC (unless you cover yourself with a blanket)
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Old 6th June 2012, 15:03   #1807
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
I was wondering why there is no Kochi-Mangalore-Mumbai service. Though the number of trains in Konkan route increased, there should be takers for it and a B9R can easily beat the train timings.
As some one vey familiar with this route, (Kerala-Pune/Mumbai) for the last three decades, here are some insights.

In the 1980s and early 1990s the Mumbai Kerala route had quite a few bus services, the ones to the northern part of Kerala (Calicut and further up) via Mangalore and on the Kochi Mumbai route via Bangalore. There were quite a few reasons for this being popular (if I remember I have mentioned some of these elsewhere in this thread as well).

Late 1970s and early 1980s saw the start of the Middle East boom where a lot of Keralites emigrated to the Gulf countries. However during this period, Kerala had just two airports (the current Calicut airport was not functional) and while Trivandrum was a fully equipped airport capable of handling wide body (twin aisle) aircraft like the Airbus A300s, the then Kochi airport was at the Naval airbase at Wellingdon Island. This airfield had many restrictions including operation of civil flights during night hours and more importantly the runways could not handle anything more than Boeing 737s and even those flights had restrictions on the number of passengers which could be carried. Trivandrum was not yet declared an International airport then and while Air India and Air Lanka operated a few direct flights to a few Gulf cities like Dubai, no other foreign airline (and India had only 3 airlines then- Air India, Indian Airlines and Vayudoot) could operate from Kerala and thus 90% of the traffic from Kerala to the Middle East was through Mumbai putting a huge demand on train seats.

The Konkan railway was not yet functional as well, with the result that trains from the southern part of Kerala (the oldest was the Trivandrum Mumbai Jayanthi Janatha express) which went to Mumbai via Kochi ,Coimbatore ,Salem,Katpadi,Renigunta,Cuddapah,Guntakkal,Raichu r,Wadi,Solapur and Pune. I have taken this train so many times as a kid that the route still remains familiar. It used to take a whopping 46 hours in the early 1980s from Trivandrum to Mumbai. Seats were hard to get, in fact so hard to get during peak times like Christmas or Onam, that people used to camp out the previous day evening before the bookings opened (no internet, no computer reservation -only card tickets/no tatkal). The only last minute resort was the emergency quota (EQ) released a few hours before the train departure and those could be released only with the help of those having the highest influence!!

Travelling from Mangalore or Kozhikode was even worse. The Mangalore Bangalore line was not broad guage, so if you need to travel from Mangalore or Kozhikode, you had to travel all the way down to Shoranur in 2 or 3 coaches (slip coaches as they were called) which used to be attached to a south bound train and then reattached to the Trivandrum Mumbai Jayanthi Janatha Express at Shoranur. Most people from Kannur/Mangalore never bothered, they took the bus instead and hence there were larger number of buses from Kozhikode and northward via Mangalore. Even those buses went via Pune (and not directly via Panvel).

Most of the buses from Kochi to Mumbai were via Bangalore with a change of buses at Bangalore but with guaranteed seats right through. I used to travel on Sharma Trasports, they used to leave from outside their office at Grand Hotel, MG road around 6 PM and used to reach by 7 AM the next day at Kalasipalaym. The connecting bus would leave around 8 AM and would reach Pune at 4 AM and Mumbai at 8 AM. No Katraj byepass or the Pune Mumbai expressway, so the Pune alighting point was at Hotel Natraj outside Swargate. If the bus from Kerala was late, no worries, the connneecting bus would wait. At that time the IT boom had not started, so while hard to believe now, most of the bus traffic was to Mumbai. People going to Bangalore used to take the Island Express which started running I think in the late 1970s. The buses were all 2 x 2 non AC buses with push back seats- I think ALs or Tata but with bodies mostly built by Azad. No Ipods or even mobile phones then - so the onboard entertainment was movies - the old Video Tapes. On the Bangalore Mumbai segment there were about 4 or 5 of them one after the other. Dinner break on the Sharma bus was generally at Belgaum.

The other operators along with Sharma on the Kochi Mumbai route have all long gone. They included Indira Travels, SB travels, NS-RPD etc. Other than Sharma almost all the rest used to depart from Ensign agencies at Jose Junciton who also handled Conti Travels which operated up to Bangalore!!!

Now with the availability of cheap air tickets to Mumbai, plenty of flights to Middle East by a choice of airlines (not many people are aware that both Trivandrum and Calicut airports handle more international than domestic passengers) and with Konkan railway cutting down timings drastically as well making possible the increase of more train services, there is hardly any demand on an year round basis for a direct bus service. But for a few bus fanatics (myself included) who first did the bus trip in those old days, buses are still the way to go and we still do it whenever time permits - Kochi Bangalore - a break of few hours and then Bangalore Pune/Mumbai!!!!
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Old 6th June 2012, 15:22   #1808
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
there were larger number of buses from Kozhikode and northward via Mangalore.
Akbar travels of India had a kind of monopoly on the route. Another operator I remember was Canara Pinto. Akbar had a fleet of AL sutlej buses painted white or reddish pink with 'BENZY' written in big letters on the front windshield top.
As a child, I used to listen to my uncle narrating the bus journey from Mumbai to Kannur while returning from gulf. He would always prefer Akbar travels because during those days, the long night journeys used to have their share of risk and he believes Akbar is the safest with the kind of contacts and gang that they have
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Old 6th June 2012, 15:28   #1809
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

The last direct service (IIRC) from Kochi to Mumbai was Akbar travels via Calicut, Mangalore (morning departure from Kochi).
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Old 6th June 2012, 21:48   #1810
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Do you guys think these buses will have to remove the curtains and sunfilms? Would be really bad sitting next to that huge glass areas even with a super strong AC (unless you cover yourself with a blanket)
I don't think the sun film verdict of the Supreme Court will be applicable for buses. So they are safe for now.

Now for some nostalgia.

Can someone here give me updates about SKS travels, one of the major operators in the Calicut - Bangalore route in the early 90's. Their office [I believe its still there] was opposite to the Alakapuri Hotel in Jail road. Inside, they used to have pictures of the steam engine buses they owned earlier. I have fond memories of this place because I undertook my first ever long distance bus travel with them in 1992. Anyway, the last time I saw one of their buses was around 2007-08 near Edappal (under the name SKS Blue Bird). I believe they had extended their route from Blore-Clt to Edappal.

Are they well known in B'lore and do they have operations in other major routes ? They don't seem to have a website till date. Any idea if they have also graduated into the league of Volvos ?

Last edited by autotranny : 6th June 2012 at 21:51.
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Old 6th June 2012, 22:47   #1811
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There is one more non-ac operator - PSM travels. KPN also has a non-AC bus on the route..
There used to be another one, Grey Hound (Ashirwad). Are they non-operational now?
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Old 7th June 2012, 09:02   #1812
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There used to be another one, Grey Hound (Ashirwad). Are they non-operational now?
I have seen their Sivakasi-Ernakulam bus many times in Madurai.
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Old 7th June 2012, 09:14   #1813
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Can someone here give me updates about SKS travels, one of the major operators in the Calicut - Bangalore route in the early 90's. ...They don't seem to have a website till date. Any idea if they have also graduated into the league of Volvos ?
SKS Travels is still alive. I saw their bus this morning as well. They are now operating on Bangalore-Kozhikode-Tirur and Bangalore-Hyderabad routes. No Volvos yet. This is their website: SKS Bus - ticketSimply - Online Bus tickets, Online Bus Reservation

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There used to be another one, Grey Hound (Ashirwad). Are they non-operational now?
Greyhound is now operating only Ernakulam-Sivakasi and Ernakulam-Bangalore.
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Old 7th June 2012, 09:20   #1814
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by autotranny View Post
Can someone here give me updates about SKS travels, one of the major operators in the Calicut - Bangalore route in the early 90's.
Are they well known in B'lore and do they have operations in other major routes ? They don't seem to have a website till date. Any idea if they have also graduated into the league of Volvos ?
SKS is still operating buses on Bangalore-Kozhikode-Tirur and Bangalore-Hyderabad sectors. I did travel in their Bangalore-Kozhikode service a year ago. Bus condition was decent and in spite of the night ban and alternate route taken, I reached Kozhikode Palayam bus stand by 7 AM. As far as I know, they don't have any volvo buses.
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Old 8th June 2012, 10:36   #1815
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Hi folks,

I wanted to share my gf's recent experience with two private operators in trichy->chennai route. On her onward journey she took a KPN AC semi sleeper (i think Volvo). She and her colleague were in seats 3 and 4 just behind the driver compartment. From what she said, the driver was really rash, going dangerously close with lot of other vehicles and finally braked really hard to avoid a biker it seems. Her colleague who was in the aisle seat had nothing to hold on to and was thrashed into the driver compartment. She incurred some injury to her knees and lost her sandals in the mess. But, the cleaner and driver did not even bother to switch on the lights and were very nonchalant about the incident. Now, I wonder how KPN travels survives with such arrogant customer attitude. Even I have had a bad experience some three years back. They sent a volvo without the AC working and we had to suffer till halfway, and they switched us into another bus, while those in the other bus were shifted to the one we were traveling in and sent back to chennai.

Coming back to my gf's experience, on her return journey, she took K.R.T travels semi sleeper on her way back and it looked like the driver was again really rash and just minutes after she was complaining to me, she called up and said that her bus banged straight into a Maruthi Eco, parked on the shoulder. They had to take the bus to the police station and the police refused to release the bus, as they thought the driver was drunk. She had to wait for 2 and half hours in the middle of the road while they sent a spare bus from chennai. She is terrified by both these incidents and is really scared to travel by bus. I would appreciate if you guys could give some operators that are more consumer centric in the southern routes. For now, I guess the govt buses are much better, atleast they don't drive rash.

cheers

Last edited by J.B : 8th June 2012 at 10:45.
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