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Old 18th June 2012, 16:37   #1861
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Full credit to them ,they did some phoning around and the Bharati guys informed they will go further after Madiwala if only they have enough passengers continuing beyond which on a weekday is not certain by any means. So KaSRTC , it is then and the booking agency is now a bonus.
Bharathi parks their buses at Singasandra - and hence it does not make sense for them to head to Kalasipalya if there are not enough passengers. On the other hand, Shama, Sharma, Kallada park their vehicles around Kalasipalya, and they would head there irrespective of having passengers or not.

With KaSRTC - the situation is similar. I've seen their buses terminating at Shantinagar quite often instead of heading to Majestic. But the early morning buses would surely go to Majestic.
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Old 18th June 2012, 18:56   #1862
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Unfortunately KSRTC does not have any pick up / drop points at Hinjewadi. And it is a pain to cross whole city to reach to Swargate to catch KSRTC.
Try VRL. They have a bus at 3.30 as well (which leaves Sion at 12 Noon). They have an agent next to Jagtap Diary on the highway after Hinjewadi Flyover toward Kothrud and it may be a pick up point as well. I had taken this bus from Mumbai and the bus took the byepass after Hinjewadi, past the VITS Hotel,Merc Showroom and Jagtap diary and ended up at Katraj. Since all the VRL Mumbai Bangalore busses mostly take this route, they should have a pickup somehere in Hinjewadi area. You will also get a SMS of the bus number after the bus starts from the first point (Mumbai)

As far as KSRTC is concerned, only 4 of their buses start from Mumbai (2 each from Borivali and Mumbai Central) and nothing generally arrives in Bangalore before 9 AM. Two others are from Shirdi and the rest start from Pune.

Avoid Neeta which is only good for travel from Mumbai to Pune and that too if you are in the western suburbs. From Dadar, Shivneri is better.
My colleague a few weeks back took Kesineni and he was okay except for the fact that according to him they stop at Dhaba type outlets for meals which is not of the same level of cleanliness as the ones where VRL stop (he took VRL on the other direction). They have a service which as per their website lists a Wakad boarding point at 6.35 PM. HKB is another operator with good reviews but their bus arrives at Bangalore only around noon. They also have a Wakad boarding point lsted at 9.45 PM.

Main issue with both HKB and Kesineni are that they have only one departure on the route, so if a beakdown happens you are stuck! VRL and Neeta have the most trips, and in the case of VRL, you are unlikely to get stranded in case of breakdowns as they have a pretty good set up in place . I experienced this first hand as the bus I took indeed broke down - a replacement multi axle was on the scene in an hour!.
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Old 19th June 2012, 10:58   #1863
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Here's my review of a recent trip to Chennai

Bangalore - Chennai: Booked by Roadlink Volvo based on positive reviews on Team BHP. Scheduled departure from Madiwala at 11 PM. Reached their office by 1030 PM to be pleasantly greeted by an English speaking agent... Now, thats a first in Bangalore (apart from Olivea). Clean waiting area and the bus arrived at 1035 PM. Clean B7R with AC turned on at a pleasant temperature. Bus was ~70% full and left dot on time.. Had a couple of pick ups at E City and Hosur.. Driving appeared to be quite sedate with no frequent honking / lane changing and braking. Was able to sleep quite peacefully and was dropped off at T Nagar by 430 AM. Very comfortable journey and courteous crew. The incharge at the Madiwala office inquired with every passenger on where they would like to alight, which is again not something you see often. No movies played. The crew also mentioned that they do not pick up anyone enroute as the management conducts surprise checks and if there are more passengers than booked (thru online / agents) and the same is not informed to the management, strict action is taken. This appears to be one operator that can be highly recommended - they have a very good rating on Redbus also.

For the return, booked on the 11 PM VRL Isuzu. Reached Central Station by 1030 PM and was told the bus would come at 11. The biggest issue with VRL at chennai is the lack of waiting space at Central.. You have to wait on the footpath and become a willing victim to the millions of mosquitoes.. The bus came at 1055 PM and left on time... Crew were rude at the outset... Left Koyambedu by 1140 PM after adding a few passengers. The Isuzu is showing lack of maintenance with broken AC vents, dirty curtains and creaking panels. The bus was driven quite badly and the only way the driver knew to overtake even a cycle was by blasting the horn endlessly. Some Kannada movie was played which was shut off later. AC temperature was pleasant but the driving was not. Lot of sudden brakes and rash overtakes throughout. Also had to contend with quite a bit of traffic on the highway. Was exhausted and fell asleep; awoke at 430 AM to see that we have not even reached Hosur... Finally was dropped off at Silk Board at 545 AM.. Now, this is one of the longest journeys on this leg in recent times... Sound insulation levels on the Isuzu leaves a lot to be desired and the bus is nowhere as smooth or comfortable as a Volvo... Had no power to accelerate and overtake - dont think this is an issue with the engine as the last time around on this same bus, I dint see this issue... Maybe related to maintenance.... Overall, will not recommend this bus for the quality of driving, quality of the bus and the crew.. Maybe a one off but if this is the norm, VRL is losing its reputation on this route.
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Old 19th June 2012, 11:48   #1864
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Summary of My Coimbatore-Bangalore-Coimbatore journey.

Had an official trip to Bangalore from Coimbatore. I was just checking at the various options we have in this. Tried ABT and KPN many times and i dont want to try them again. When i thought about trying something new this time, first came to my mind was newly launched Hindusthan Travels and the recently added Airawat Club Class booking in Bangalore-Coimbatore route(In Bangalore-Palghat bus). Went on and booked the tickets.

Coimbatore-Bangalore in Hidusthan Travels: - Part 1
Just roamed in CBE(Gandhipuram City BS and SETC BS) for few mins and quickly took a Annur bound bus to reach Omni BS. We dont have a city bus stop for Omni BS, so we have to get down at the nearest bus stop(GP Stop or the next stop-Forgot the name) to reach Omni BS.

It was 10.00 PM when i reached the BS. Waited for few mins and a Hindusthan Volvo KA01 AB 3483 came in, just enquired and found that it was their Chennai bound Multi Axle. It is fitted with I-Shift. So missed the first travel in I-Shift Multi Axle volvo.

Reporting time for Bangalore bound bus is 10.00 PM and the departure time is 10.15. But the bus itself came in at 10.15 PM. It was also a brand new 9400 Multi Axle with manual transmission. KA01 AB 2652 did the Coimbatore-Bangalore job and finished 30673KM on road. Got inside and grabbed my seat. Till bangalore i didnt have an adjacent passenger. So had a comfortable sleep as well. They dont have their own office in Omni BS and we have to sit in the agent's office(Shop No A11). Ticket checking and others will be done by Hindusthan Travels staffs who come with the bus from Nava India. Their main office is in Nava India(In Avinashi Road, Coimbatore).

From Omni BS, bus started moving by 10.31 PM. By now we had 17 passengers in the bus. Crews didnt have any uniforms and it didnt look professional. We reached Nava India in 15 min. Nava India Departure time is 11.00 PM, So we have to wait here for 15 more minutes. Still the Chennai bound I-Shift guy was standing here. Two people got inside the bus in Nava india and we started moving from Nava India by 10.59 PM. Now we are 19 inside the bus. In Hope college, 5 more people joined us, thus making the total to 24. One person didnt turn-up on time, so they called him and we waited for few min. Between all these they played Radio Mirchi and it played nice Ilayaraja songs. Soon after late comer came in, we started moving. FM was switched off within few minutes after we left Coimbatore.

When i wokeup in between, the bus was standing in a worst motel where our TNSTCs and 3X2 buses of KSRTC used to Stop. It is Surya restaurant which comes between Krishnagiri and Hosur.

We reached Hosur by 4.25 AM and reached finally reached Silkboard by 4.49 AM. The attender came and got all the shawls before reaching Silkboard. Early morning i have spent a lot to get an auto reach Bannerghatta road. So decided to get down in Kalasipalayam and took a regular bus to reach Bannerghatta road. Till all this i was shivering like as if i was in a freezer box. AC was switched till the end.

They could have collected the shawls similar to ABT. Stopping in a worst motel is not good point to start with. We also got a half litre water bottle. Driving is not so rash and horn usage is very normal. Within few months it got its rear indicator damaged.

Sorry for the poor quality image.
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Last edited by dhandapanik : 19th June 2012 at 11:52.
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Old 19th June 2012, 12:09   #1865
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
Here's my review of a recent trip to Chennai

Bangalore - Chennai:
For the return, booked on the 11 PM VRL Isuzu.
Speaking about this particular service, had the same experience Blr - Chn couple of months back and also mentioned in this thread. It seems this particular bus/ driver is the black sheep in other wise efficient VRL service. Had thought this was an isolated incident but now looks like you must report it to VRL so that things are changed.

This particular driver is not only rash but also a dangerous driver and if not checked may impact some one else. You can try sending them an email to their regional offices listed here - Contact Us :: VRL Logistics Ltd
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Old 19th June 2012, 12:22   #1866
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
Here's my review of a recent trip to Chennai

Bangalore - Chennai: Booked by Roadlink Volvo
Roadlink India is the best in Chennai-Bangalore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
For the return, booked on the 11 PM VRL Isuzu... Overall, will not recommend this bus for the quality of driving, quality of the bus and the crew.. Maybe a one off but if this is the norm, VRL is losing its reputation on this route.
For VRL, I would book a berth in the non-AC seater/sleeper bus instead. I've found that AshLey bus more comfortable than the Isuzu. Being FE, there will be a lot less NVH in the passenger saloon compared to an RE bus. If you need an AC coach, consider the 10:30pm KPN sleeper. Not many sleeper buses have air suspension at the front and rear, VRL and KPN have full air suspension IIRC.
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Old 19th June 2012, 13:00   #1867
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Bangalore-Coimbatore in Airawat Club Class - Part 2:
When i went to Bangalore in December 2011, we didnt have an online booking for Airawat Club Class in Bangalore-Coimbatore route. Now we got the booking in Bangalore-Palakkad bus. Took a R.No#365 volvo from JayaDeva and reached Shanthi Nagar BS around 9.10 PM. Since it is a friday, we got huge crowd waiting to board buses bound to AP, TN and KL(KaSRTC) states. That huge crowd and departures were perfectly managed by KA guys. Hats off to them. Buses were allowed to their respective platforms only before 10-15 min of their departure time.

My bus came to the platform 1 by 10.00 PM and its Scheduled Departure time is 10.05 PM. KA01 F 9354 did the Bangalore-Palakkad job. Exterior and Interiors of this Club Class was perfect. Seats were full of red. Shawl provided inside the bus was so clean.

We started moving by 10.20 PM. We are already late by 15 min. Bus was 60% full when it left Shanthi Nagar. 3 or 4 people joined us in dairy circle and 4 more people joined us in St.Johns. We reached Electronics City boarding point by 11.00 PM. It was completly full when we left electronics city. Stopped in McD near Krishnagiri for 15 min.

An Airawat had a break down some where near Salem and around 10 people joined us there. Few of them were standing in the walkway. Meanwhile Conductor gave some shawl and asked those people to use that for sitting in the walkways.

No rash driving and he used the horns only when it is required. Very friendly crew. Had a comfortable sleep and we reached Coimbatore by 5.30 AM. Journey Hours is mentioned as 6.25 hrs, but he took more than 7 hrs to complete Bangalore-Coimbatore stretch.

A recommended option in Bangalore-Coimbatore route.

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Old 19th June 2012, 16:42   #1868
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Guys,

Any suggestions on operators from Pune to Bangalore? Here is the itinerary I am thinking of.

Friday-22: Leave Pune late in the evening, post 8pm
Saturday-23: Reach Bangalore by 11-12 am. Go about my business in the day, Board the bus back by 7 pm.
Sunday-24: Get back to Pune by 10-11 am.

I looked up Redbus and HBK Travels seems the highest rated and the timings are perfect too. Any idea how their service is.

Also, MSRTC also runs AC Shivneri buses which leave at 6 as per the information in their website. Any ideas about their service and the like.

Last edited by thewhiteknight : 19th June 2012 at 16:54.
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Old 20th June 2012, 10:37   #1869
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Coolcouds - Thanks for the info regarding Greyhound. 7.15 at Bommanahlli means it is likely to reach only around 8 at Kalasiapalaym which is too late.
Saw this bus today near Madiwala at around 8.15am. May be being a weekday and rain in Kerala delayed the bus further.
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Old 20th June 2012, 10:57   #1870
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It was raining but not too badly. 10 min on/10 min off type. I took the 1828 Ernakulam Bangalore Merc Multi Axle with boarding point at Alwaye. As per KeSRTC their buses will reach Alwaye in 21 min from Ernakulam which is an impossibility, Bus reached at 1910 instead. Was the only person boarding at Alwaye.Bus was barely 40% full. Very clean and driven well as well but in the usual leisurely pace. Dinner at Jubilee Hotel after Angamaly and a 15 min tea break around 5 Am at Surya Hotels between Krishnagiri and Hosur. Two traffic blocks of around 20 min each, one before the Coimbatore Bye Pass and another at the Attibelle Toll meant that the bus reached Madiwala at 6.15 and Majestic (via Shanti Nagar) at 6.50. Still it suited my purpose of making it ot office by 9 AM (first time in last 4 attempts) and I guess I will stick to this service from now on. The booking agency and boarding point at Aluva as well as the attractive fare - 850 Rs is a big plus!!!

Recommended if you need an early arrival at BLR. Scheduled timings are EKM BUS stand at 1828, Aluva Bye Pass at 1849 and Trichur at 2040 . No other bus stations (but this particular bus has a scheduled pick up at Divine Retreat after Chalakkudy as well!).
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Old 20th June 2012, 11:02   #1871
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by thewhiteknight View Post
Guys,

Any suggestions on operators from Pune to Bangalore? Here is the itinerary I am thinking of.

Friday-22: Leave Pune late in the evening, post 8pm
Saturday-23: Reach Bangalore by 11-12 am. Go about my business in the day, Board the bus back by 7 pm.
Sunday-24: Get back to Pune by 10-11 am.

I looked up Redbus and HBK Travels seems the highest rated and the timings are perfect too. Any idea how their service is.

Also, MSRTC also runs AC Shivneri buses which leave at 6 as per the information in their website. Any ideas about their service and the like.
You can consider KSRTC Airavat - single and Multi-axle Volvos. There are plenty services that start from Swargate.

What time do you have work in B'lore? Leaving Pune post 8pm might not be a very good idea as the entry point in B'lore tends to get crowded as the day progresses.

Similarly, plenty services from KSRTC for B'lore - Pune. I would suggest KSRTC strongly.

Neeta doesn't have a very good reputation. Haven't really heard much about HBK Travels.
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Old 20th June 2012, 12:25   #1872
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by thewhiteknight View Post
Guys,
Any suggestions on operators from Pune to Bangalore? Here is the itinerary I am thinking of.
Friday-22: Leave Pune late in the evening, post 8pm
Saturday-23: Reach Bangalore by 11-12 am. Go about my business in the day, Board the bus back by 7 pm.
Sunday-24: Get back to Pune by 10-11 am.
Take a look at KSRTC official website. It is ksrtc.in. You need not be a member to have a look at the schedules. There are services from Pune at intervals of approximate 1 hr. There main boarding point is Swargate Bus Station, but you can board the bus from various locations.
Also the booking agents are present at Yeravda, Swargate, Kothrud, Chinchwad, Nigdi and many other places. I personally recommend this service from my previous experiences.
The total traveling timings given there are always exceeded by around 0.5 to 1 hr. Plan your journey accordingly. However the departure timings are followed strictly.
Whatever you do, I do not recommend NEETA.
Have a nice journey.
Cheers.
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Old 20th June 2012, 14:33   #1873
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Guys,

I looked up Redbus and HBK Travels seems the highest rated and the timings are perfect too. Any idea how their service is.

Also, MSRTC also runs AC Shivneri buses which leave at 6 as per the information in their website. Any ideas about their service and the like.
HKB (not HBK) is a small operator , one of those those who has been around for a long time (atleast 8 years) but who gets high ratings consistently in the routes they operate (which is mainly between Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai). While i have never tried thier service personally, their buses look well maintained. It is their Mumbai Bangalore service which operates via Pune, so you may have to spend some time hanging arund at the boarding point waiting for the bus to arrive. They have only one frequency in each direction.

Same for MSRTC. It is their Mumbai service which run via Pune. Main difference between the two is that MSRTC is a B7R (single axle) while HKB has a multi axle operation.

I would suggest that you avoid Neeta, especially if you are planning to buy a ticket from their website or through RedBus. a, You will wait a long time for the bus to arrive , much longer than the other two since Neeta generally delays the bus to fill up emoty seats between Mumbai and Pune. And B, to make it worse, generally the local offices and agents are not at all helpful if you have a eticket (many of their agents have notices pasted saying they cannot help with eticket queries!).


The only advantage for taking Neeta is if you are in the Hinjewadi area and you dont want to go all the way to Swargate or Katraj. Neeta has a boarding point there but as I mentioned in that case you better take a ticket from their agent in that area and not an eticket, since in case there is a delay /cancellation the agent will hopefully help you with an alternate !!!

I would go along with others here in recommending KaSRTC for the main reason that especially in the evenings, it is ideal that you take a Pune originating bus to Bangalore and a BOM starting one. The buses are also well maintained.

If KaSRTC not possible then try VRL the next biggest operator on the route. Only issue is again their buses all start from BOM. Compared to Sharma, another big operator, VRL is one notch ahead.
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Old 20th June 2012, 16:01   #1874
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE
Same for MSRTC. It is their Mumbai service which run via Pune. Main difference between the two is that MSRTC is a B7R (single axle).
There are two services of MSRTC. One from Mumbai central at 12 noon and the second from Swargate Pune at 6 pm. both these buses start from Majestic at 4.30 pm and 6 pm respectively.
Both this buses are 41 seater B7R semi-sleeper variants. These are privately owned buses with poor maintenance. There are very few direct passengers in this service and so for route viability, each and every major town on the way is catered and the bus acts as a stage Carrier. This tends to delay the bus.
The conductor on this bus is State transport employee while the driver is of the private owner. The diesel expense is under MSRTC scope whilst the maintenance is the private parties headache.
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Old 20th June 2012, 16:53   #1875
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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...
If KaSRTC not possible then try VRL the next biggest operator on the route. Only issue is again their buses all start from BOM. Compared to Sharma, another big operator, VRL is one notch ahead.
There are services from Pune also - IIRC its 1630 service.
Though the service is quite good they dont offer even a water bottle for such a long journey. But their boarding point in Katraj is good with all the aminities.
Intrestingly travel time is always lesser than the one mentioned in the website / redbus, atleast on the service I have used.
I have extensively used VRL, National, Sharma and all are equally good in terms of crew, bus quality and enroute hotels. You can choose any one based on timing and availability.
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