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Old 20th June 2012, 23:53   #1876
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

News Article from today's Deccan Chronicle :

In the wake of the Sholapur bus tragedy which brought to light violations pertaining to the maintenance of passenger information by private bus operators, the Road Transport Authority conducted state-wide raids on Monday on private bus operators and their booking offices. Four joint transport commissioners, 18 Regional transport officers and 80 motor vehicle inspectors and assistance MVI’s conducted simultaneous raids in major cities of the states including Hyderabad, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Ranga Reddy districts.

The Road Transport Authority continued conducting raids on private travel agencies across the state on Monday, seizing 36 buses and booking 55.Among the buses seized, 18 belonged to Sree Kaleswari Travels alone.

The New Indian express however reports that a total of 97 buses were seized out of which 36 were owned by Sree Kaleswari 97 private buses seized after raids - The New Indian Express. I'm not sure about the actual numbers.

I saw a news item on TV9 and they were showing seized buses belonging to HKB, Omer, Sai Krishna, Sai Ganesh, Shanta Durga, Sangita etc. They were also mentioning something about SVR and Kesineni, but don't know what exactly, as I don't understand Telugu.

Now one really interesting fact I noticed is that there was no mention of Diwakar Travels. Isn't this owned by some influential politician's brother ? So maybe they have the license to flout rules.

Last edited by autotranny : 21st June 2012 at 00:00.
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Old 21st June 2012, 09:40   #1877
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When I first started travelling in these private bues, there used to be a system where a blank "passeger manifest" was passed around after the bus started and everyone had to fill in their name/age /adress and contact no. I no longer see this being followed. Computerisation may be the obvious reason but this is not fool proof. Many operators for instance splits its entire capacity among multiple travel agents (Quota system) and thus I doubt whether at short notice they will be able to produce a passenger manifest. This becomes critical in case of accidents like the unfortunate one which happened at Sholapur.

That said, many travel agents have now computerised their ticket sales atleast for their "quota seats" and they are able to have a list of people booked on each of the buses they have a quota. But as far as I know only some bus operators insist that each agent feeds in their passenger information real time to the operators system. Interestingly this is very much possible but a little additional investment is required.

Last edited by TKMCE : 21st June 2012 at 09:43.
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Old 21st June 2012, 10:47   #1878
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On the heels of the Solapur tragedy, read in the paper of a KaSRTC Merc Sleeper ramming into a truck on the Bangalore - Chennai route killing the driver and injuring some passengers... Based on the article, it appears that the driver was trying to overtake a truck and lost control of the vehicle.

For heavens sake why cant these drivers be careful? Maybe the only way these folks will drive sedately is by having roads full of potholes. And the crackdown on bus operators will purely be an eyewash and will be forgotten in no time. How many such accidents do we see every year and the regulators just turn a blind eye to these.... All for a few hundred rupees as bribes ! Remember reading a recent article which said India reports one of the highest deaths worldwide (in terms of absolute numbers and number of incidents) as far as road accidents are concerned...
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Old 21st June 2012, 10:50   #1879
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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
On the heels of the Solapur tragedy, read in the paper of a KaSRTC Merc Sleeper ramming into a truck on the Bangalore - Chennai route killing the driver and injuring some passengers... Based on the article, it appears that the driver was trying to overtake a truck and lost control of the vehicle.

For heavens sake why cant these drivers be careful? Maybe the only way these folks will drive sedately is by having roads full of potholes. And the crackdown on bus operators will purely be an eyewash and will be forgotten in no time. How many such accidents do we see every year and the regulators just turn a blind eye to these.... All for a few hundred rupees as bribes ! Remember reading a recent article which said India reports one of the highest deaths worldwide (in terms of absolute numbers and number of incidents) as far as road accidents are concerned...

My collegeue was in this bus .Now getting operated in Apollo for a broken thigh bone.Heard one more passenger who was admitted in Meenakshi hospital, Kancheepuram also died.
Accident has happened right on top of the kancheepuram overbridge.
RIP souls.
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Old 21st June 2012, 11:10   #1880
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Part of the problem is with these trucks not the buses. Many a the time very slow moving trucks crawl on the right lane forcing buses to overtake from the left.

It is ages since I came accross an instance of rash driving from KaSRTC in my trips. I am not saying that they are perfect, but considering the scale of their operation, their safety record is very good compared to many private operators. There may be a few drvers who are rash, and you also dont know who is to blame for the Kancheepuram accident as well, but without a doubt I would rate KaSRTC as one of the safest operators.

Also durring my last trip, despite the bus being half empty, during most of the night journey, the conductor on my bus was sitting in his seat next to the driver instead of going off inside to sleep. This despite the fact that the bus was not picking up any passengers after Trichur. Very responsible behavior. In the premium end of bus travel, KaSRTC is in my opinion the safest operator.
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Old 21st June 2012, 11:18   #1881
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Part of the problem is with these trucks not the buses. Many a the time very slow moving trucks crawl on the right lane forcing buses to overtake from the left.

It is ages since I came accross an instance of rash driving from KaSRTC in my trips. I am not saying that they are perfect, but considering the scale of their operation, their safety record is very good compared to many private operators. There may be a few drvers who are rash, and you also dont know who is to blame for the Kancheepuram accident as well, but without a doubt I would rate KaSRTC as one of the safest operators.

Also durring my last trip, despite the bus being half empty, during most of the night journey, the conductor on my bus was sitting in his seat next to the driver instead of going off inside to sleep. This despite the fact that the bus was not picking up any passengers after Trichur. Very responsible behavior. In the premium end of bus travel, KaSRTC is in my opinion the safest operator.
In this case collaegue tells me that the conductor was sleeping behind at the time of the accident.

cheers
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Old 21st June 2012, 11:45   #1882
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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
On the heels of the Solapur tragedy, read in the paper of a KaSRTC Merc Sleeper ramming into a truck on the Bangalore - Chennai route killing the driver and injuring some passengers... Based on the article, it appears that the driver was trying to overtake a truck and lost control of the vehicle.
KaSRTC does not operate Mercedes Sleeper buses. This has to be a seater bus. The only Mercedes bus that operates overnight from Bangalore to Chennai is the old two-axle bus. The Multi-axles operate day service from Bangalore to Chennai, and return overnight.

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In the premium end of bus travel, KaSRTC is in my opinion the safest operator.
Very true. If one can live with slightly delayed arrivals, KaSRTC is the best choice.
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Old 21st June 2012, 11:48   #1883
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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
You can consider KSRTC Airavat - single and Multi-axle Volvos.
Neeta doesn't have a very good reputation. Haven't really heard much about HBK Travels.
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Take a look at KSRTC official website. It is ksrtc.in. 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. However the departure timings are followed strictly. Whatever you do, I do not recommend NEETA.
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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). I would suggest that you avoid Neeta, especially if you are planning to buy a ticket from their website or through RedBus. 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.
I would go along with others here in recommending KaSRTC. If KaSRTC not possible then try VRL the next biggest operator on the route.
Thank you for the info about HKB. I think I'll try them out the next time when I can relax my schedule a bit.

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There are two services of MSRTC. One from Mumbai central at 12 noon and the second from Swargate Pune at 6 pm.
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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
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.
Intrestingly travel time is always lesser than the one mentioned in the website / redbus, atleast on the service I have used.
This is quite possible. My sister recently traveled from B'lore to Pune and despite them leaving a good 2 hours late, it reached Pune and then Mumbai as scheduled.


Thanks all for the advice. The overwhelming response is to take the KSRTC buses and I booked on the Airavat Club Class (Volvo AC) Multi-axle for going and coming. The fares are pretty reasonable for me and as long they stick to the timings and stop at a decent place, I'm good. I usually prefer taking the state buses; their fares are at par, their timings are the best, the services are good, quite unlike the private players.

Not surprised at Neeta being booed out. I've experienced their services many years ago on the Pune-Mumbai route and swore off them completely. They will stop EVERYWHERE and take on passengers irrespective of bus capacity. One can never know if a bus is definitely terminating at a said location or change destination enroute, with the rest of the passengers being dropped off at weird places whatever the time.
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Old 21st June 2012, 12:08   #1884
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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
KaSRTC does not operate Mercedes Sleeper buses. This has to be a seater bus. The only Mercedes bus that operates overnight from Bangalore to Chennai is the old two-axle bus. The Multi-axles operate day service from Bangalore to Chennai, and return overnight.
Well, I am only stating what was mentioned in the paper (TOI of today - page 5). So might be an error by TOI. In any case, the intent was to highlight the accident and the cause rather than the make of the bus !
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Old 21st June 2012, 12:13   #1885
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In this case collaegue tells me that the conductor was sleeping behind at the time of the accident.

cheers
It could very well be the case. In my previous trip on the same bus a couple of years ago. not only was the conductor sleeping, he had such a good sleep that he completely forgot that two passengers were supposed to get down at Hosur and had alerted him in advance. He finally woke up from his dream sleep when the pasengers shouted to stop the bus, but by that time it ad reached Attibelle! The passegners were not amused to say the least.

That said I thought I would mention the recent incident because I thought this particular conductor on my last trip (an oldish gentleman) was very responsible and such resposnbile behaviour needs to be commended.
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Old 21st June 2012, 22:59   #1886
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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
...
That said, many travel agents have now computerised their ticket sales atleast for their "quota seats" and they are able to have a list of people booked on each of the buses they have a quota....
No this is also not followed. For the past one year I travel in the same number - here its the agents name in SRM whenever I return from native.

Not to mention all the names are alike. SRM don't ask's the list of passengers. Even if they ask its not verified.

Quote:
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Part of the problem is with these trucks not the buses. ...
Off late I am getting impression that many of these high end buses are frequently getting into accidents. I am letting this statement only by looking at the population of them. Hardly there are not more than 3000 buses on road. This is from 2001 when Volvo came to India. With this number and spread over pan India, the number of buses in each area will be less.But still the news about these buses getting into accidents is become a continuous story.

Due to unrealistically pushing the buses many times, they are out of control and are beyond the control of highly advertised electronics in them.
A sedate driving, a proper implementation of laws only will be bringing the count down.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 09:51   #1887
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Ashley2

Agreed. And one of the reasons is that the private bus lobby is so strong that most of the accidents/incidents are swept under the carpet. Compare this to the publicity the Air India Regional flight which had an energency landing at Guwahati recently got (and let me hasten to add that it was a job well done by the pilots concerned), many of the horrific bus accidents in recent times hardly get a mention in the press!!!

I also have a question whether these operators have insurance cover for the passengers in case of injuries/death resulting from accident???
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Old 22nd June 2012, 10:32   #1888
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While there is always a normal % of accidents for any category of buses. Even normal AL / TM buses have met with accidents earlier and still get involved in accidents. But the case in point for Volvo / Merc buses are this % seem to be on a higher side.

While we can always maintain that traffic indiscipline, untrained drivers, road conditions etc as reasons for the accidents, my feeling is the speed at which these buses are driven is far higher than what should be the optimum speed on Indian roads considering how much "Unknown / Random Factors" influence the safety of vehicles on roads.

This is one of the reason why I feel technologies like cruise control etc. should be banned on buses, if one remembers there were a spate of accidents a year or so back involving Volvos' and most of it were when buses running on cruise control met with vehicles which took a turn onto the highway without waiting or indicating in advance.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 10:41   #1889
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Folks,
I feel that the highways should now have twice the number of traffic cops to check on overspeeding, wrong lane driving, brake lamps, wrong parking etc.
Unless the basics like these are in place or STRICTLY enforced such accidents will continue.Our cops here are busy on VIP duty or tearing away our sun films. Rome is burning......

cheers
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Old 22nd June 2012, 10:52   #1890
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This is one of the reason why I feel technologies like cruise control etc. should be banned on buses, if one remembers there were a spate of accidents a year or so back involving Volvos' and most of it were when buses running on cruise control met with vehicles which took a turn onto the highway without waiting or indicating in advance.
I didn't know this. Do all Volvos (B7R and B9R)/Mercs have cruise control?
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