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Old 18th August 2012, 21:47   #2131
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@autokrat, @LPT2625, Thanks for the clarification. Didn't know this till now. What is the technical reason behind such a setup?
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A singleset of wheels is adequate to achieve legally the gross vehicle weight (18T). A single set of wheels at the rear can also be made steerable which reduces the turning effort. Do not know the specific reason why Volvo 9400XL has it the other way around. Understand the volvo 9900 is also like the Merc with the single unpowered wheel in the rear most axle.
Volvo's GVW is 19T and Merc's is 22T. But even in Volvo, technically its possible to load up to 22T (still its not over load) The tag and pusher axle are the same as front axle(axle arm, suspension setup etc) but difference is they are self centered. Its a rare scenario that pusher axle is used instead of tag and initially to reduce the cost Volvo should have opted for this.
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Old 18th August 2012, 22:14   #2132
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

A quick write up about my journey last night from BLR to Thrissur by Shama.

Shama (KA-01-AA-17) from Madiwala (Bangalore) to Thrissur on August 17, 2012:
The bus came in at 2140hrs (Scheduled departure is 2145hrs). They parked the bus outside the Shama office itself - the petrol pump was crowded heavily and it was all slushy. Boarding started immediately - being Friday before a three-day holiday, Madiwala area was entirely crowded. I got into the bus soon after most passengers got in. Mr. Sebastian was the driver for the trip. My seat was #H - the left side window seat on the second row.

The bus started off at 2204 - 19 minutes late. All 49 seats were full, and we had one cabin seat. In addition to that, the driver got in one more guy (a driver with Shama itself) and one more passenger from the way. So we had 51 passengers + 2 crew. The road was blocked everywhere - we went through Madiwala market and joined back on Hosur road. The approach to BETL was blocked - it took quite a lot of time to enter the flyover. The driver was not very aggressive - but drove at a fairly good speed. The road block after Attibelle was awful - it was blocked all the way to Hosur flyover. I slept off after we crossed Hosur.

My co-passenger behaved in a very odd manner - as if he owned the bus. He did not like the passenger on the first row reclining her seat (because, he could not keep his legs upright!!), he did not want me to use the arm-rest (because he was already using it!!). When I asked him to give me some space to keep my arm - he replied rudely that "I should not behave like a kid!". Then he shouted at the lady on the row ahead because she reclined her seat!! This bugger had reclined his seat to the maximum - so the discomfort to the guy behind is not an "issue". These kind of passengers (who think they own the bus just because they pay Rs. 1000 for the ticket) deserve to be thrown out of the bus - I'd certainly be not interested to travel with such people.

Back to the journey - I slept for most of the time. Woke up just when the bus stopped for a "bio-break" near the Coimbatore bypass toll booth - the time was around 0400hrs. I did not get off the bus - but continued sleeping. I believe there was, either no traffic block at Walayar, or the bus went through Velanthavalam. After Palakkad the bus took the route via Ottapalam. I woke up around 0600hrs - it was raining heavily outside, and the driver was driving very cautiously. The roads were very slippery, and he was being really cautious. The bus dropped a passenger at Wadakkanchery (at 0607hrs). I decided to set my seat upright - and get prepared to get off at Thrissur. I dozed off again, and woke up as the bus reached Thrissur. The cleaner came around waking up passengers getting off at Thrissur - cabin lights were switched on only as the bus was about to stop. I got off at Thrissur round, exactly at 0628hrs. The journey took 8hrs and 24 hours.

The driver honked through the night - he preferred using the horn more than the dipper. He also kept a window open - this meant that there was a lot of wind noise in the first row seats. He drove safe though - no rash braking or rash overtakes. He kept maintaining constant pace at most times. Shama is quite inconsistent these days - every experience I have with them is opposite to the previous experience. They are punctual about their timings, but the crew is a hit or miss.

The bus had some 5lakh kms on the odo - the rear suspension was making quite a lot of noise (audible in the second row from the front!). The engine did not make much noise though. This is the same bus that was damaged in a fire accident a couple of year ago - the flooring was entirely damaged. They have re-done the flooring with fire-retardant material now. One old pic of the bus attached.
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Old 20th August 2012, 17:38   #2133
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Some really detailed reviews here.

BTW anyone used the day service between Hyd - Bangalore which has been launched recently?

Cheers
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Old 21st August 2012, 09:23   #2134
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BTW anyone used the day service between Hyd - Bangalore which has been launched recently?
Are you referring to the KaSRTC day service or some other operator? If it is KaSRTC, then you may find my review in the same topic a few pages earlier, or may be you can find it on my blog (you will find it in archives of April/May 2012). [Sorry cannot post the link here]
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Old 21st August 2012, 10:32   #2135
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Yet another BLR-CBE trip in Hindusthan travels.

Boarded(last tuesday night) at Madiwala, the bus timing was prompt(11:00 pm), it was about 70% occupied. The crew were a little loud with their chit-chat, and this went on till Hosur, where they picked up a passenger who turned up late; one of the crew member rang him up to locate him. The AC was kept at 22, it was just sufficient, but not too uncomfortable.

The driving was steadfast with no horn usage at the night, and the change of driver took place at Salem, just before Omalur toll booth.

I am wondering why do they have 2 drivers for a 6 hour trip.

The bus went through Avanashi road, and the ride was rough at that stretch. Got down at Hope's college, Coimbatore by 4:30 AM.

The return trip(last night-monday) was through the same operator, and the bus arrived about 50 minutes late at the Hope's pickup point(11:50 instead of 11 PM). The shawl they gave was warm(do they do it by purpose, or was it kept near the engine compartment!?) but it was annoying when they collect it back even before electronic city. The AC was kept at 20(it felt too cold), but when i got down it was at 22. This time, the bus took the Annur-Avanashi road through the airport road.

The driver kept honking throughout the NH7. Got down at Silk board by 5:30 am.

A small water bottle is free, and in both the onward/return trip, they did not give the wet wipe/hand towel/puke bag kit.

Last edited by ramzsys : 21st August 2012 at 10:38.
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Old 21st August 2012, 10:57   #2136
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
Yet another BLR-CBE trip in Hindusthan travels.

Boarded(last tuesday night) at Madiwala, the bus timing was prompt(11:00 pm), it was about 70% occupied. The crew were a little loud with their chit-chat, and this went on till Hosur, where they picked up a passenger who turned up late; one of the crew member rang him up to locate him. The AC was kept at 22, it was just sufficient, but not too uncomfortable.

The driving was steadfast with no horn usage at the night, and the change of driver took place at Salem, just before Omalur toll booth.

I am wondering why do they have 2 drivers for a 6 hour trip.
I believe they do not have a cleaner/helper on board (I do not remember seeing one when speaking to the crew last week at Madiwala). Their buses also work "day/night" during weekends, which give very little break to the drivers and this necessitates a second driver. How would you rate their service, overall?
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Old 21st August 2012, 11:13   #2137
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
The shawl they gave was warm(do they do it by purpose, or was it kept near the engine compartment!?) but it was annoying when they collect it back even before electronic city. The AC was kept at 20(it felt too cold), but when i got down it was at 22.
I have used the same bus in Coimbatore-Bangalore route couple of months back. They collected the shawl before electronics city and was felt shivering till i reach kalasipalayam. Why cant they ask us to return it while getting down? Thought of giving this as feedback to them, but couldn't able to find a feedback mechanism in their website.

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I believe they do not have a cleaner/helper on board (I do not remember seeing one when speaking to the crew last week at Madiwala). Their buses also work "day/night" during weekends, which give very little break to the drivers and this necessitates a second driver. How would you rate their service, overall?
Buses were very clean and their office in Coimbatore-Nava india is also good. They didnt have any office in Coimbatore Omni BS. Not sure who is handling their departure in Bangalore. They also stopped in a worst motel near krishnagiri where SETC, TNSTCs and KSRTCs Sarige stops. They should avoid this and better stop in a good motel.

@ramzsys, whether they stopped in the same motel which i mentioned above? Did you noticed it?
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Old 21st August 2012, 11:36   #2138
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Why not check with Friends Travels, Madiwala? I've seen PK and Golden travels' Isuzu buses. Had travelled in PK to Thalassery once, but I don't know if they have services to Kannur.

Was it really Wadakkanchery - the place on the Shornur-Thrissur route, or Vadakkenchery - between Vaniyampara and Alathur on the NH-47? If it was the former, then your bus took the Shornur route to avoid Kuthiran. Every passing day, I hear about the horror that Kuthiran has become.
Thanks for the update on PK / Golden - did not see any AC bus apart from Golden on Redbus and the fare difference between KaSRTC Airavat and Golden was steep (540 vs 850) and hence booked KaSRTC

My apologies for the spellings - the bus did come through Kuthiran. I slept during that stretch but my wife told me the road was rough but the bus was driven very cautiously on this stretch. Kudos to the driver for his driving skills - we did not feel the bad roads much at all.

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He should have taken Mysore-Hunsur-Gonikoppal-Srimangala-Kutta-Tholpetty -Mananthavady route. Although this route is in bad condition, there are no nighttime restrictions.


He did not miss the route this time. The Airawats do go to Kannur via Telicherry.
11 AM in Kannur!! Thats way too late. I have never arrived late than 9AM even during the days when Makutta ghat road was closed for renovation.



As far as I know, Golden travels volvo is the sole private volvo on this sector now. Ashoka and PK runs A/C buses (not volvos) to Telicherry and Kannur.
Also heard about a new operator - Cauvery travels. Not much info available though. They seem to be operated by Sansui Kannur, the same agency who used to deal with Pranamam travels Isuzu buses earlier.
Thanks - I thought he missed the route as no one alighted at Telicherry and we did not even go to the bus stand!

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Cauvery is not a regular operator - they operate an old B7R during weekends. Ashoka is not running AC buses now. PK runs an Isuzu Big from Bangalore to Kozhikode via Virajpet, Iritty, Thalassery, Mahe, Vadakara. Golden is the only regular volvo operator on the Bangalore-Kannur-Payyanur-Thrikkaripur route.
Thanks - looks like it has to be Golden for the next trip.
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Old 21st August 2012, 11:40   #2139
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... The shawl they gave was warm(do they do it by purpose, or was it kept near the engine compartment!?)....
I have this experience every time when I use ARC between Chennai - Palani and vice versa. This is the only operator who gives fresh shawl for each service for all the trip I had done (not even VRL). The fresh and warm smell is always inviting when you receive the shawl. Infact in Palani - Chennai route bus starts from Pollachi which is good 60 mins before my boarding point. But still I receive the shawl with mild warm.
Its atleast put under sun during the day time and given back aganist just folding by others.
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Old 21st August 2012, 11:50   #2140
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Thanks for the update on PK / Golden - did not see any AC bus apart from Golden on Redbus and the fare difference between KaSRTC Airavat and Golden was steep (540 vs 850) and hence booked KaSRTC
The regular fare of Golden Volvo is only Rs. 630 (Bangalore to Kannur) - for that price, one gets a semi-sleeper seat in a better maintained bus. It is also one of those rare 12M (2-Axle) B9Rs. Perhaps, RedBus was listing Golden's special bus, which charges Rs. 850~900.
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Old 21st August 2012, 12:27   #2141
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. They also stopped in a worst motel near krishnagiri where SETC, TNSTCs and KSRTCs Sarige stops. They should avoid this and better stop in a good motel.
This place you mention is I believe Hotel Surya near Krishnagiri. While not the greatest, put it this way - this is not the worst either. And at that time of the morning I dont beleive there are too many options open. The KaSRTC Mercs and Volvos on the Ernakulam Bangalore route which I take stop here (although the advertised stop is a Kamat outlet but at that time I dont think that one is open). The KeSRTC (Kerala) buses to Bangalore stop at an even worst place - near a tea shop on the road side after Salem with hardly any wash room facilities.

The other point I noted is that most of the people on the trip into Bangalore do not even get down from the bus during this break. The dinner stop is most important on the long distance buses FROM Bangalore and all the KaSRTC/KPN Volvos to Kerala now stop at the highly regarded Krishna Inn/Mac/Coffee Day outlet at Shoolagiri. Now a few Kallada Volvos have also started stopping there and this results in the Krishna Inn outlet sometimes gets very crowded.

Last edited by TKMCE : 21st August 2012 at 12:29.
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Old 21st August 2012, 13:01   #2142
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The regular fare of Golden Volvo is only Rs. 630 (Bangalore to Kannur) - for that price, one gets a semi-sleeper seat in a better maintained bus. It is also one of those rare 12M (2-Axle) B9Rs. Perhaps, RedBus was listing Golden's special bus, which charges Rs. 850~900.
Which out of all the operators, do you feel has the best maintained buses? from my experience, I have rarely seen a very well maintained bus in 8 years of travel between Bangalore and Kannur. A couple of years back in one of the journeys, I could pick up 4-5 live bed bugs from the seats! Seat covers and curtains are rarely washed in any of the buses, and almost all buses rattle! (considering only Non AC buses here, but there are hardly any AC buses now)
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Old 21st August 2012, 13:50   #2143
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Which out of all the operators, do you feel has the best maintained buses? from my experience, I have rarely seen a very well maintained bus in 8 years of travel between Bangalore and Kannur. A couple of years back in one of the journeys, I could pick up 4-5 live bed bugs from the seats! Seat covers and curtains are rarely washed in any of the buses, and almost all buses rattle! (considering only Non AC buses here, but there are hardly any AC buses now)
In the past, I have travelled on PK's Non AC Semi Sleeper and Sleeper, Golden's Non AC Semi Sleeper, Kallada's Volvo, Ashoka's Non AC Semi Sleeper and now KaSRTC Volvo and echo your feelings - the Bangalore Kannur route always gets one of the worst buses in the fleet across these operators. Though amongst these, I felt Ashoka and PK were better than the rest. Have not travelled on Golden's Volvo though.
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Old 21st August 2012, 17:55   #2144
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I believe they do not have a cleaner/helper on board
While on the onward(towards CBE) journey there was no helper and the additional driver distributed the water bottle and shawl. There was another guy in the cabin who was also checking the tickets.

In the return journey there was a boy in khaki, he did the helper work. And it was an elder driver who drove throughout the trip.

Yes, i would recommend this operator over KPN, mainly because of the attitude of the KPN crew.

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Buses were very clean and their office in Coimbatore-Nava india is also good.

@ramzsys, whether they stopped in the same motel which i mentioned above? Did you noticed it?
Yes, the waiting hall at NavIndia is good: clean room with AC.

I did not see the bus stop anywhere, maybe because the bus started a good 1 hour late and there was a bit of delay at the Krishnagiri toll booth.
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Old 21st August 2012, 18:13   #2145
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This place you mention is I believe Hotel Surya near Krishnagiri. While not the greatest, put it this way - this is not the worst either. And at that time of the morning I dont beleive there are too many options open. The KaSRTC Mercs and Volvos on the Ernakulam Bangalore route which I take stop here (although the advertised stop is a Kamat outlet but at that time I dont think that one is open). The KeSRTC (Kerala) buses to Bangalore stop at an even worst place - near a tea shop on the road side after Salem with hardly any wash room facilities.

The other point I noted is that most of the people on the trip into Bangalore do not even get down from the bus during this break. The dinner stop is most important on the long distance buses FROM Bangalore and all the KaSRTC/KPN Volvos to Kerala now stop at the highly regarded Krishna Inn/Mac/Coffee Day outlet at Shoolagiri. Now a few Kallada Volvos have also started stopping there and this results in the Krishna Inn outlet sometimes gets very crowded.
I prefer Adayar Anandha Bhavan / McD stop and rest rooms present there looked clean. But the one which this guy stopped was too bad and most of the people who got down didnt move out. They were just standing near the bus and went inside once the crew came. We are paying premium fare and it is expected that operators to stop in a clean place.

KeSRTCs to other places also stop in a roadside tea shops. I have seen this with Changanaserry-Velankanni and Madurai-Kannur services. But the KeSRTC buses which originate/ends their trip from Palani stops in a clean restaurant near Pollachi.

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Yes, i would recommend this operator over KPN, mainly because of the attitude of the KPN crew.

Yes, the waiting hall at NavIndia is good: clean room with AC.

I did not see the bus stop anywhere, maybe because the bus started a good 1 hour late and there was a bit of delay at the Krishnagiri toll booth.
Crew behavior was good and it is a recommended operator. But they should change the restaurant in which they stop. They didnt add any new routes after the introduction of two routes from Coimbatore right?
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