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Old 21st August 2012, 19:07   #2146
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Is there any direct bus service between Kottayam and Pondicherry? (Non-Volvo)

Thanks for any info regarding the above
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Old 21st August 2012, 19:35   #2147
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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?
There are getting more buses very soon. Some 6 buses are getting ready at Volvo, according to very reliable sources.
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Old 21st August 2012, 20:09   #2148
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Did a BLR- Kunadpur and return recently. This was a planned trip to Kollur and we booked the Durgamba multi axle bus. It came exactly at 9.05PM at Madivala on 17th Friday. The bus was neat and did lot of stops till 10.30PM (which is the last pickup in BLR). Bus driven nicely and we reached Udupi around 6AM and reached Kundapur around 7AM. Took a taxi to Kollur as it was heavily raining. Our return trip was on 19th and booked the same Durgamba multi. Bus came at 8.10PM and reached BLR EC around 6.15AM. There is no rash driving and crew was very polite. My daughter vomitted while the bus was passing through Shiradi ghats and there was plastic cover given for all seats. Overall a nice trip .

Gopi.
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Old 21st August 2012, 20:14   #2149
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[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.]

Very true .. I have faced this several times. Once travelling by Viji Yatra volvo to Chengannur, I even asked for a back seat and shifted from my original front seat due to a simialr passenger who wants to occupy and use anything near to him. Now a days , I am not using the common arm rest and try to keep my arm rest on my thighs/stomach etc...
Gopi

Last edited by shalini_g : 21st August 2012 at 20:16.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 10:39   #2150
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by smashnerd View Post
Is there any direct bus service between Kottayam and Pondicherry? (Non-Volvo)

Thanks for any info regarding the above
To the best of my knowledge the answer is NO (any type of service/operator). You have to come to Ernakulam and connect.

From Ernakulam the best option (and the most expensive one) is the Multi Axle Merc by Parveen Travels which is their Ernakulam Chennai service. Leaves Ernakulam by 4 PM and will reach Pondicherry by 3.30 -4 AM. My family has used it and has very good feedback.

There is also a Kallada Multi Axle Volvo on the same routing and same timings (atleast on paper from Ernakulam). Will be able to give you the feedback in the next couple of weeks. Fare is slightly (50-100 Rs) cheaper than Parveen.

Then there is Universal Travels who has a Multi Axle Volvo at 5 PM from Ernakulam. This is a Pondicherry terminating bus and according to one regular user who I met, this bus reaches only around 8.30 - 9 AM but he prefers this one because at 3.30- 4 AM when the other two arrive apparently getting a hotel room so early in the morning is next to impossible

Universal also has a seater cum sleeper at 4.45 PM and the cheapest option is the SETC - Tamil Nadu "Ultra Deluxe" leaving at 4 PM and costing 465 Rs. But be careful of the SETC buses. While there are some newer buses on some routes there are a lot of others which gives the words "Stone Age Relics" a new meaning altogether!!!
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Old 22nd August 2012, 11:38   #2151
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post

the cheapest option is the SETC - Tamil Nadu "Ultra Deluxe" leaving at 4 PM and costing 465 Rs. But be careful of the SETC buses. While there are some newer buses on some routes there are a lot of others which gives the words "Stone Age Relics" a new meaning altogether!!!
Couldnot help laughing out loudly after reading the Stone age relics. Absolutely true. I am still puzzled as to why the TN- SETC doesnot want to change with times.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 12:37   #2152
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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
the cheapest option is the SETC - Tamil Nadu "Ultra Deluxe" leaving at 4 PM and costing 465 Rs. But be careful of the SETC buses. While there are some newer buses on some routes there are a lot of others which gives the words "Stone Age Relics" a new meaning altogether!!!
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Couldnot help laughing out loudly after reading the Stone age relics. Absolutely true. I am still puzzled as to why the TN- SETC doesnot want to change with times.
Such a contrasting state of government-run inter city buses in the South. On one hand, you have KaSRTC and APSRTC with the latest fleet of Volvos, Mercs, Isuzus and Coronas which provide levels of comfort at par with any private operator. Even KaSRTC's Rajahamsa buses are clean and quite comfortable. And at the other end, you have SETC with their rattletrap fleet of so called Ultra Deluxes and KeSRTC who still run the red and green "dabbas" on long distance routes. Was sitting in Thrissur bus stand last week and was amazed looking at the abysmal state of KeSRTC's fleet, even for long routes such as Ernakulam - Bangalore and Trivandrum - Bangalore where most buses have a 3+2 configuration with no reclining seats. The less said about the state of buses for short hauls (which even in 2012 sport tarpaulin window shutters which are tied using a piece of rope on the inside and seats with backrests as thin as a Marie biscuit) the better !
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Old 22nd August 2012, 13:26   #2153
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I travel regulary from Shanti Nagar Bus Stand in Bangalore. What aroonanand mentioned is so clearly seen there everyday. Platform 1 is KaSRTC - Well maintained buses depart one after the other . Same for Platforms 3 and 4 which is shared by KaSRTC and APSRTC for buses to Andhra . Same story - all well maintained buses. Platform 2 you have SETC and it is sad to see the sad state of some of these "pathetic" buses going all the way to Nagercoil, Kanyakumari etc.


Way back in the early 1980s I used to trael TTC (Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation). The situation was so different. These guys were the PATHBREAKERS. 2 X 2 Push Back seats with Video (no DVDs - you had those old fashioned Video Cassete Recorders). As a kid I used to travel Trivandrum Chennai - I even remember the route number - 794. We used to be so excited travelling on those buses. TTC had its own bus stands in places like Trichy and Coimbatore. I remember the Trichy bus stand - between 11 -2 in the night the bus stand was teeming with activity. In Chennai , their base was at Parry's corner. An exellent set up with computerised counters (they were one of the first to introduce computerised -not internet- reservations), snack shops, even counters where you could purchase the TTDC and ITDC conducted tours. And there were some good drivers too. I remember once takng a SETC "Air Bus" around 2001 and reaching Trivandrum in 15 hours .

But by that time the service had detiorated so much that people had shifted to RMT (Rathi Meena Travels) who still holds a good market share on the Chennai Trivandrum, route despite the new entrants like Jeppiar and especially SRM. RMT on Chennai Trivandrum is a classic example of what SETC could have been, retaining loyal customers, maintaining a consistent product (their Trivandrum Chennai buses branded "Kathakali" and "Padmapuri" have now evolved from the old Non AC 2 x2 to Multi Axle Volvos). Recently when I was at Koyambedu and came accross these buses, memories started flooding back.

The same with SETC, only thing, it is now sadness that things have just come down to such a sad state. TTC was an operator which sparked off my passion for long distance bus travel with their buses on Trivandrum - Chennai, an interest which has remained to this day!! Here is to wishing that SETC (the latest TTC avatar) gets back its old glory some day. And if it does so be rest assured here will be one old customer who will have no hesitation in shifting back.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 13:37   #2154
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
Such a contrasting state of government-run inter city buses in the South. On one hand, you have KaSRTC and APSRTC with the latest fleet of Volvos, Mercs, Isuzus and Coronas which provide levels of comfort at par with any private operator. Even KaSRTC's Rajahamsa buses are clean and quite comfortable. And at the other end, you have SETC with their rattletrap fleet of so called Ultra Deluxes and KeSRTC who still run the red and green "dabbas" on long distance routes. Was sitting in Thrissur bus stand last week and was amazed looking at the abysmal state of KeSRTC's fleet, even for long routes such as Ernakulam - Bangalore and Trivandrum - Bangalore where most buses have a 3+2 configuration with no reclining seats. The less said about the state of buses for short hauls (which even in 2012 sport tarpaulin window shutters which are tied using a piece of rope on the inside and seats with backrests as thin as a Marie biscuit) the better !
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
I travel regulary from Shanti Nagar Bus Stand in Bangalore. What aroonanand mentioned is so clearly seen there everyday. Platform 1 is KaSRTC - Well maintained buses depart one after the other . Same for Platforms 3 and 4 which is shared by KaSRTC and APSRTC for buses to Andhra . Same story - all well maintained buses. Platform 2 you have SETC and it is sad to see the sad state of some of these "pathetic" buses going all the way to Nagercoil, Kanyakumari etc.


Way back in the early 1980s I used to trael TTC (Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation). The situation was so different. These guys were the PATHBREAKERS. 2 X 2 Push Back seats with Video (no DVDs - you had those old fashioned Video Cassete Recorders). As a kid I used to travel Trivandrum Chennai - I even remember the route number - 794. We used to be so excited travelling on those buses. TTC had its own bus stands in places like Trichy and Coimbatore. I remember the Trichy bus stand - between 11 -2 in the night the bus stand was teeming with activity. In Chennai , their base was at Parry's corner. An exellent set up with computerised counters (they were one of the first to introduce computerised -not internet- reservations), snack shops, even counters where you could purchase the TTDC and ITDC conducted tours. And there were some good drivers too. I remember once takng a SETC "Air Bus" around 2001 and reaching Trivandrum in 15 hours .

But by that time the service had detiorated so much that people had shifted to RMT (Rathi Meena Travels) who still holds a good market share on the Chennai Trivandrum, route despite the new entrants like Jeppiar and especially SRM. RMT on Chennai Trivandrum is a classic example of what SETC could have been, retaining loyal customers, maintaining a consistent product (their Trivandrum Chennai buses branded "Kathakali" and "Padmapuri" have now evolved from the old Non AC 2 x2 to Multi Axle Volvos). Recently when I was at Koyambedu and came accross these buses, memories started flooding back.

The same with SETC, only thing, it is now sadness that things have just come down to such a sad state. TTC was an operator which sparked off my passion for long distance bus travel with their buses on Trivandrum - Chennai, an interest which has remained to this day!! Here is to wishing that SETC (the latest TTC avatar) gets back its old glory some day. And if it does so be rest assured here will be one old customer who will have no hesitation in shifting back.
Entirely echo TKMCE's views. TN bus transport used to be the best in the country, whether in the frequency of services, quality of buses or innovation. We used to laugh at the poor state of STCs in the neighbouring States. Toilet buses, AC buses, 2x2 seating, long-distance services, "air" buses, sleepers, music, TV, etc - everything started in the TN TTC (as it used to be called then). I also used to love the Trivandrum-Madras bus service - travelled in it many times in the mid & late '70s - which used to be the longest service in TTC then and which service used to see many innovations. But successive decades of corruption has completely erodes their quality and I am sure the local politicos have considerable stakes in the private bus services - so, like Air India was killed by a few Aviation Ministers to suit their private airlines, politicians in TN have killed the TTC (now SETC). However, as far as the "janata" bus services are concerned (cheap, public inter-city bus transport), TN is second to none (happily, these are not run by SETC).
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Old 22nd August 2012, 14:17   #2155
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
I travel regulary from Shanti Nagar Bus Stand in Bangalore. What aroonanand mentioned is so clearly seen there everyday. Platform 1 is KaSRTC - Well maintained buses depart one after the other . Same for Platforms 3 and 4 which is shared by KaSRTC and APSRTC for buses to Andhra . Same story - all well maintained buses. Platform 2 you have SETC and it is sad to see the sad state of some of these "pathetic" buses going all the way to Nagercoil, Kanyakumari etc.

TTC also had the movie theater style buses with seats positioned like a theater (back seats were positioned higher, at increasing heights) on the Shengottah-Madras(route # 284 ??) and the Down south buses. Sadly that is also gone.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 22:33   #2156
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To the best of my knowledge the answer is NO (any type of service/operator). You have to come to Ernakulam and connect.
There is also a Kottayam-Chennai Kallada Multiaxle via Kumily. Not sure whether this is better or going to EKM better. Also heard Sona will be starting a Kottayam-Chennai shortly, not sure about the route.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 23:13   #2157
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There is also a Kottayam-Chennai Kallada Multiaxle via Kumily. Not sure whether this is better or going to EKM better. Also heard Sona will be starting a Kottayam-Chennai shortly, not sure about the route.
The Kottayam Chennai bus will be useful if the routing is via Pondicherry only. And Sona was operarting the route earlier but with an Izuzu. Now I believe they are replacing with a Multi Axle Volvo. the bus was parked in Aluva a couple of weeks back.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 06:23   #2158
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Originally Posted by teamveevee
There is also a Kottayam-Chennai Kallada Multiaxle via Kumily. Not sure whether this is better or going to EKM better. Also heard Sona will be starting a Kottayam-Chennai shortly, not sure about the route.
Sona's Ernakulam-Chennai Isuzu used to take Krishnagiri route.
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Old 24th August 2012, 08:35   #2159
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Did a quick 1-day trip to Bapatla and back. The trip had to commence at a short notice so, berths in trains were out of question. A quick check in RedBus revealed a couple of operators plying on the route; Morning Star, Sri Sambhavi Orange Bus Service and Kesineni's Volvo. Opted for the Volvo at Rs 500/- per ticket and a scheduled pick up of 23:30 hours near Ashtalakshmi Temple Arch at Dilsukhnagar.

Mom & I reached the pickup point at around 22:50 hours - From 22:50 till about 23:40 when our VL-196 service finally arrived, there was continuous action on the highway with a steady stream of private buses and APSRTC services headed to coastal Andhra.
A steady stream of Kesineni services (A/C Sleepers, Multi Axle B9Rs and B7Rs) regularly pulled up at the pick up point, headed towards Amalapuram, Visakhapatnam, Ongole and Chennai.

A dated B7R was working the VL-196 service, and the age was beginning to show. The A/C was effective, but every time the driver floored the accelerator, a hissing sound akin to a milk boiler on full boil, was heard. Bottle holders especially in the last set of rows were missing. We got two seats on the last but one row, and I made myself comfortable on the last row, as it empty. And by the way, after the bus started, the attendant came in with a printed sheet of paper and took our mobile phone numbers and signatures, against our respective seat numbers. This is something that I never observed during my numerous travels to Bangalore on board an APSRTC Mercedes Benz.

Couldn't quite sleep till the tea break at Miryalguda, which came in at around 02:15. Saw a lot of Morning Star buses parked there - looks like Morning Star operates quite a lot of schedules on the Hyderabad - Vijayawada/Guntur sector.

Reached Guntur at 04:50 and stayed there for about 20 minutes - picked up a couple of PAX mid way and headed on towards Ponnur, amidst the lush green countryside and finally got down at Bapatla Old Bus Stand at 06:20 hours. The schedule was maintained to the dot.

Got back from Bapatla to Vijayawada by the Pinakini express that evening and took a Dhanunjaya Travels 2 + 1 A/C "Classy" Service from Benz Circle at around 23:50 hours(COst: Rs 500/-). It was a regular AL Front Engine Bus, that came in from Edurulanka. Got an individual seat on the left side of the bus, and was impressed by the quality of the interiors. We left at around 0015, and stopped for a short while near the city outskirts at 0045. I slept off and was expecting to hit Dilsukhnagar somewhere around 0545 hours (That was the scheduled time as per Dhanunjaya), but was surprised, and even mildly annoyed to get off the bus at Dilsukhnagar bus stand at 0420. That means a distance of around 270 odd kms covered in 4 hours flat.

Pretty much happy with Dhanunjaya and would like to travel with them in the future. Not complaining about Kesineni as well - they were equally professional, and maintained the schedules to the dot.
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Old 24th August 2012, 10:47   #2160
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Way back in the early 1980s I used to trael TTC (Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation). The situation was so different. These guys were the PATHBREAKERS.
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Entirely echo TKMCE's views. TN bus transport used to be the best in the country, whether in the frequency of services, quality of buses or innovation. We used to laugh at the poor state of STCs in the neighbouring States.
Can't agree more! I was a regular on the Tuticorin - Chennai route between 1983 - 88. And what buses they were! There were services by RVN and Rathi Meena as well, but we would as readily choose the TTC as the private omni buses. Buses were new and well maintained, and it was so nice to see the pride the crew had about their jobs! Those were the golden days of MGR rule! Not only the TTC, but all the STCs in TN, even the PTC of Chennai bloomed during those days. Guys from other states would not believe they really were traveling in a Govt bus! I even remember staring open mouthed at a TTC A/C service in the Chennai - Nagapattinam route as a 12 year old in the early seventies!

We really used to chuckle upon seeing the ramshackle contraptions of other STCs when we waited in the bus stand! Well, life has come full circle now and the TTC (now SETC) is the laughing stock!
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