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Old 8th September 2012, 11:00   #2221
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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There is no damage of reputation and it is a puzzle why some people cannot still come to terms with reality!!! The same people have no problem paying premum rates for prime time shows in multiplexes where the morning shows are discounted.
I know you would disagree, but it is a fact that reputation is harmed.


There are many price conscious routes where even an increase of one rupee drives off passengers from an operator - may be since we all are used to subsidies in everything.
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Old 8th September 2012, 11:43   #2222
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Binai

Personal agreements/disagreements aside....I have played this game and for the person playing it, it is a high stakes game ....As you said reputation may get harmed and the worst scenario for a revenue manager is to play the game and then end up with egg on his/her face when the departure leaves half empty.......


But that said, if we do not have differential pricing, what happens....

a You know for sure most of the mid week departures go half empty. Even for those operators with a "stable" pricing policy - one price all days .... there is un official discounting taking place most times...esp through agents ... Only the web price may be "constant". In the end because you are keeping the web price constant and not being honest about it (about discounting elsewhere), if you as a pasenger in the end find out that you paid more than everyone else in a half empty bus...again you get upset and royally upset... Far better to have a honest pricing on the web as well which SRS, VRL etc do. In fact not many people remember the 99 Rs ticket on Pune Mumbai by Raj National Express or 1 Re ticket + taxes ( as low as 250 Rs) by Air Deccan.

Were these gimmicks ?- NO - they were not - they were genuine attempts to dispose of what the industry (bus or plane - the principles are same - rail not as much- because of monopoly) calls distress inventory.

The other off shoot of this "stable pricing policy" is that in many cases the operators will be forced to cancel their services at the last minute because of limited load. KPN is the best example of that - their mid week departures are such a lottery that it is not worth booking on them.

b I am a regular user of KaSRTC. I am very loyal to them but that said because of their "stable pricing polcy" I get irritated to the extreme because in many cases I cannot book one month out before departure and as a result I can never ever hope to get a seat on them on weekends despite the fact that I would have gladly paid a mark up to travel on them... In other words this results in demand being turned away - not the other way round. And the turned away demand is mostly people who are loyal customers but those who cannot book one month out.


c In the end finally the service has to be profitable. It is obvious that not all departures can be profitable esp mid week. Naturally this has to be compensated by revenues much more than break even on peak week end departures. There is nothing wrong in that.


And finally just to let you know that even KaSRTC one of the last people to have stable pricing is now doing Peak Time pricing. Last year they increased prices for XMas-New Year period for Mumbai Mangalore and Mumbai- Bangalore routes on their regular services. Passengers were informed well in advance through a website notification and most importantly they managed it properly - it was not a blanket increase but directional (departures into Mangalore till Christmas and out of Mangalore after Christmas). This is the way to go and all - operator as well as passengers were happy.


And let me conclude by saying this. In the end if the route does not make money, (and it will be difficult if you have a stable pricing policy), then the operator makes losses.. And once losses become unsustainable then they pull out. And reduction of competition means increase of fares and the biggest loosers will be passengers.

You have already seen this in domestic air routes, where with the exit of Air Deccan and now Kingfisher, the air fares are at very high levels. If we persist in sticking to outdated obsolete concepts (no doubt an inheritance of the Raj but Brits had abandoned the same and moved on long long back), you will soon end up with the same situation in bus travel also.

Last edited by TKMCE : 8th September 2012 at 11:58.
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Old 8th September 2012, 13:24   #2223
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Olivea which is only Rs 1800/- with all the goodies they 'promise'.
Olivea has such a lousy timing-not sure they did their market research properly before deciding on their schedule.A day service leaving Hyd at 7am or so and reaching Blore in the evening is a disaster.Their timing in the reverse direction is still better with a night departure from Bangalore.But I guess they are digging their grave with a pickup and drop off only at Hitec City.For Hyderabadis,its almost like travelling to the airport for an early morning flight.
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Old 8th September 2012, 13:49   #2224
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How to cope up with 'smell' pollution on the modern long distance A/C buses with fixed glass? Last time the guy sitting next to me had smelly socks and I almost fainted. Also passengers bring foods with very punget odour on board and make life of others uneasy.
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Old 8th September 2012, 14:11   #2225
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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But I guess they are digging their grave with a pickup and drop off only at Hitec City.For Hyderabadis,its almost like travelling to the airport for an early morning flight.
Only Hitec city pick up and drop, ain't that wonderful. The real Hyderabadis stay in or around the Hitec city and Miyapur only. Good luck to Oliviea.

I saw one of their buses at Alwyn Junction two weeks back. It was looking in bad shape, wonder how good the interiors are !
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Old 8th September 2012, 22:02   #2226
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Default KaSRTC Airavat Bangalore - Palghat Special

Booked this special service in a hurry, because my regular bus (KSRTC BLR-PLKD Super Deluxe) was already completely booked.
About the bus:
- Mark-II B7R. KA-01-F-8518 (IIRC)
- Clean interiors
- Engine NVH was very less.
- Except for a few dents and scratches, the body was fine
- The recline mechanism for many seats were a tad too tight to operate
- Blankets and water bottle were provided. Blankets didn't smell fresh

The bus was scheduled to depart from Shantinagar bus depot at 21:37hrs. It started on time. Was inching along till the E-City toll. Then, the bus started hitting 60kmph. Went on like that till Shoolagiri, where there was a 30 min break. Such a long break was rather unnecessary, IMO. Started moving at midnight. The driver was lugging the engine all along. Crossed Neelambur at 5:05, and Madukkarai at 5:36. Crossed Walayar at 5:50. Reached Palakkad depot at 6:47.

Though the trip was comfortable, I would've liked it better if they dropped me at least an hour earlier than this. Though it's not an apples to apples comparison, my regular bus would leave Madiwala by 21:45hrs, and drop me at Palakkad before 06:10hrs. Another Airavat service, the regular one that leaves Shantinagar at 22:15hrs (IIRC) reached Palakkad at 6:50. I'm a sucker for minimum travel time (but not at the expense of safety). KaSRTC has failed me in all my trips to Kerala and back.
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Old 8th September 2012, 22:26   #2227
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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The real Hyderabadis stay in or around the Hitec city and Miyapur only.
That's quite an interesting quote! Wonder what made you say that! Care to explain please? Couldn't quite get the connection between "real Hyderabadis" and Hitec City and Miyapur. What about the folks who stay in the other parts of the city?
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Old 8th September 2012, 23:06   #2228
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Only Hitec city pick up and drop, ain't that wonderful. The real Hyderabadis stay in or around the Hitec city and Miyapur only. Good luck to Oliviea.
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That's quite an interesting quote! Wonder what made you say that! Care to explain please? Couldn't quite get the connection between "real Hyderabadis" and Hitec City and Miyapur. What about the folks who stay in the other parts of the city?
I can safely assume that our friend autotranny said that in jest and sarcasm.

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I saw one of their buses at Alwyn Junction two weeks back. It was looking in bad shape, wonder how good the interiors are !
All their buses that I've seen recently, look run down. Have read and heard reviews about very recent trips made in Olivea buses, and all of them echo the same thing - rattling, squeaky buses with hardly any facility that they boast about, in working/usable condition, and the spacious captain seats being the only saving grace.
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Old 9th September 2012, 00:09   #2229
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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I can safely assume that our friend autotranny said that in jest and sarcasm.
, Very Much


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Originally Posted by PVS View Post
That's quite an interesting quote! Wonder what made you say that! Care to explain please? Couldn't quite get the connection between "real Hyderabadis" and Hitec City and Miyapur. What about the folks who stay in the other parts of the city?
No offence meant Sir. I was just pulling Ranjith's leg because I know that he stays on the other side of the town.

Incidently, I live in Miyapur and I have to bear the brunt of being a distant resident when buses have pickup points only in MG Bus stand or Lakdi ka Pul. So for once I felt important.
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Old 9th September 2012, 07:53   #2230
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

@TKMCE - I agree to your point if there is some moderate increase in ticket fare. But often this is exorbitant and many cant afford to it. Also I do have a view that, if the fares are increased during weekends always, it considerably increases monthly travel budget. I travel twice/thrice a month from Chennai to Palani and obviously this will only be during the weekends. Say if KPN / SRM / ARC has a flat ticket fare, my first choice will be them. Only if there is no ticket fare I will look beyond. And at times I look beyond and take others in contingency but not regularly. So I will definitely be under impression that I am looted as I was not assertive. So next time I will book my tickets well in advance and ensure I get tickets in those 3.

Quoting a Example - last week SRS charged Rs.1200(more than double the regular fare of Rs.540) between Palani - B'lore. Its a Non AC sleeper. I was in my friends booking office - he his handling SRM, Parveen, SRS, KTC and Kallada, many have come asked for the ticket price and was puzzled and infact one lady started to curse him as he is charging more. Then we need to explain her that we have tickets at Rs.510 (Parveen) also, but its booked and this is other bus and we have nothing to do.
No idea how much she understood, but we are clear that she will not come next time.

Last edited by Ashley2 : 9th September 2012 at 07:56.
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Old 9th September 2012, 16:17   #2231
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A Cauvery travels Volvo on the Bangalore Calicut route which left Bangalore on Friday night had an accident near Channapatna. Apparently the bus was just pulling out after the dinner stop when a lorry dashed into the bus. One Engineer, who incidentally was returning after a job interview and whose marriage was to be held today (Sunday) died on the sport and another 3 people were injured as per Malayala Manorama of today. A very sad incident,
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Old 10th September 2012, 08:08   #2232
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@TKMCE - I agree to your point if there is some moderate increase in ticket fare. But often this is exorbitant and many cant afford to it.
As some one already mentioned "demand driven pricing" is acceptable in Airline and Hospitality sectors. Now the intercity bus travel is becoming more and more organized in India, this will become a common practice with Bus travel also. It has it own advantages too. Since we know the weekend travel will be more expensive, those who are not working could travel during week-days and save money. This will help to distribute the traffic. Those who are working, probably wont mind paying extra for the weekend trip. If you ask me, whether it is fair, i do not know the answer, but there is nothing wrong with it either.
I am not sure whether, this demand driven pricing model is built in to the bus ticketing/reservation system. ie Based on demand, the price will be adjusted automatically.

Last edited by teamveevee : 10th September 2012 at 08:10.
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Old 10th September 2012, 09:27   #2233
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As some one already mentioned "demand driven pricing" is acceptable in Airline and Hospitality sectors. Now the intercity bus travel is becoming more and more organized in India, this will become a common practice with Bus travel also. It has it own advantages too. Since we know the weekend travel will be more expensive, those who are not working could travel during week-days and save money. This will help to distribute the traffic. Those who are working, probably wont mind paying extra for the weekend trip. If you ask me, whether it is fair, i do not know the answer, but there is nothing wrong with it either.
Flexible pricing is certainly a good idea - but only as long as the pricing is fair and transparent. There are many operators who give a Rs. 50 discount on working days, and simply double their fares on weekends.

I'll give you the example of SRS Travels - They charge Rs. 700 for BLR-Hyderabad on working days. (The market rate is 700~850). But on weekends, they jack it up to Rs. 1199 (for long weekends, they take it up to 1500/1900). Charging a premium on weekends is the only way an operator can make up money for poor occupancy on working days, but that shouldn't mean doubling the rates.

Just because the person is working, and travel only during weekends, doesn't mean the person can afford to pay such sky-rocketing fares. SRS is known for charging Rs. 1999 for a ticket to Trivandrum (From Bangalore) during vacations.

Airlines do not charge such high fares for all seats - their pricing is flexible enough to allow people to travel on cheaper tickets when booked in advance. However, the bus industry just raises the fare blindly.
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Old 10th September 2012, 09:51   #2234
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Airlines do not charge such high fares for all seats - their pricing is flexible enough to allow people to travel on cheaper tickets when booked in advance. However, the bus industry just raises the fare blindly.

Almost without exception, buses have far fewer seats than trains . The difference is still as much as 40% on the smaller ATRs and as much as 3 1/2 times in case of the bigger B737s/A320s. That gives some flexibility in giving away some cheaper seats.


Also as for Airlines being generous on peak dates, pease find the fares quoted for December 24 on Bangalore Goa (and we are more than 3 months out)

Jet Konnect -2 flights - 8157 and 9253 all inclusive one way
Go Air -1 flight - 11768 All inlusive one way

I am not blaming them - merely good revenue management..

Cheers
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Old 10th September 2012, 10:00   #2235
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Almost without exception, buses have far fewer seats than trains . The difference is still as much as 40% on the smaller ATRs and as much as 3 1/2 times in case of the bigger B737s/A320s. That gives some flexibility in giving away some cheaper seats.
See, we aren't comparing apples to apples when we compare buses to airlines, are we? Doubling of fares (whatever logic or term you call it) is day light robbery as far as a common man is concerned. Personally, I would not travel by an operator who blindly doubles his fare on weekends/vacations. I do not mind paying a premium on weekends - but not double the fare, for whatsoever reasons. I had called off my journey, after I discovered that all operators with vacant seats were charging upwards of Rs. 1500 for a HYD-Bangalore ticket - and none of them offered buses that were even worth being considered.

In the Bangalore-Ernakulam route, most operators (except ones like both the Kalladas) charge Rs. 1000 for weekend and Rs. 950 for weekdays - fair enough. I'll call it fair upto Rs. 1200. But Rs. 1999 for an Bangalore-EKM ticket (SRS had offered tickets at this price on their regular AC Sleeper service) is atrocious.

I've seen one member (I guess it was you) who went about ranting about paying Rs. 25 extra as superfast surcharge for a train (claiming that Superfast trains "run" only at 55kmph) - and termed that "cheating".
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