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Old 15th November 2012, 11:59   #2356
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
There is a difference of Rs.40/- between these two websites with redbus being higher.
To add to this, KPN website itself charges Rs. 20 ~ Rs. 60 more than their actual rates. It is cheapest to book at their office - but that would be a good option only if there is one around your office/home.
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Old 15th November 2012, 21:57   #2357
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Happened to travel by the KTC Volvo 9100 two days back. I guess this is the first review of a Volvo 9100.

KTC - Kerala Transport Corporation - is a very old transport company based in Kozhikode, Kerala. They had lots of local operations (stage carriages) earlier. Stopped all bus services sometime last year. This year, they came back to the bus scene with some premium intercity services.

They bought two Volvo B9Rs (9400XLs) and two Volvo 9100s (reportedly the first operator to book). The Volvo 9400XLs run Kannur-Chennai (via Kozhikode, Palakkad, Pollachi, Trichy, Pondy) and the Volvo 9100s run Kanhangad-Trivandrum (via Kannur, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Ernakulam).

I had come to my hometown last weekend for a function, and had to head to Trivandrum for some official work. I usually take a train for Thrissur-Trivandrum journeys, since there are not many comfortable options by road (timings are odd for good buses). This time, I decided to try out KTC.

KTC charges Rs. 550 for Thrissur-Trivandrum (same rates for Kozhikode-Trivandrum). The departure time at Thrissur is 0030hrs and the pick-up point is at Poonkunnam bus stop (in the middle of no where, at odd hours). I was shocked seeing such a pick-up point in my ticket. I tried calling their helpdesk many times, but no body picks up. The same thing continued till about 2300hrs on the night of my journey (the night of Nov 12, 2012). One person picked up the call and gave me the drivers' number.

I was initially hesitant to call the driver - obviously since he might be at the wheels! I had no choice - called him up. He said the bus would come after 0045hrs only. He did not know much of the roads in Thrissur and hence could not say much about the pick-up point other than some vague information. Understanding the place in bits and pieces, I tell him that I'd call at 0015hrs to confirm their location.

I call him at 0015hrs - they are still over 60kms from my pick up point. He promises to call me when they reach Kunnamkulam (20kms from my pick-up point). As promised, he called up as soon as the bus passed Kunnamkulam (at 0110hrs). I took an auto from the KSRTC bus station (I had taken shelter there, without wanting to stand in a deserted place). The bus came in at 0125hrs.

The driver (who talked to me) was on the attenders' seat - there were two drivers and no attendant. He welcomed me to the bus, and quickly gave me the first row seat - my reserved seat was towards the rear of the bus. He switched on the reading lights at my seat so that I could settle down, and not disturb the rest of the bus. A 500ml bottle of water and blanket was provided.

The driver(s) were well behaved - both flashed lights to signal overtaking instead of honking and used indicators while changing lanes. A lady passenger wanted to use the toilet - the crew immediately started searching for a decent fuel station, and stopped at one for the lady - no grumbling. They stopped for a tea break at Vyttila (Ernakulam bypass).

After the four lane road ended, they crew starting firing on all cylinders. They were too fast - ended up having a few rash overtakes. Bad roads meant that some stuff in the bus was rattling badly. The bus finally dropped me at Thampanoor (Aristo Jn), Trivandrum at 0551hrs. 4 hours and 26 minutes for around 285kms - of which around 75% is two-laned!

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About the bus: The seats are thinner - but provides good support. The cushion felt a bit harder. Leg space is similar to that in a 9400 (B7R), non semi-sleeper layout. The bus is a bit smaller than a B7R (IIRC, the overall length is only around 11.8m), but still has 45 seats. The first row has poor leg space - not like the one in B7Rs. The bus is somewhat noisy, compared to the B7R - its a low cost product anyways. The ride quality is similar to the one in B7R, but poorer compared to B9R. The quality of fittings in typical volvo class. The engine feels a bit sluggish on inclines - but is still confidence inspiring. The bus has 6 forward and 1 reverse gear - same as the B7R.

The Volvo 9100 is a typical made for STU product. Its a perfect choice for STUs - no fancy curved glass for the first row seats, no electrically adjustable ORVMs, lesser HP engine promising to deliver better fuel efficiency, and so on.

About the service: The response from office when I called was poor. But the crew were really friendly. They way they handled passenger requests was really good. I am really impressed with the service - will surely try them again. They offer online reservation as well. Their services are not listed on RedBus though.
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Old 15th November 2012, 22:08   #2358
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
But the crew were really friendly. They way they handled passenger requests was really good.
Did you get a chance to speak to the crew in detail. Were they also from Calicut ? In case you have travelled frequently between Thrissur and Calcut by private buses, you would know the difference in attitude between Calicut based buses and Thrissur based ones. Thrissur drivers are fast, but do not care about passenger comfort. Calicut guys on the other hand are courteous and very well behaved, they make sure that passengers board and alight safely before setting off from various stops. Infact KTC was the best at that time ; when I used to be a kid travelling with my mother between Thrissur and Calicut, many a time KTC conductors would help us with luggage when we have to get down at Punkunnam.

I hope KTC keeps up this tradition in their intercity bus operations too.

Last edited by autotranny : 15th November 2012 at 22:13.
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Old 15th November 2012, 22:54   #2359
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

@Binaiks

Could the the engine on the Volvo 9100 be the same as the 9400?

Are there no breaks or is it a continuous journey on this route?

Anurag.
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Old 15th November 2012, 23:05   #2360
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

@Binaiks: I too had taken the KTC bus for my CLT-TVM-CLT trip last to last weekend. Spot on observations. As a matter of fact, I couldn't sleep well on the return trip after seeing the way they drove in the Trivandrum-Kollam stretch. I would never want to be driving on the opposite direction of this bus. The driver was just pushing anyone in the opposite lane off the road.
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Old 16th November 2012, 02:42   #2361
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Happened to travel by the KTC Volvo 9100 two days back. I guess this is the first review of a Volvo 9100.
I have something different to ask. I see that the right side fog lamps are ON and left one is well not visible or from the image its as if its not ON. So, does the 9100 has a Cornering lamp feature(like in Skoda Superb) or was the other fog too ON or broken?
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Old 16th November 2012, 07:54   #2362
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Just wondering, how can a Bus registered as a Contract Carriage run on a route?

I think the Operators have become smart now, instead of paying 2,500 per seat as taxes per quarter, they are now paying 750 per seat per quarter getting the Bus registered as a Contract Carriage

There are tons of Contract Carriages in Kerala and if they all start operating routes, wonder what it is going to be like
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Old 16th November 2012, 09:40   #2363
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by autotranny View Post
Did you get a chance to speak to the crew in detail. Were they also from Calicut ?
One of them were from Calicut, and that guy has been with KTC right from the day they launched Volvo services. The second guy was a new appointment - it was his first trip after returning from Volvo traning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Could the the engine on the Volvo 9100 be the same as the 9400?

Are there no breaks or is it a continuous journey on this route?
The 9100 has the same Duetz/Volvo D7E 7.2 litre 6-Cyl engine as the 9400 (B7R). However, the engine in the 9100 is a detuned version and put out 240hp, as compared to 290hp in the B7R/9400.

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Originally Posted by Mistakenguy View Post
I would never want to be driving on the opposite direction of this bus. The driver was just pushing anyone in the opposite lane off the road.
Very true. The guy at the wheels during my trip was also of the same kind - he kept pushing people off the road. I am not a fan of such driving - but the way the crew behaved with passengers surprised me a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
I have something different to ask. I see that the right side fog lamps are ON and left one is well not visible or from the image its as if its not ON. So, does the 9100 has a Cornering lamp feature(like in Skoda Superb) or was the other fog too ON or broken?
The bus had taken a hit on the left side - the left side Fog lamps weren't working.

If KTC can continue with the same level of passenger care, they are surely going to remain in the market for a long period and would pose some serious danger to current players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
Just wondering, how can a Bus registered as a Contract Carriage run on a route?

I think the Operators have become smart now, instead of paying 2,500 per seat as taxes per quarter, they are now paying 750 per seat per quarter getting the Bus registered as a Contract Carriage

There are tons of Contract Carriages in Kerala and if they all start operating routes, wonder what it is going to be like
They operate just like how the many "omni buses" we have in the country. The tax per seat for a stage carriage is not Rs. 2500, but only Rs. 690 per seat per quarter. The government does not issue permits for long routes like Kanhangad-Trivandrum to private operators due to Nationalisation policies. Operating a contract carriage on routes is not a simple task and comes with lots of headaches - which is precisely why many major operators are not interested in running intra-state services in Kerala.

Last edited by binaiks : 16th November 2012 at 09:45.
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Old 17th November 2012, 18:45   #2364
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Just sharing a small experience I had with SVR Tours and Travels today.

As I was being sent to Bhopal from Hyderabad for training purpose my company had booked bus tickets from Hyderabad - Nagpur - Bhopal by SVR tours and travels on a Volvo 9400 Multi-Axle semi-sleeper variant that costs 700 bucks.

Sadly this trip was cancelled half an hour back due to problems in the company (my training organization). Earlier in the day while I was handed over the tickets by my HR he asked to board the bus from where I found it comfortable so logged on to the site and checked for the points. Was just confused by the way it was put so called their 24x7 customer care support to get my doubts clarified.

To my shock they never answered it for the first five tries and after half an hour i tried again so a lady picked up and I started firing my doubts about the points. She had no answer for any of my doubts regarding the exact location and time at which the bus would reach there. She asked me to check the website for accurate information. I told her I was confused with the website so called up to clarify. She politely answers, "Sir, Even I have not much idea regarding the boarding points and times so please go that point and try asking a policeman nearby as to where the pick up point would be!"

I didn't know what to tell so just told thank you for answering my call and can I have the drivers number or the person who is coordinating with this bus. She gave the number and hung up.

This person who was coordinating was even more special in terms of talking mannerism. First he was rude and he was just not ready to answer any question imposed. Blindly at the end of the conversation he says "Saar, come to the boarding point 15 min before else we will not wait for you and leave without information and not get any refund."

From now guys I have made it a point not to choose this very travels for any journey made by me. With experience I have had with all travels till now I love VRL travels and trust the eyes closed. The way they handle their customers and punctuality is fantastic.

Thanks for reading this guys. Hope this is not out of the place as I felt it to be posted here as it is the right section.

Anurag.
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Old 17th November 2012, 22:50   #2365
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
"Sir, Even I have not much idea regarding the boarding points and times so please go that point and try asking a policeman nearby as to where the pick up point would be!"
This is the most awesome part of it. How would a policeman know where the boardig point would be.

SVR is best suited for its Shirdi trips only.
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Old 21st November 2012, 23:23   #2366
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Hindusthan Travels - Coimbatore-Bangalore travel on 18-Nov-12
I had to travel from Bangalore from Coimbatore on Last sunday(18-11-2012). Since it was a long weekend after diwali, i didnt get a ticket available for night services from Coimbatore/Pollachi. Just looked and found few seats available in Hindusthan day service. So booked a seat in that. My last two trips to Bangalore from Coimbatore was in Hindusthan and this is my third consecutive trips.

In last two trips, i have boarded the bus from Omni BS. Hence decided to board the bus from their Nava India Office now.

Started off from home by 9.30. I have to travel from Pollachi to Coimbatore, so started early. I started early to do a small bus fanning before boarding the bus to Bangalore. TNSTC-CBE recently added new TML buses in CBE city services. Clicked few of them and saw SPS's new AshLey 12M city bus waiting with Gandhipuram board. Boarded that and reached Gandhipuram BS. Did some fanning in Gandhipuram BS and then took a local city bus to reach Nava India. Boarding time was 12.30 PM and i reached Nava India by 12.35 PM.

I expected the I-Shift, but KA01 AB 2653 turned out. Last two trips were in 2652. Bus arrived at Nava India boarding point by 12.50. Boarded the bus and saw our fellow forumer sitting inside the bus. It was really a surprise to me. I thought of calling him after reaching Bangalore. Said a hi to him and came to know that his adjacent seat passenger is boarding from Salem. So took that seat and had a very good chat with him. BTW, he is none other than binaiks.

We left Nava India by 12.55 PM. 11 people boarded from Hopes College and we left Coimbatore with 24 passengers. We also took 2 passengers each from Karumathampatti and Avinashi. We ran non stop till salem and reached salem bye pass by 3.30 PM. One person from coimbatore didnt turned out. So we took one more passenger for this seat along with the 4 reserved passengers from Salem.There were some confusion with the passengers who reserved online about the boarding point. All were asked to come to Bye pass. Due to this, we lost around 10 minutes in Salem.

Bus stopped at Thoppur Rajabhojanam for 20 min. In my last trip, bus stopped in Perundhurai, so i packed my food from home. But this time we ran non stop, i was so hungry and had my food once we stopped for a break. ABT's day time service was also standing in the same place.

Bus was consistently doing 85-95 KMPH. Very rarely he crossed the 3 digit mark, but very sedate driving. Two drivers were on board and both of them did a wonderful job on the machine.

We reached silk board by 7.47 PM and finally i was dropped at double road by 8.05 PM.

Yet again an wonderful trip in Hindusthan Travels Multi axle. Is it recommended? Why not, i'm taking the same guy on coming sunday night.


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SPS new AshLey 12M's which is running as city bus in Coimbatore.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 10:54   #2367
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Default Bad Experience with VRL

One of my friend had a very bad experience yesterday with VRL (21/11/2012). The details are below as explained by him

1. Bangalore to Hyderabad Volvo service (online booking, bus # KA 25B 6662 starting from BTM layout at 8:15 PM did not come to the pickup point .
2. No one has picked up the call (080 41460606/41288668)when trying to contact the BTM office.
3. When tried reaching the office, the VRL office address specified in the ticket is not valid
4. No driver/coach attendant number shared with him.
5.After waiting at the pickup point for 2 hours received call from Ramesh VRL transport at 10:06 PM saying that bus has left the pickup point and the bus reached AnandRao cirlce and asked me to board the bus.
6. Ramesh tried blaming him that he was not at the pickup point at 8:15 PM and bus has left and disconnected the call.
7. After several calls and arguing with the VRL guy and the guy accepted that bus (KA 25B 6662) had some issues and they arranged another bus KA25B 6660 and the bus is about to leave from AnandRao cirle.
8. When I told him that I had been waiting at BTM layout and none has informed him that bus changed/ bus not coming to BTM layout, he did gave him any choice and disconnected the call.
9. When informed Ramesh that he'll catch an auto from BTM and it will take 45 mins from BTM to AnandaRao cirle he told me that bus has left during our conversation from Anand Rao circle as well.
10. Finally he received an SMS at 10:31 PM from VRL informing that bus has been changed to KA25B 6660. But from discussion with VRL guys confirmed that bus had left much earlier than that and he had to stay back in Bangalore.

He had an urgent appointment today at HYD and didn't had a place to stay in BLR yesterday as he ad already checked out from the hotel.

I always read good reviews about VRL but this incident has shaken my trust in them.

Last edited by S5157 : 22nd November 2012 at 10:57.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 11:11   #2368
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Default Re: Bad Experience with VRL

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One of my friend had a very bad experience yesterday with VRL (21/11/2012). The details are below as explained by him

I always read good reviews about VRL but this incident has shaken my trust in them.
That really is very unpleasant.

From what you've written, it appears that the coordinator you were in touch with, doesn't care much for VRL's reputation and it's customers. May be an isolated incident. You could raise a stink at their local office or convey your grievance to a Customer care Manager or the like at their head office. If those don't work, you could always write to the chairman/owner - Vijay Anand Sankeshwar.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 11:54   #2369
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I was at Kalasipalayam today morning to drop a relative on his way to Kannur when I spotted a Golden travels white volvo b7R with KL 13 W registration parked near the Golden travels office. Isn't this unusual, a KL registered bus doing Kannur- Bangalore service? Could this be a replacement bus for any broken down one? Binai could throw some light?
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Old 22nd November 2012, 12:02   #2370
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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I was at Kalasipalayam today morning to drop a relative on his way to Kannur when I spotted a Golden travels white volvo b7R with KL 13 W registration parked near the Golden travels office. Isn't this unusual, a KL registered bus doing Kannur- Bangalore service? Could this be a replacement bus for any broken down one? Binai could throw some light?
Golden has been operating a couple of KL-13 regd Volvo B7Rs for quite some time now. They run Bangalore-Kozhikode via Iritty, Thalassery, Vadakara. It seems there has been some relaxation now, and KL registered vehicles can pay "quarterly tax" for contract carriage permits now. Earlier, KL registered vehicles had to pay per entry.
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