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Old 7th December 2012, 13:22   #2401
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Agree with Binaiks. VRL was okay for me as well. Last trip was on the first departure out from Mumbai - Andheri at 11 AM. Hassle free experience. When I booked a ticket, I booked at their authorised agent at Andheri .immediately got an SMS with seat no . And as soon as the bus left Borivali, I got an SMS with the bus no as well. This is important for your peace of mind ! Bus broke down just after the Karnataka border, and the replacement bus was on the spot very quickly (another Multi Axle) and we just got delayed by one hour. Rest rooms were very clean places where we stopped. The bags are tagged and in my case as well, the attender asked for tips , just said no and that was the end of the story. They dont congratulate you on your nobility unlike some other operators crew

Avoid Neeta. Their customer service is of the worst kind, they will hang around for extra paasengers and it is next to impossible to get any sort of information about their buses from their agent offices at intermediate points like Vashi especially if you have booked online as most of the time they will refuse outright to answer any queries. They are only useful to travel between Mumbai and Pune since because of ther frequencies most days you just need to turn up take a ticket and get into the first bus whch shows up.

Also if you are planning to take the 2245 KaSRTC from Vashi, you might as well take the 2310 VRL service from Vashi. Both these buses are scheduled to start from Borivali at 2100 hours, so effectively both should reach more or less at the same time at Vashi and there is every chance that VRL might reach Bangalore earlier. And VRL is cheaper. KaSRTC Airavaths are hit and miss in terms of speed.

As for Airfares, if you need a cheap fare, you would need to book two weeks or more ahead. And it is not just bus operators who ned to make money during holiday peaks, it is the airlines as well. I am sure Indian Railways bosses would also love to do like wise prvided they have the opportunity as well!


Also Chalukya Express still operates between Bangalore and Mumbai. Only new deveplopment is that it is extended on 3 days a week to Tirunelveli and on another 3 days to Pondicherry. All days it leaves Bangalore Yeshwantpur at 0630 except on Sundays when there is no service.

Last edited by TKMCE : 7th December 2012 at 13:46. Reason: Merged back to back posts
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Old 7th December 2012, 13:41   #2402
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Please delete this post as merged iwth previous posts. Sorry for inconvenience[

Last edited by TKMCE : 7th December 2012 at 13:48. Reason: Please delete as meged with previous post as per TBHP guideliines
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Old 7th December 2012, 15:24   #2403
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
And VRL is cheaper. KaSRTC Airavaths are hit and miss in terms of speed.
Very true. VRL charges Rs. 1000 on weekdays and Rs. 1200 on weekends (they had gone upto Rs. 1800 a few days before Diwali). KaSRTC is stable around Rs. 1210~1290.

Almost all the operators on the Bangalore-Mumbai route now stick to 90~100kmph now. I went to Mumbai by VRL and returned by National - both ways, the buses did not cross 95kmph. In effect, I had a peaceful sleep at night. There could be one irritation in Airavats - a lot KaSRTC crew lug the engines - so there could be a lot of vibration all the time.
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Old 9th December 2012, 09:37   #2404
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Last day i had a need to go to Tiruvanathapuram from Calicut. Initially i had thought of boarding a train but since IRCTC showed that the waiting lists were way ahead of RAC expectations, i scrapped that idea and explored the bus options. Initially i thought of booking my tickets in A1 ac seater but then thought there is a Volvo 9100 to be tried of.
I booked by ticket and was allotted Seat no 9 which is a window seat. My first impression.
  1. The bus looks awesome from exterior.
  2. Felt that the regular B7R is a bit more wider than the Asia bus.
  3. The seats even though Haritha made, is something hell to travel in. Am 6ft tall and the legroom, the seat width and all was very pathetic. When reclined in full level the legs easily bruises with the front row.
  4. The crew provided small bottle of water to passengers on request. but the water holder simply cant hold the bottle and if the leg in chance touches the bottle, it simply falls off the strap and it will be a big pain to take that bottle back from the floor thanks to the cramped seats.
  5. Ac was average but will do the purpose and at times blanket is required to keep you comfortable.
  6. The engine did a pretty good job of pulling but still not comparable with its elder cousins though.
  7. The air suspensions were good but the rear suspensions threw out the "thud thud" sound on harsh roads too.
Well as per my verdict i ll say I'll better prefer an Ashley 12M bus for a Volvo 9100.
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Old 12th December 2012, 15:46   #2405
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

VRL Pune- Nagpur- Pune Report:

Last week, I had to rush to one of our sites is Orissa for a meeting. The journey was Pune- Nagpur- Jharsuguda. Plane tickets were ruled out due to exorbitant prices. Only option was to take a bus to Nagpur, and then take a train further.

So the search for right bus began.
Ruled out NEETA . Ruled out various sleeper buses as well. So the only option available was Prasanna Purple Mercedes Multi-axle. The bus mentioned is in very good condition and timings are maintained impeccably. Ticket price was Rs 900/-

Only hitch was its departure time of 5 PM, forcing me to leave my office early. My train next day was scheduled for 11 AM departure.
So reaching very early was also not desired.
Suddenly I remembered an advertizement in a local paper from VRL Travels, regarding new routes,
I searched for the same on their site and found out one Volvo Multi-axle service starting from my place in Pune at 7 PM. Their inaugural fare was Rs 600/- only.
I booked the tickets straight away. To my amazement, I even got a discount of 5 % over the booking amount. SO final the ticket price was Rs 570/-

The Journey:

Bus No: MH 04-8821
Odo Reading: 426956

Bus was in good shape overall, with minor cracks on the windshield. Interiors were in good shape as well. Bus started sharp at 7 PM from the parking in PCMC. After taking various pick-ups, at last the bus was away on highway at about 8.30 PM.

The bus was driven very sedately and never crossed 100 kmph. Use of horn was minimal. Bus stopped at a road side Dhaba, which was not very great.
We reached Nagpur next morning at around 9 AM. Overall a great service.

While returning, I hadn't booked the tickets, as the layover time in Nagpur was very short. I had a plan to start from Jharsuguda(Orissa) in the morning and reach Nagpur at 5.50 PM. It was looking very ambitious indeed.
All Volvo/ Merc's leave Nagpur for Pune before 5 PM, leaving me no option but to travel in the horrifying sleeper coaches,

The VRL bus however would leave at 6.30 PM. I decided to take a chance. I called the VRL office from the train itself and requested them to keep a ticket for me, and wait for me if at all I am delayed.

I reached Nagpur at 6 PM, and rushed to the VRL office.
The bus was full and only last row seats were available. I didn't bother about that, as I was to be in the co-drivers seat itself.
At least I got a ticket for sure. Ticket fare today was Rs 700/-

It was the same bus with same drivers. The bus started at 6.45 PM, and after pickup from Amaravati, stopped for dinner at 10.00 PM. This was probably the worst ever hotel/ Road side dhaba I ventured into. The food was worst as was their service. This was the only bad part of the journey.
The bus started at 10.30 PM after the dinner break.

It reached Pune at around 6.45 AM. I was dropped off near my residence at around 7.30 AM.

Overall I would recommend the service for those who want hassle free and timely travel experience.

Some information shared by the driver:
1. His fixed salary is 5000/- and Rs 1/ km is payed to him.
2. He is fully insured and his family also gets medical benefits.
3. He has to return an economy of 2.9km/ lit. Else, payment is deducted from his salary.
4. VRL is starting new iShift sleepers to Indore and Nagpur from Pune.
5. His has had his training for iShift.
6. iShifts are not great to drive.
7. He absolutely dislikes Merc and Isuzu.
8. He is happy with VRL.

Cheers,
Abhijeet
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Old 12th December 2012, 17:51   #2406
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Arrow Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

.
Thanks for the details, coriollis!

Quote:
Originally Posted by coriollis View Post
...Some information shared by the driver:
...
3. He has to return an economy of 2.9km/ lit. Else, payment is deducted from his salary.
...

This is a ridiculuous condition specified by the employer. They can give a reward for drivers maintaining good mileage records, but not a penalty for the converse.
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Old 12th December 2012, 18:12   #2407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
.
Thanks for the details, coriollis!
This is a ridiculuous condition specified by the employer. They can give a reward for drivers maintaining good mileage records, but not a penalty for the converse.
Many operators are giving target to drivers including Sharma. They fix the number of litres. Anything above should be borne by the crew.
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Old 12th December 2012, 18:18   #2408
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I think its a good idea if the mileage expected is within limits.

If anything it will help maintain proper speeds and reduce the urge for rash driving.
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Old 12th December 2012, 19:18   #2409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
This is a ridiculous condition specified by the employer.
That's not a ridiculous condition at all mate.
Huge amount of money is at stake, if you are operating almost 300 + Volvo's. And to make money out of this proposition, some sort of system has to be in place.
In case of VRL, if the route is BOM- BLR, mileage and timings constraint are valid outside city limits only. If bus starts from Mumbai/ Borivali, timing and mileage stats are taken from Kalamboli to Peenya.
That is perfectly all right IMHO.
And more so, Drivers weren't complaining.

Cheers,
Abhijeet
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Old 12th December 2012, 21:08   #2410
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Originally Posted by bblost View Post
I think its a good idea if the mileage expected is within limits.

If anything it will help maintain proper speeds and reduce the urge for rash driving.
But instead of driving sanely they seldom resort to stupid steps like switching off the engine while being stopped for food breaks, switching off a/c intermittently when passengers are asleep etc.. All of this are extremely uncomfortable in a bus with no natural ventilation.

Last edited by poloman : 12th December 2012 at 21:10.
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Old 12th December 2012, 21:45   #2411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
.
Thanks for the details, coriollis!




This is a ridiculuous condition specified by the employer. They can give a reward for drivers maintaining good mileage records, but not a penalty for the converse.
Do they get a benefit for meeting those targets? I'm sure Kerala SRTC, Karnataka SRTC etc. already have fuel efficiency targets. I have seen the numbers put up at their refilling stations. I think 6 km/l is their corporation wide target in Kerala.
I think as long as there are bonuses for meeting the standards, this is a good method to penalize/reward fuel efficient driving. It might mean that buses reach 30 mins late, but it would come with probably smoother journey and steady speeds and less accident risk.
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Old 13th December 2012, 00:10   #2412
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by coriollis View Post
VRL Pune- Nagpur- Pune Report:

Some information shared by the driver:
1. His fixed salary is 5000/- and Rs 1/ km is payed to him.
2. He is fully insured and his family also gets medical benefits.
3. He has to return an economy of 2.9km/ lit. Else, payment is deducted from his salary.

Cheers,
Abhijeet
I feel that the salary is low for a driver of a heavy vehicle, at least in these days where everything is getting costlier, salaries must be hiked a bit too to compensate. But overall good to see VRL taking care of their employees and their families too.

Regarding the fuel efficiency thing it does seem a nice option to save the buck on the operator and get less number of accidents due to over-speeding. The fact is if no penalties are done then NO one will learn and follow the rules else it will be all hay wire.

Reading such reviews get VRL higher respect from me and I make it a point to search for VRL first in any route I travel.

Anurag.
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Old 13th December 2012, 10:03   #2413
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

What a nice way to keep the maniac drivers from rash driving! I am happy. To get the max FE obviously they cant exceed 100 kmph which is good!

But what about those scenarios where the bus is stuck in a jam and the fuel consumption goes up? How is the FE calculated then?
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Old 13th December 2012, 19:09   #2414
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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
But what about those scenarios where the bus is stuck in a jam and the fuel consumption goes up? How is the FE calculated then?
They would have a rough idea of the traffic plying in that route, so they would definitely have a plus or minus margin for mileage calculation keeping in mind such traffic jams.

Incase it is a big one then the drive MAY switch off the A/C or be a little more sedate on the engine and try not to clutch ride as much as possible. Worse he may switch off the engine which is a rare case.

This is my thinking, correct me if I am wrong.

Anurag.
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Old 13th December 2012, 19:52   #2415
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag

They would have a rough idea of the traffic plying in that route, so they would definitely have a plus or minus margin for mileage calculation keeping in mind such traffic jams.

Incase it is a big one then the drive MAY switch off the A/C or be a little more sedate on the engine and try not to clutch ride as much as possible. Worse he may switch off the engine which is a rare case.

This is my thinking, correct me if I am wrong.

Anurag.
The companies would gather as much data they can. From that they would come to know about the problematic areas in the route. After that, a ball point figure would be estimated, a reasonable factor of safety would be assigned too. Now there comes the figure of 2.9 kmpl.
As in case of KSRTC, the drivers consistently achieve 3.5 to 3.75 kmpl.

IMHO, this practice is good for the operator as well as the passenger.
Cheers,
Abhijeet

Note from the Team-BHP Support: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the same thread.

Last edited by Technocrat : 14th December 2012 at 02:54. Reason: Please read the note in your post, thanks
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