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Old 16th January 2013, 12:15   #2506
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

If you search the internet you come accross quite a few links (not in this forum ) where some travellers think that 120 km per hour is the minimum required speed for bus travel and even 100 is too slow! Many of these people seem to be fans of a few particular operators and go even to the extent of idolising a few drivers and extolling their often rash driving like some people hero worship the F1 drivers. These people do not realise the injustice they are doing not just to their fellow passengers but the drivers they are trying to hero worship.

To some extent such high speeds are caused by the continuous pressure on some of the operators to leave as late as possible in the night and reach as early as possible the next day.

When B7Rs were introduced first in India, Puzhekadavil used to start at 1430 from TRV and reach by 6 AM at BLR via EKM. I travelled Kallada once on a B7R leaving at 1 PM and reaching at 7 AM again via Ernakulam. Now more powerful B9Rs and B11Rs may have come and departures are getting pushed back later and later but I havent seen any major improvement in roads especially in Trivandrum Kayamkulam or Trivandrum Nagercoil stretches.
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Old 16th January 2013, 12:42   #2507
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Default Hyd-Vijayawada in Flat 3hours and ends up in an accident inside Vijayawada

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/13011...ent-vijayawada
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Old 16th January 2013, 14:57   #2508
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
If you search the internet you come accross quite a few links (not in this forum ) where some travellers think that 120 km per hour is the minimum required speed for bus travel and even 100 is too slow! Many of these people seem to be fans of a few particular operators and go even to the extent of idolising a few drivers and extolling their often rash driving like some people hero worship the F1 drivers. These people do not realise the injustice they are doing not just to their fellow passengers but the drivers they are trying to hero worship.
100% agree with you, in my opinion any public transport by road (car/taxi/van/bus etc) should be speed locked to 100 KPH in india; whatever be the type of road (2-lane/4-lane/6-lane highway/expressway) and whatever be the power and torque numbers of the vehicle. The key word here is "PUBLIC" - if anybody is in the business of transporting people for "rent", it is high time this should be enforced with max stringent-ness. NO STRANGER SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDENT UPON HIS REFLEXES, no matter what the skill/experience factor.

Unless it is your own private vehicle, in which case you have the freedom to 'check' the luck/fate/life-expectancy/bone-density/vehicle-capability of yourself/near&dear/friends ( I am even against this, speed limit on highways should apply to 'any' vehicle, counties which strictly enforce this law are not stupid) ; but in the least, THERE SHOULD BE SPEED LIMIT FOR ANY FORM OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT ON ANY ROAD. PERIOD. Indian roads are not autobahn.
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Old 16th January 2013, 14:57   #2509
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
If you search the internet you come accross quite a few links (not in this forum ) where some travellers think that 120 km per hour is the minimum required speed for bus travel and even 100 is too slow! Many of these people seem to be fans of a few particular operators and go even to the extent of idolising a few drivers and extolling their often rash driving like some people hero worship the F1 drivers. These people do not realise the injustice they are doing not just to their fellow passengers but the drivers they are trying to hero worship.

To some extent such high speeds are caused by the continuous pressure on some of the operators to leave as late as possible in the night and reach as early as possible the next day.
Can't agree with you more, TKMCE! I'm waiting to see some of those worshipers' comments on the accident that occurred recently, involving their favourite 3-letter operator. Admiring the drivers' skills is alright, but taking them to the level of heroes, is what I would call immature. That too, for being rash and causing inconvenience to a lot many people on the roads, than inside the bus. The comments that I see in such forums are always very much self-centered and sensible members are often attacked and tarnished in the name of being slow-pokes or siding with their not-so-favourite operators.


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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
I have travelled on a couple of occasions to TVM from Blr by SRM ... So the speeds must have been quite high indeed throughout the journey. And there was a lot of honking and sudden braking.
I'd travelled in SRM only once or twice, between Bangalore and Chennai. They were punctual and comfortable then. But yes, things have changed a lot, when they expanded their operations.

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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
My parents were travelling to Chennai by the Roadlink Volvo. Departed from Madiwala at 1105 PM and they were dropped off at Koyambedu by 340 AM - flat 4.5 hours for a ~350 km journey - the fastest I have heard for a bus on this stretch !
Roadlink used to do that consistently. I used to travel at least once every month to Chennai and back on a weekend, and if it was Roadlink India, I'm sure to be dropped off at Guindy by 03:40hrs.
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Old 17th January 2013, 14:27   #2510
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
These early arrivals are not only because of reduced trucks on road but entire traffic is reduced including cars. Today morning I reached chennai in SRM AC 12M sleeper, by 0515 - a flat 7 hour from Palani ( 480 kms). This includes 30 min dinner break at Dindugal and one bio break at SRM checking point at Ulundurpet.
Previous record was with ARC, 12M AC seater - 8 hrs between Koyembedu and Palani. Departure 2045 and arrival 0445. If you take from Perungalathor it will be equivalent to 7 hrs.
Yes very true! I was driving the same night from Rameswaram to Chennai. After a dinner break at Trichy, started off at 9:45 PM and was home (Mylapore) at 1 AM! The Trichy-Chennai is the most congested stretch on any given night but this night due to Pongal, the roads were totally deserted. No lorry traffic and very few cars. This is also my personal record for shortest time from Trichy to Chennai.
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Old 17th January 2013, 15:14   #2511
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I had a chance to book a ticket in Chennai - hyderabad Dhanunjaya travels for a friend for 6th february travel. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a 10% discount. The 950 rupees ticket after discount costed only 855 Rs. Amazing. People who travel can utilise this oppurtunity. I am not sure about the rules and conditions when this discount is applicable though.
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Old 17th January 2013, 18:01   #2512
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
I had a chance to book a ticket in Chennai - hyderabad Dhanunjaya travels for a friend for 6th february travel. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a 10% discount. The 950 rupees ticket after discount costed only 855 Rs. Amazing. People who travel can utilise this oppurtunity. I am not sure about the rules and conditions when this discount is applicable though.
Venki anna,

How did you book the ticket? by Redbus or directly at Dhanunjaya Travels website?

How long is this offer lasting for?

Anurag.
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Old 17th January 2013, 18:10   #2513
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Venki anna,

How did you book the ticket? by Redbus or directly at Dhanunjaya Travels website?

How long is this offer lasting for?

Anurag.
I booked it through their website. i didnot see the dhanunjaya listing in Redbus so i went to their website and booked it. At the end of booking before the payment gateway opens i saw that the price is only 855 realising that there was a 10% discount. their website says 10% discount now. notsure till when. infact my colleague just booked a ticket for Mumbai this Saturday and the discount was there for him as well. http://www.dhanunjayatravels.com/#3

Last edited by venki.bala : 17th January 2013 at 18:13. Reason: forgot to add a detail. Mods: please excuse me.
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Old 17th January 2013, 20:09   #2514
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
I had a chance to book a ticket in Chennai - hyderabad Dhanunjaya travels for a friend for 6th february travel. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a 10% discount. The 950 rupees ticket after discount costed only 855 Rs. Amazing. People who travel can utilise this oppurtunity. I am not sure about the rules and conditions when this discount is applicable though.

A lot of private operators give you discounts if you book directly on their website. SRS had a 5% discount some time back as did Sangita travels. Remember Seabird also offering something similar for round trips booked. So this is one way of getting a cheaper deal than redbus or make my trip !
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Old 18th January 2013, 06:07   #2515
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
A lot of private operators give you discounts if you book directly on their website. SRS had a 5% discount some time back as did Sangita travels. Remember Seabird also offering something similar for round trips booked. So this is one way of getting a cheaper deal than redbus or make my trip !
Very rarely this happens in the HYD - CHENNAI sector. None of the operators have this discount regularly. This is is second time only Dhanunjaya has given this discount, first was when they started online booking in 2008-9 and now. otherwise this route is known for the fixed prices because any time this route occupancy and demand is high.
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Old 19th January 2013, 16:26   #2516
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Happened to travel from Trivandrum to Thrissur by Kallada Volvo B9R yesterday. The bus was via Mysore, Kozhikode.

The bus was KA-01-AB-4159, with about 1.5 lakh kms on the odo. The bus leaves Madiwala at 1315hrs - since I was coming from work, I chose Kalasipalya as my boarding point. The scheduled departure at Kalasipalya is 1415hrs. I reached KR Market bus station (by BMTC bus from work) at 1340 hrs, and while walking towards Kalasipalya, I saw my bus coming in from Madiwala. Boarding started at 1345hrs - I directly got into the bus without reporting to their office. The guys in the office called me up at 1405hrs, to find my whereabouts - I told I was already in the bus. The bus started off at 1416hrs (just a minute late - record for Kallada).

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After a series of pick ups at Kengeri and near Rajarajeswari College, the bus got moving. The traffic on Mysore road was fairly high (as usual). The bus stopped for a quick tea break at a small tea stall between Maddur and Mandya - the break lasted some 9 minutes. We reached Mysore at 1708hrs - 2h 52minutes from Kalasipalya to Mysore (near KSRTC BS). Not bad with all the traffic around and the short tea break. The driver was very disciplined - no rash brakes or hurried overtakes. Some 25 passengers got in at Mysore - most of them booked to places south of Ernakulam. We left Mysore at 1715hrs (Scheduled dep: 1700hrs).

Stopped for dinner near Gundlupet (Hotel Coffee Stoppe) - at 1821hrs. Too early for dinner - but the attendant made it a point to announce inside the bus that we would not be stopping for dinner anywhere else, and requested people to atleast take a parcel. I had my dinner at the place. We started off at 1847hrs. The forest road was in great shape. The driver was very disciplined here too - no honking or overspeeding. There was a mini traffic block at Muthanga (border) checkpost. We reached Bathery at 2009hrs. I enjoyed the run through the ghats. 5 out of 9 hairpin bends were a breeze. Out of the remaining 4, 3 were absolutely tight - the bus had to stop midway, reverse and then complete the turn. In one, the bus managed to turn without scraping anywhere, but that was due to the road being absolutely empty there. Private vehicles are an absolute pain - they don't care even a bit for these long vehicles which struggle to complete the turn - they just try to squeeze in through any gap, finally ending up in causing a block. Finally reached Kozhikode at 2228hrs.

The break at Kozhikode was fairly long. Some 20 pax got off, and got replaced with some 10~12 pax getting in here. Left Kozhikode at 2251hrs. I had a deep sleep from here. Woke up only when my bro called to know my whereabouts - around 0100hrs - we were past Kunnamkulam then. Finally was dropped at Thrissur (near Sakthan nagar bus station) at 0118hrs - 18 minutes past schedule.

I loved the ride - especially the ghat section. This was my first journey on a predominantly two-laned section, with a lot of ghats. The bus handled them really well.

I'd rate the service a 4.5/5 - recommended.
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Old 19th January 2013, 18:32   #2517
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Happened to travel from Trivandrum to Thrissur by Kallada Volvo B9R yesterday. The bus was via Mysore, Kozhikode.
I think you meant Bangalore to Trichur, not Trivandrum to Trichur. Interesting review and especially the timings were of great interest.

Clearly the above route is targetted towards two distinct segments, the Bangalore Kozhikode day segment and the Kozhikode Trivandrum overnight pax. I believe Kallada has another service on the Bangalore Coimbatore Trivandrum route as well with similarly two distinct segments. I believe this is the way forward and will enable them to maximise revenue on each trip.

Unlike Karnataka, short haul bus travel in comfort is a pain in Kerala. With the increasing number of services to Kerala, operators like Kallada have a great opportunity to fill up these short haul segments as well.

KPN for instance used to do a great job on this count. Their empty seats at departure on Chennai and Bangalore services to Nagercoil, Ernakulam and Trivandrum used to get filled up at Salem. Ofcourse seat availability was known only at the last minute, but regular travellers knew that except during weekends, people could always get seats ex Salem and thereby preferred them to booking SETC.

Same can be done by operators within Kerala . For instance on their services from Trivandrum to Bangalore via Ernakulam, as I understand quite a few operators have "quota seats" from enroute agents. Their respective offices at Trivandrum for instance can sell these seats for short haul at the last minute.

Travelling from Aluva or Angamaly to Trivandrum in relative comfort for instance by Train or bus is a pain. The Janshatabdi does not stop at Aluva, even the "de reserved" sleeper class compartments in the Chennai Mail or Malabar express are chock full and the evening short distance trains like Vanchinad or Inter City terminate at Ernakulam. And to top it all, with the KeSRTC volvos to both Bangalore and Ernakulam no longer operating, there is a great opportunity for operators to convert some short haul traffic travelling earlier on these buses. Similarly Pathanamthitta to Trichur or Kayamkulam to Palghat ... travelling on regular buses on those routes are so uncomfortable..


Long long back, the KeSRTC EXPRESS services (the green 2 x 3 ones) did not allow standees. I am talking about the era before computerisation. Many of these buses had reservation quotas from intermediate bus stations as well (something similar to the agent quota private operators have ex Kerala today). There was a 5 AM Trivandrum Sulthan Bathery KeSRTC Express via Kottayam which had reservaton quotas from places like Kottarakkara, Thiruvalla, Kottayam etc. So what it meant was that half an hour before departure at Trivandrum, they used to alocate these seats to short distance passengers through coupons, even if the Trivandrum Bathery or Trivandrum Calicut seats were full. For isntance if Kottayam had a quota of 4 for the final destination, 4 coupons were issued for Trivandrum Kottayam passengers etc. This was optimisation of revenue. I believe IR has the same system even now. I have seen on the Mumbai Kanyakumari Express for instance people booking Mumbai Katpadi (quite some traffic for Vellore CMC) and the same seat booked for Katpadi Ernakulam etc.


Just some random thoughts. Again I dont know whether there any restrictions for operators like Kallada to sell these short haul segments but I dont think they have. This is revenue which otherwise goes to the crew's pockets for many operators. I have used Kallada as an example as they have the biggest network ex Kerala.
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Old 19th January 2013, 18:44   #2518
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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I think you meant Bangalore to Trichur, not Trivandrum to Trichur. Interesting review and especially the timings were of great interest.
Oops! Thanks. I meant Bangalore to Trichur, indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Clearly the above route is targetted towards two distinct segments, the Bangalore Kozhikode day segment and the Kozhikode Trivandrum overnight pax. I believe Kallada has another service on the Bangalore Coimbatore Trivandrum route as well with similarly two distinct segments. I believe this is the way forward and will enable them to maximise revenue on each trip.
The particular bus is targetted at three segments - Bangalore-Kozhikode, Mysore-S.Kerala and Kozhikode-S.Kerala. The bus via Coimbatoreis aimed at Bangalore-CBE and CBE-S.Kerala passengers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Just some random thoughts. Again I dont know whether there any restrictions for operators like Kallada to sell these short haul segments but I dont think they have. This is revenue which otherwise goes to the crew's pockets for many operators. I have used Kallada as an example as they have the biggest network ex Kerala.
In fact, Kallada allows booking for all short segments on their long distance buses. Almost all their buses ex-TVM allows Trivandrum-Ernakulam/Thrissur bookings - some buses charge as low as Rs. 300 for Trivandrum-Thrissur. In fact, when i got off the bus this morning at Thrissur, quite a lot of passengers to TVM got into the bus - all had Kallada tickets. The drawback is that a lot of passengers get in in the middle of the night in such buses - its somewhat a safety issue. The crew make sure that only passengers with tickets get in though.

Kallada has a lot of checking points, and hence their tendency to take in passengers on the way is less - even when they take in such passengers, the money collected is often accounted for. Most other operators do not allow short distance bookings.

As you said, traveling within Kerala is a royal pain due to the lack of comfortable buses (for long distance). I have a back problem, and for me the normal KSRTC buses are a no-no for any long journey - in fact I prefer changing buses on the way, so that I don't sit in a single posture for long time.

The Trivandrum-Bangalore/Ernakulam KeSRTC Volvos are still running - very unreliable now though. Its high time they convert all the buses to TVM-Ernakulam/Kozhikode runs.
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Old 19th January 2013, 20:34   #2519
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

You are right about the Mysore - South Kerala part . I missed that. KaSRTC services on Mysore Ernakulam (single axle) and Mysore Trivandrum (Multi Axle) also takes some of the above traffic.

I believe there is a good opportunity for short distace travel in these buses if managed well. Take my recent experience on Aluva Trivandrum on Indian Railways.

Wanted to travel III tier AC on Kerala Express Aluva Trivandrum a train which comes from New Delhi. This train has no less than five III AC compartments (roughly 300 seats)

a Advance Reservation not possible.

b Indian Railway booking office on day of departure at Aluva refuses to sell a III AC ticket and asks you to buy Sleeper class and try upgrading in the train or at the platform from a TTE if i am lucky. Later, I found that the booking office at Ernakulam has no such issues in issuing ticets on III AC from that station for travel to Trivandrum on the same train but Aluva is not obliging on that count.

c Train is scheduled to stop for 2 min and I have 3 heavy bags (and am travelleing alone). The reason for all this heavy luggage is that I have to take a flight to catch from Trivandrum the next day as the destination I was flying was not served from COK airport. The porter I hire at Aluva says that TTEs does not step out at Aluva generally as scheduled stoppage is 2 minutes and he was right.

4 Asks the TTE to put the luggage inside a III AC compartment. Some seats are empty but one of the guys sitting near where I Put down my luggage is a Kerala based Army guy coming on leave and he is obnoxious to the extreme as if I am travelling without a ticket (actually he was right in a sense:- thanks to Indian Railway Aluva, I was travelling without a valid ticket for that class).

5 No co-operation form the army guy or his friends but finally had to rather forcefully put my point accross that I have to search out for a TTE and have to leave my bags there. Took my backpack and started the great TTE hunt! Found the first guy after about 10 minutes in the 3rd or 4th coach from where I started out with who says he is not the TTE for the coach where I put my luggage in and I have to continue my search. However he is kind enough to provide me an escort. the AC mechanic of that coach and I continue my search. Finally got hoid of the right man or rather TTE, almost as the train reached Ernakulam, paid the fare difference and rushed back to the original coach hoping that nobody had scooted off with my remaining bags!!! Fortunately it was there.

6 After the train left Ernakualm (where a few other pax joined the coach), my orginal TTE came around to check tickets. A few of the Ernakulam joining pax upgraded their tickets and one or two had their tickets issued in III AC itself from Ernakulam. I asked him a very valid question that if I had waited for him all the while (since I had boarded from Aluva) instead of doing my great TTE hunt, would I have been pernalised by anyone since I was having a Sleeper class ticket and travelling on III AC?. His answer was that the rule is if it was a ticket checking squad which found me I might have been penalised since they work independent of normal TTEs and are supposed to track out offenders


This is just an example of how easy short distsnce travel in Kerala is if you want to travel in some comfort!!!
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Old 19th January 2013, 22:00   #2520
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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This is just an example of how easy short distsnce travel in Kerala is if you want to travel in some comfort!!!
Its a horrible experience travelling within Kerala. These days, some operators like Kallada have some options for the public who look for some comfort. KeSRTC is absolutely hopeless when it comes to operating premium services - even buses without AC, but with push-back seating will appeal to such clientele.

No wonder the 0700hrs EKM-TVM bus used to be a super hit in its hay-days. The corporation was hell bent on destroying the service' popularity by running it very unreliably - service cancellations were normal, and they never bother to send a replacement - even when they used to have some 4-5 AC buses rotting in the garage. Unless some major private operator (with sufficient political backing) comes into the scene, short distance intra-state passengers in Kerala have to be content with KeSRTC super fasts and super expresses.
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