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Old 28th September 2013, 06:17   #2986
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Never ever am I stepping into a KSRTC Airavath again. Took it yesterday for the Bangalore Neyveli route, inspite of my bro suggesting for the other private carrier.

For starters, they had sprayed some pesticides for the bed bugs into the completely air sealed bus. The ventilation windows on the roof were sealed with silicon paste. I ask if he could enable fresh air mode and he drew a blank. We were literally in tears due to the irritation and also felt some weird tastes after inhaling those fumes. I walk up to the conductor and ask why the heck is it like this, he coolly said we have sprayed some medicine. God knows what poisons I inhaled. To add to this, the guy was driving as he wishes on all the speed breakers and potholes, resulting in us wallowing around in all four directions. Finally the inevitable happened, I puked. I was getting a weird feeling and was sitting upright for 4 hours and then this happened just as he was flying over undulations. For the record, I have never puked in a bus however bad the ride was till date.
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Old 28th September 2013, 07:11   #2987
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Never ever am I stepping into a KSRTC Airavath again. Took it yesterday for the Bangalore Neyveli route, inspite of my bro suggesting for the other private carrier.

For starters, they had sprayed some pesticides for the bed bugs into the completely air sealed bus. The ventilation windows on the roof were sealed with silicon paste. I ask if he could enable fresh air mode and he drew a blank. We were literally in tears due to the irritation and also felt some weird tastes after inhaling those fumes. I walk up to the conductor and ask why the heck is it like this, he coolly said we have sprayed some medicine. God knows what poisons I inhaled. To add to this, the guy was driving as he wishes on all the speed breakers and potholes, resulting in us wallowing around in all four directions. Finally the inevitable happened, I puked. I was getting a weird feeling and was sitting upright for 4 hours and then this happened just as he was flying over undulations. For the record, I have never puked in a bus however bad the ride was till date.
Ouch! That seems to be a ride you'd wanna forget!
And going by your post, it appears that there seems to be a little difference between KSRTC Volvos and SETC omni buses! Except for the fact that the Volvo is air conditioned and high tech! Actually, these KSRTC Airvat coaches appear to be as good as the private carriers from the outside! It's shocking to know that they are least bothered about the passengers!

I had a very Bad experience in Kallada! Was traveling from Chennai to Coimbatore in a Kallada double axle volvo! It was during the summer holiday and i guess that was a spare bus that was deployed for my trip! I was given the last row window seat and when i got in i realized that the seats had a stench, the window was cracked , water was leaking from the air con unit and to top it off, the air con duct was broken and it was blasting at my face! I asked for a seat change, the conductor and driver told that they had no seats! So, i had no other go but sit there and face the cold air! But, after half an hour it was very cold and i walked up to the driver and asked him for a seat changee( there were 2 vacant ones). He plainly refused to give me the other seat. I then threatened them that i'll right away make a call to Kallada's head office and will file a complaint against them and the company! And I also got the support of a few other passengers so, they had to shift me to another seat which was fine. But, i'd say that was a waste of 1000 bucks!
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Old 28th September 2013, 08:26   #2988
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Need some help on the KeSRTC buses which run between Pathanamthiita and Kumily in Kerala via Gavi eco tourism area. Is anybody aware of the timings from either end and also how long it takes. I don't plan to stop over at Gavi but will continue through to the end , Also are there clean decent not too expensive (around 750-1000 Rs per night) places to stay near the bus stands at Kumily or Pathanamthitta since I plan to do the trip from Ernakulam and I might have to stay overnight at one of the towns ?. Neither of these two towns to my knowledge has too many late night services.
I'd suggest you travel from the Pathanamthitta end, since that would be more convenient for you reach from Ernakulam. The buses from Pathanamthitta are at 0530 (or 6) and 12.20. The timings from Kumily are also similar - 0530 and 1. The buses take about 6 hours to reach the other end, with a couple of breaks in between - the fare is around Rs. 115 (IIRC).

Kumily has lots of decent, and not-so-expensive hotel options - there is one right behind the bus station (Ray's Inn, IIRC) which is a family run business - they offer clean rooms with basic amenities.

Either ways, you cannot stopover at Gavi, since the area is strictly restricted to people with a booking at KFDC. Its a good ride through the forest - I had been on that route in July. Now that rains have come down a bit, it would be even more better.
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Old 28th September 2013, 20:20   #2989
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Thank you binaks.

Do these buses get crowded at the respective bus stations itself?? In other words is "elbow power" a must to get in? Which bus will be easier to get on? The morning or the afternoon buses?

I am planning to take my young son for the trip as well (might combine a visit to Thekkady also), so if elbow power is required for getting in, I might have to drop the Gavi bus journey part.

I did a Google search but couldn't find information on a single decent lodging in Pathanamthiita. And since I am planning a trip which falls during the Sabarimala pilgrimage season, I don't want to risk overnighting in that town and hence thinking of catching the 5.30 AM from Kumily after staying overnight.

Lots of buses from Ernakulum to Kumily and hopefully there will be Pathanamtitta Ernakulam buses in the afternoon.
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Old 28th September 2013, 22:40   #2990
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Traveled 400 Kms round journey by Volvo 9400 XL. both the buses were brand new and it was their first trip. The drivers drove at 100-110 kmph. The gear box was automatic although I did'nt like the sound insulation there was fair amount of engine and road noise coming inside the coach. The seats did'nt felt as comfortable as B7R that I traveled a few years ago, the feet rests were also not as ergonomical as of the B7R. Rest the suspension was good, but after driving Safari for a long period I was unable to notice a marginal difference. Rest 200 Kms (To) were covered in 3.5 Hours including a 1/2 hour break for tyre change. I was shocked that the tyre was not punctured infact it was remoulding material that came off the tyre and the bus was shaking like crazy. It was a new bus and remoulded tyres were used! On the return journey the 200 Kms took 3 hours. These drivers drive like maniac, I think that they are trained at Volvo training facility first.
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Old 29th September 2013, 06:41   #2991
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...i walked up to the driver and asked him for a seat changee( there were 2 vacant ones). He plainly refused to give me the other seat...
But can't you change your seat yourself, if not its a ladies seat.
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Old 29th September 2013, 12:05   #2992
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Round trip Bangalore to Chennai on 26th night and back to Bangalore on 27th night.I normally take KSRTC Airavat and this time it was a B9R at 11.pm, bus was in top notch I think it was from the new lot, but however I felt they had squeezed more seats and despite taking the front seat behind the conductor I was not comfortable. Being 6.2, I always take the front rows. The ride was pretty good and reached Chennai by 5.40 AM, delay by some 20 mins thanks to the heavy rain for about 80 to 90 minutes on route. So far KSRTC has never disappointed with their B9Rs although some B7Rs are getting too old and felt they should replace them as its not worth the ticket price of 600 Rs.

Return journey wanted to save some cash so opted for afternoon trip with Roadlink India Travels, (400 Rs) wanted to try these guys from a long time and did it this time. It was a well maintained B7R and started sharp by 2.00PM in the afternoon, after a long time in my travel departure was bang on time.

Again I took the front seats and space was so generous that I fully stretched my legs unlike the KSRTC B9R and it was very comfy. Driver was constantly doing 90 to 95 KPH and the ride quality was very good too. On route they stopped near Krishnagiri and I checked out the ODO reading and it read as 4.6 Lac Kms by Volvo standards its like doing 50k Kms on our cars I suppose. I reached Madiwala by 8.30, overall a nice journey without any nonsense.
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Old 29th September 2013, 19:04   #2993
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Do these buses get crowded at the respective bus stations itself?? In other words is "elbow power" a must to get in? Which bus will be easier to get on? The morning or the afternoon buses?
No. None of the services require "elbowing". Actually they are loss making services, but being continued solely for social cause. From Pathanamthitta, the buses have crowd maximum upto Angamoozhy, while from Kumily, its more or less empty to Vandiperiyar - then has crowd upto Gavi. Either ways, you'll not need to elbow. But please confirm if the buses are running before you go - since its Sabarimala season, may be they buses might get diverted. The telephone numbers of Pathanamthitta/Kumily depots can be had from the KSRTC website.

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Lots of buses from Ernakulum to Kumily and hopefully there will be Pathanamtitta Ernakulam buses in the afternoon.
There aren't much direct Pathanamthitta-Ernakulam services - but there is a Pathanamthitta-Palakkad superfast at 2pm (which will drop you at Angamaly) or a Pathanamthitta-Ernakulam Superfast at around 4pm. There might be some other services - but as an alternative, you can always come down to Kottayam/Alappuzha and change buses.

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Originally Posted by GullwingGT View Post
Round trip Bangalore to Chennai on 26th night and back to Bangalore on 27th night.I normally take KSRTC Airavat and this time it was a B9R at 11.pm, bus was in top notch I think it was from the new lot, but however I felt they had squeezed more seats and despite taking the front seat behind the conductor I was not comfortable. Being 6.2, I always take the front rows. The ride was pretty good and reached Chennai by 5.40 AM, delay by some 20 mins thanks to the heavy rain for about 80 to 90 minutes on route.
In the newer buses, the first row has lesser legspace (more so if you are on the right side). That is because they've reduced leg space at the front in order to increase the leg-space for the guys in the last row.
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Old 29th September 2013, 22:34   #2994
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This multiple bus travel review is coming almost a month late, thanks to its length and thanks to chronic laziness on my part.

Background:
In mid-August, I decided to take a few dayss break in early September and go for a spot of light tourist activity along with getting a chance for a small meet-up of friends in Bangalore. I finally decided to spend a couple of days along with some of my Bangalore friends in Mysore.

Normally, I would have taken a flight to Bangalore. But this time I decided on something different, and that was to take the entire journey by bus, thanks to the recently started Volvo services to Bangalore and Hyderabad by Kesineni Travels.

So the entire journey would include 5 bus journeys in 3 different models of Volvo buses. They were:

1. Bhubaneswar-Hyderabad: Kesineni Travels B9R
2. Hyderabad-Coimbatore: Kesineni Travels B11R
3. Coimbatore-Mysore: KSRTC B7R
4. Mysore-Bangalore: KSRTC B7R
5. Bangalore-Bhubaneswar: Kesineni Travels B9R

I decided to go via Coimbatore, as I wanted to experience the Dhimbam Ghats in a Volvo.

Journey:
Leg 1. Bhubaneswar-Hyderabad
The first leg of the journey was to be by Kesineni's VL153 service from Cuttack to Hyderabad. Scheduled pick-up time was 3.15pm. At 3.20pm, a rather old looking, Volvo B9R arrived, number AP35V-9064, and 8 people boarded the bus. The bus though looked old, was actually in pretty decent condition as I experienced during the journey. 5 passengers were already on board, and then another 2 people boarded at the 2nd boarding point in Bhubaneswar. This made for a decent load 15 people from Bhubaneswar-Cuttack. The person manning the Kesineni office at Bhubaneswar had told me that this was a pretty decent passenger load, which was generally between 15 and 20 everyday.

Final departure from Bhubaneswar was at 3.35pm, about 5mins late. Despite the rain, the bus reached Berhampur at 5.30pm. This made for an average speed of about 83kmph, over a distance of about 160km. It would maintain an average of over 80kmph for another 230km, after which it stopped for dinner at a point near where the highway toward Vizianagaram joins the NH5. At this point, according to my GPS the bus had done 390kms in 4hrs and 53mins. By now the bus was almost full, after picking up passengers at Berhampur, Icchapuram, Palasa, and Srikakulam.

The stop for dinner was a comparatively early one at 8.25pm, but since I had nothing to eat since lunch, I tanked up on a rather delicious plate of biryani. The dinner break lasted for about 40mins. After dinner, I started to drift into sleep, but I was woken up at 9.45pm when the bus doors opened. It turned out 2 people had missed their Vizag-Hyderabad Kesineni bus and thanks to a few empty seats on our bus, they were allowed to travel even though this bus was not supposed to have any pickups in Vizag.

After this, I again slept pretty quickly. It was one of the best and longest sleep I had on a Volvo, thanks to smooth roads and good driving. I woke up only at 7.20am. At this point I checked my GPS distance logger on my phone and it showed a total distance of 1041kms, at an average speed of 66kmph. I had expected this would be about 20kms outside Hyderabad. But as I opened the curtains, within seconds the bus passed the entrance to the ORR. I was a bit shocked, since I had expected that the bus would take the ORR to Gachibowli, and that I would be dropped in a van/mini-bus at Lakdi ka Pul. Instead the bus went straight into Hyderabad city. I was finally dropped at Lakdi ka Pul at 8.42am.

Total Distance: 1065km Avg Speed: 62.3 kmph.

Leg 2. Hyderabad-Coimbatore
I had booked my tickets 11R712 Kesineni service, mainly because it was a service to Coimbatore rather than one towards Kerala and also too experience a B11R. This service had a pickup at Lakdi ka Pul at 5pm. But at 10.30am on the day of the journey, I got a call from Kesineni informing me that my pick-up had been re-scheduled to 3pm. I asked and it was then confirmed that the 11R712 service was being merged with the 11R702 service to Ernakulam, which departed 2 hours earlier. I was a bit ticked off, but there wasnt much to be done. I thought to myself, at least I will still get to travel in a B11R.

At 3.10pm passengers from Lakdi ka Pul were picked up in what was an aircoditioned Ashok Leyland Lynx mini-bus. At 3.50pm we were dropped in front of two Kesineni B11Rs, one to Ernakulam and the other to Trivandrum. After making some calls to some delayed finally arrived, and we departed at 4.15pm.

The bus, AP28TD 4141, looked great from outside and felt brand new. It was a B11R with I-shift and had covered about 80,000kms only. The bus also had a drop down screen at the front, unlike the flat-screen LG/Samsung TVs that seem to be the norm. Also the built in speakers were being used, rather than separate speakers kept in the luggage rack. It seemed like a well integrated entertainment system, by a company called Carbon. Initially they were playing FM radio, and the screen showed custom screensaver showing small ads of Kesineni Travels. Even when a movie was playing a small ticker scrolled at the bottom, showing ads and other details for Kesineni travels. Despite a well rounded entertainment system, Kesineni had made one major blunder. They had added a rod to hang the forward facing curtain, which ran bang in front off the front TV screen. Also one feature that I had seen on a previous journey in a Mercedes multi-axle was missing, that was an option to switch off the speaker above your head. I felt the I-shift system made a considerable difference to the smoothness with which were gear changes were executed. This was very easily visible, when on the ORR the bus smoothly accelerated from 30kmph right upto 117kmph. I also felt that it allowed the bus to accelerate faster after it had to slow down for slow moving traffic. But this bus was also the falling of the highly reputed Volvo build quality. On a bus this young, the front roof emergency exit was leaking. Once it started to rain, there was a pretty steady volume of water seeping into the cabin forcing the crew to put a cloth on the floor to absorb the water.

Coming back to the journey, I was shocked to see so few passengers on board. There were only 18 passengers on board in a 52 seater bus, despite the fact that two 52 seat services were merged. After departing Hyderabad, the bus made steady progress till its dinner stop, which was just south of Gooty which we reached at 8.10pm. My GPS logger showed a distance of 316km at an avg speed of 81kph. The bus had also clocked a maximum speed of 131kmph on the Hyderabad ORR. The restaurant though nothing fancy, was very clean and well maintained. The facility even offered a couple of rooms for sleeping in. After another longish 40min dinner break, we departed towards Bangalore at 8.50pm. After this I quickly went to sleep, only to be wake up when helper called out for Hebbal. It was 11.50pm and my phone showed a total distance of 559km at an avg of 73kmph.

Post Hebbal, I again slept off pretty quickly again and didnt notice if anybody was picked up or dropped off in Bangalore. Unfortunately, unlike last time, this time I did not get a long sleep. I was woken up again at 3.20am, when the helper called out for passengers to be dropped at Salem. My GPS logger showed a distance of 769kms at an average of 69kmph. I had just about fallen asleep again when the bus stopped again. It turned out to be a fuel stop in the town of Perundurai. I decided to give up on my sleep and got down. The crew was helping themselves to some tea and snacks and I decided to have some tea myself. Distance at this point was 852km at an avg of 70kmph. After a 20min break, we were on our way again. I along with 5 others were dropped at the start of Coimbatore bypass at 5.50am, after which were taken into Coimbatore city by a Tata 407 CityRide bus.

Total Distance: 915km Average Speed: 67.4kmph.

Other legs will be updated tomorrow. Hopefully.

Last edited by julupani : 29th September 2013 at 22:41.
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Old 30th September 2013, 09:33   #2995
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Coming back to the journey, I was shocked to see so few passengers on board. There were only 18 passengers on board in a 52 seater bus, despite the fact that two 52 seat services were merged. After departing Hyderabad, the bus made steady progress till its dinner stop, which was just south of Gooty which we reached at 8.10pm. My GPS logger showed a distance of 316km at an avg speed of 81kph. The bus had also clocked a maximum speed of 131kmph on the Hyderabad ORR. The restaurant though nothing fancy, was very clean and well maintained. The facility even offered a couple of rooms for sleeping in. After another longish 40min dinner break, we departed towards Bangalore at 8.50pm. After this I quickly went to sleep, only to be wake up when helper called out for Hebbal. It was 11.50pm and my phone showed a total distance of 559km at an avg of 73kmph.
.
Awesome. Thanks for the info. I thought Coimbatore bound buses from hyderabad go through Madanapalle, palamaner and join near Krishnagiri totally bypassing Bangalore. This gives a very good option for those who want to go to Bangalore leaving around 4 from hyderabad and reaching by 12. Do you know if the Trivandrum kesineni also follows the same route?
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Old 30th September 2013, 10:47   #2996
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Awesome. Thanks for the info. I thought Coimbatore bound buses from hyderabad go through Madanapalle, palamaner and join near Krishnagiri totally bypassing Bangalore. This gives a very good option for those who want to go to Bangalore leaving around 4 from hyderabad and reaching by 12. Do you know if the Trivandrum kesineni also follows the same route?
All the Kerala/CBE/Madurai/Kanyakumari/Trichy-Hyderabad buses of Kallada/Kesineni/KPN are via Bangalore now. Kallada and KPN permit Bangalore-Hyderabad/VV bookings all through their advance reservation period, while Kesineni opens it only on the day of journey.
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Old 30th September 2013, 20:40   #2997
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I checked out the ODO reading and it read as 4.6 Lac Kms by Volvo standards its like doing 50k Kms on our cars I suppose.
Hi All

I always had this question in mind.I travel often and mostly to Pondicherry , Vellore & Krishnagiri by the Chennai VOLVO MTC (Mertopolitan Transport Corporation Buses)

Now ,I see that most of the MTC busses have already cloked 7-8L Kms and still running. On my last journey on 23rd of September 2013 i took a 11Pm bus from Vellore to chennai and i must say the engine still had enough grunt in it,but suspension was gone and every little pothole has a solid thump !! in fact driver slowed to 50km/hr due to this.

So leave alone the suspension,how much kms can these B7R/B9R/8400s do without a overhaul?

Also how much would these 8400 City VOLVOs cost? will MTC have profits runnign them?
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Old 30th September 2013, 21:42   #2998
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The chennai volvo MTCs are the ATs by the way, intended for city use, but for reasons unknown, MTC decides to use them for inter city travel.

I have used this service to pondy once.
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Old 30th September 2013, 22:06   #2999
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Default Re: How much Kms can Volvo / AL Do??

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Now ,I see that most of the MTC busses have already cloked 7-8L Kms and still running. On my last journey on 23rd of September 2013 i took a 11Pm bus from Vellore to chennai and i must say the engine still had enough grunt in it,but suspension was gone and every little pothole has a solid thump !! in fact driver slowed to 50km/hr due to this.

While I was in Chennai last time I happened to take 500B from Tambaram to Chennai Central at 10:15 PM, I don't no the count on odometer but looked like the vehicle from first lot of 8400 to MTC. Entire stretch of Mount road was uneven due to Chennai Metro work and free from traffic all along from Tambaram; the driver was doing around 60 and every bump on the road gave a massive hit on the suspension mount / chassis. On top of everything driver didn't even bothered to slowdown and save the 80 lakh asset. Compared to BMTC they are very poorly maintained and felt like interior / exterior was not cleaned for weeks together
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Old 30th September 2013, 22:24   #3000
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You are absolutely right. The maintenance can never be compared to BMTC volvos. Fares are also marginally costlier.
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