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Old 25th July 2014, 11:11   #3361
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Please do not book online from Palakkad. If you/your SIL/someone related can, it's best to walk into one of the many travel agents near the Palakkad KSRTC bus stand (Manjakulam road, to be precise), and book one that they recommend. Last week, I made this mistake of booking a ticket online, for my brother to travel to Chennai, and when he went to board the bus, the agents advised him not to use redBus or any online ticketing site, as they know better about the buses and the times of arrival. Needless to say, the bus arrived an hour behind the advertised time in redBus, but on the dot at the time mentioned by the agent.
I faced this issue last week for a travel to Kannur from Bangalore for my parents. Booked on Golden Travels Volvo using Goibibo and the ticket had a boarding time of 845 PM from Madiwala. We reached Madiwala by 840 PM and did not see the bus. Upon inquiry at Friends Travels (designated boarding point) we were informed that the bus had left at 830 PM which is the scheduled departure and Goibibo is incorrect !! We were asked to go to Kalasipayalam and board the bus there. The Golden travels office was also not co-operative when we called them and reported this issue, asking for the bus to wait till we reach there.

Luckily the Ashoka Volvo (also to Kannur) had not departed and the kind driver offered to drop my parents in Kalasipalayam and assured us that Golden would not depart till they reached. He also called up and spoke to the Golden Volvo driver to wait till he reached there with the 2 passengers. This driver also mentioned to my parents that the bus timings on redbus and other websites are inaccurate and that it is always better to call up and confirm the same with the travel agent.
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Old 25th July 2014, 11:43   #3362
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Wait a minute! Check out KSRTC - they have 3 services, IIRC, one each from Tvm, Ktm and Ekm, passing through the Palakkad KSRTC depot. Fare works out to Rs.970 or thereabouts, which is the best VFM option. Buses are good, and the last I heard, they provide blankets now, which was not the case until a month ago. You can book online at their website: http://210.212.239.117:8080/KsrtcOnlineR/
Kerala RTC charges full fare from start point for advance reservations even if you board midway. Palakkad-Bangalore fare on Trivandrum-Bangalore Volvo is 1300+ IIRC.
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Old 25th July 2014, 13:39   #3363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Kerala RTC charges full fare from start point for advance reservations even if you board midway. Palakkad-Bangalore fare on Trivandrum-Bangalore Volvo is 1300+ IIRC.
It used to be. But they have tweaked the site to enable booking from depots enroute. The end to end fare on the Tvm-Bangy Volvo is indeed ~1400, but if you book from Palakkad to Bangalore, it works out to ~970. Tried it last night, so I know
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Old 25th July 2014, 13:47   #3364
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
It used to be. But they have tweaked the site to enable booking from depots enroute. The end to end fare on the Tvm-Bangy Volvo is indeed ~1400, but if you book from Palakkad to Bangalore, it works out to ~970. Tried it last night, so I know
Thats a great news! thanks for sharing.

Have they made any other changes to reservation system?

To book a 6am service, we need to login at least at 5.55 am, even if the travel date is after 21 days! Looks like they made some changes there.

Edit: Pramod, I just checked the site and no separate fare stage for enroute depots. Am I missing something?
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Last edited by coolclouds : 25th July 2014 at 14:01.
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Old 25th July 2014, 16:36   #3365
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Please do not book online from Palakkad. If you/your SIL/someone related can, it's best to walk into one of the many travel agents near the Palakkad KSRTC bus stand (Manjakulam road, to be precise), and book one that they recommend. Last week, I made this mistake of booking a ticket online, for my brother to travel to Chennai, and when he went to board the bus, the agents advised him not to use redBus or any online ticketing site, as they know better about the buses and the times of arrival. Needless to say, the bus arrived an hour behind the advertised time in redBus, but on the dot at the time mentioned by the agent.
Yikes! I already made the mistake of booking it on RedBus and then coming over here to check on SLS bus service!! Now that you told me, I called up the phone number listed as Contacts in the ticket and a rude mallu fellow picked up -- asked him where exactly is the Boarding point and he said can't you see that listed on the ticket! On enquiring about what time it normally reaches here, he said to call up on the day of journey and find out! Hoping that it won't be much of an issue on the day of travel as the Chandranagar Jn. pickup point doesn't exist anymore coz of NH work.
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Old 25th July 2014, 16:39   #3366
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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SLS is a new bus and used to arrive Bangalore by 7 am. Both the services listed are same.

As Silversteed mentioned, walk into any local agent, it should be cheap. You may also try KaSRTC Volvo which departs on time.
Thanks for that info Relieved to hear that it's a new bus and not a fly-by-night kind of service! KaSRTC Volvo had only non ladies seat and also we will need to go to the "non-existent", "badly leaking", transport bus stand to board. I stay in Chandranagar and all private buses pick passengers from here.
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Old 25th July 2014, 16:42   #3367
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Wait a minute! Check out KSRTC - they have 3 services, IIRC, one each from Tvm, Ktm and Ekm, passing through the Palakkad KSRTC depot. Fare works out to Rs.970 or thereabouts, which is the best VFM option. Buses are good, and the last I heard, they provide blankets now, which was not the case until a month ago. You can book online at their website: http://210.212.239.117:8080/KsrtcOnlineR/
Being a KSRTC fanboy, I did check that out first; but the fares were showing up as Rs. 1100 when I checked from PKD to BLR. Not sure how you got to see a cheaper fare? Does it show differential pricing for a guest user vs. registered user? Anyways, I got SLS ticket via RedBus for a cool Rs. 810 after using coupons
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Old 25th July 2014, 17:16   #3368
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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I just checked the site and no separate fare stage for enroute depots. Am I missing something?
It doesn't get displayed in the search results page. Only the end to end fare and timings are shown. If you choose the boarding point as a depot enroute, then you can see the actual fare:

Intercity Bus travel reviews-ksrtc.jpg

I'd selected 2 seats, so the fare is Rs.1902. Oh, btw, they haven't implemented the fare stages properly for the other 2 multi-axle Volvo services, from Ktm and Ekm. This works only for the Tvm-Bangalore service.

EDIT:
This website doesn't fail to amaze me with the level of "sophistication" - all boarding points right from Tvm Central get listed down, for a journey from Palakkad, which is the last boarding point/fare stage for this service! The corporation has really gone to the dogs.

Last edited by silversteed : 25th July 2014 at 17:20.
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Old 25th July 2014, 21:20   #3369
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Redbus doesn't list timing on its own. It's only agents who give inaccurate information.
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Old 26th July 2014, 14:39   #3370
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Travelled from Aluva to Kollam leaving Aluva at 5.30 AM. My wife dropped me at Aluva KSRTCbus station. A Vaikom ordinary service was about to depart so boarded it and got down at the Vytilla Mobility hub by 6 AM. The first Kollam bound bus which turned up was a JnURM Volvo to Trivandrm.Bus filled up to 90% capacity but pax travelling right up to Trivandrum were less than 10 .

Left Vytiila at 6.30 had a 20 min break at Kayamkulam and reached Kollam at 1015. Would have reached earlier were it not for heavy blocks near Kollam because of a local festival. Fare to Kollam was 233 and the bus was JNT 25 of Eanchakkal depot (Trivandrum).

At the KeSRTC office in the Vytilla hub they were advertising multi axle Volvo services to Bangalore and Mysore with "Blankets and Water".I hope they are paying T-Bhp ian Binaiks as they have used a photograph he has taken of their Bus

Last edited by TKMCE : 26th July 2014 at 15:09.
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Old 27th July 2014, 11:26   #3371
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My nephew traveled Bangalore - Kochi by Aeon Connect Scania yesterday. This is Hyderabad - Ernakulam service.

He boarded grom Madiwala at 12 midnight, entered Coimbatore city by 5.30 am and reached Ernakulam by 8.30 am. Blankets and biscuits were provided.

GPS tracking is possible on this service. Overall, very good service.
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Old 5th August 2014, 14:55   #3372
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Scania delivered two buses to KaSRTC on trail. They are operating Bangalore-Chennai and Bangalore-Tirupathi.

Source
BANGALORE: After the series of aghast bus infernos that charred to death more than 60 people in Volvo make buses owned by private bus operators last year, here is a bus that offers you a flight-like safety leaflet and video displaying dos and don'ts at the time of emergency, six emergency doors with 12 hammers and comes with a fleet management system that can be monitored real time.

Another Swedish auto giant Scania hits the public transport sector in India and is all set to give stiff competition to its predecessor Volvo. Known for its high fuel efficiency, safety features such as black box, speed governor, six emergency doors and detailed education to passengers about emergency exits, Scania has handed over two Metrolink buses to KSRTC on trial basis on Monday.

Scania started delivering buses to operators since Februrary 2013 in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. And the company claims to have got good response from customers (operators) and passengers already. Helmut Schwartz, director (production buses and coaches) said, "The response to our Metrolink buses has been overwhelming. All our products maintain stringent global standards in terms of safety and quality. Our soon to be inaugurated plant at Narasapura will be manufacturing Metrolink buses locally. We are all set to deliver on our commitments to India and look forward to gaining a strong foothold in the market".
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Old 5th August 2014, 16:07   #3373
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Scania is likely to supply more number of buses in near future. As for as the informations are to be believed, Scania was the lowest bidder for the recent tender of 40 multi axles.
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Old 12th August 2014, 16:56   #3374
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So, here's a quick review of SLS Business Class Multi Axle Volvo between Kerala (boarded at Palakkad) and Bangalore. As mentioned in my earlier post, has booked this new service and have ask fellow BHPians for review. The bus was scheduled at arrive at 11:50pm; but thanks to advance warning from fellow BHPians, I called up the contact number given along with RedBus ticket and asked about running status at about 7pm. The person told me the bus will be ready by about 45 minutes and that he will give me a call once the bus reaches Thrissur. At about 10:30pm, I made another call and the person said they are nearing Thrissur and that he will give me the bus driver's contact number so that I can give him a call. He said most likely the bus will be late by an hour or so. Since the bus pick up point at Palakkad (Chandranagar) is 400 meters away from my home, we decided to stay back at home till the driver gives a time. I call up the driver at 12:30am and he said they are nearing Alathur. We finally decided to go and wait at the pick up point. I was shocked to see many people standing there waiting for other Bangalore/Chennai bound buses with no idea as to when they would arrive as they had come to the pickup point at the scheduled time. The bus finally arrived at about 1:15am. It was a clean bus and after getting my SIL board the bus I talked to the driver asking if they will reach Bangalore on time. He confidently said they will be reaching by 6:45am sharp!! And indeed they reached Madiwala 15 minutes before at 6:30am!! That's a cool 5:15hrs from PKD to BLR!!
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Old 13th August 2014, 16:10   #3375
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I traveled by Aeon Connect's Scania from Hyderabad to Cochin earlier this month. The overall experience was 5/5. Meticulous is the right word to describe their service.

Boarding:
I boarded from Gachibowli. The boarding time was 1430 and it was right on time. Not a minute late. (I am a little obsessive about keeping time, so this bears heavily on my 5/5 rating)

Travel:
Once cause for delays with the Hyd-Cochin line (I have experienced this with KPN, Kesineni, Orange) is the undue wait (for as much as 1.5 hrs) at Medhipatnam for the passengers collected from the city. Well, that did not happen. Max 15 min and we hit the highway.
Once on the highway, we were given bottles of water. At about 5 or so, tea was served with premium Delishus cookies on board. Yes, you are reading it right. We were given warm tea in personal flasks.
There were safety manuals at the nets and a polythene cover was provided to each for disposal of waste or for travel sickness.

Arrival:
The scheduled arrival at Aluva was at 0730. We reached at 0745. I was ok since it is a far cry from my previous experience of up to 3.5 hrs delay. Total journey time of 17 hrs 15 min for 1,100 km. If you bring into perspective the Hyd-Chennai train journey of 13.5 hrs over 700 km, you get the idea. Spot on.

Likes:
1) Timeliness
2) The hospitality
3) Overall travel comfort

Can improve:
1) The seats are poorly bucketed suited for tall or short (in my case) men. I find the seating in Mercedes buses bucketed enough so that a short person like I who cannot reach the foot rest do not slide off.
2) The baggage can be tagged (I want to be pampered more). But please don't start using chalk like APSRTC
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