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Old 18th August 2014, 13:48   #3376
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Took SLS service yesterday (August 17, 2014) from Thrissur to Bangalore. It was a special service due to long weekend and being special, I was sure that it would'nt be smooth as a normal service. I was expecting some delays and co-coordinating problems in pickups (especially with online booking) which is quite normal (I think Iam very patient). However, the things happened were quite different.

I got picked from Chalakudy at 9.40 pm (against said 9.15 pm, this can be counted as normal for me) and stopped near toll plaza as its AC was not working. Spend close to 30 minutes there and it started working. Then bus headed to Thrissur for pick up and stopped near Round to rectify again malfunctioning AC by 11.30 pm. Some mechanics came, another SLS bus came, all tried and dirtied the hands without any results. Then bus co-ordinator started refunding INR 300 to compensate malfunctioning AC (original fare was in range of 1500 to 1800 for each bakras) to each passenger, some argued for higher refund citing that a Non AC bus fare is around 800-900. Lots of arguments and by that time Police Patrol came. Explaining matter to them and for them to understand both side of stories took some time. Later it was decided after a telecall with owner of SLS and Police that in Bangalore another 300 will be refunded at Madivala in SLS office. Eventually bus started at 1.15 am + from Round and reached Silkboard (where I got down) at 9.15 am. I am sure that the second refund would not have happened because the driver was saying AC worked for some time in between and SLS office has bought some politician with whom we can discuss once we reach Madiwala. I trusted my instinct that I will be wasting time by going Madiwala and participating in unfruitful talks, so pushed to office from silk board directly. Bonus was hearing sweet music from woman of house because I went to office directly rather than going to my home in JP Nagar.


Lessons which I know but never learnt:

1. Plan in advance and be away from special services and Hosur link services

2. Stick to reliable regular services like SRM, Kerala lines (based on my experiences), but Iam sure others will have their own share of bad experiences with them

3. I should be more organised and review extended weekends and festival days in start of year and arrange for train tickets/ plan for long drives. Other odd trips, just wish good luck and stick to regular services

4. Avoid SLS in future
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Old 18th August 2014, 21:10   #3377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aravindpn
Took SLS service yesterday (August 17, 2014) from Thrissur to Bangalore.

4. Avoid SLS in future
My nephew and niece were in the other SLS special bus. I think their bus stopped to check your bus at Trichur.

For them, it was the driver who took too many breaks for a late arrival at Bangalore. They too paid Rs. 1600 per seat for not missing their class at Christ.

Btw, We booked ticket on SLS Volvo for last Friday but didn't cancel last minute as there was no refund. We got a call from crew on Friday evening and they were very happy to hear that we were not traveling.

Never travel on a special service, if you are pressed on time. SLS daily Volvo is good and I heard very pleasant reviews about them from close friends/family.
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Old 19th August 2014, 19:00   #3378
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Had a "terrific" journey by KaSRTC Airavat from Thrissur to Bangalore on August 17, 2014.

Seats were available only on this particular bus - 1535TRCBNG Airavat service. This bus leaves Thrissur at 1535hrs and runs via Guruvayur, Perinthalmanna, Nilambur, Gudalur, Mysore and is scheduled to reach Bangalore at 0030hrs (normally comes only by 0130~0200hrs). The bus left sharp at 1535hrs from Thrissur (very very unusual for a KaSRTC service) - we left behind two passengers who hadn't reported even at 1535hrs, and their phones were switched off.

Things weren't going well right from the beginning - the guy at the counter kept telling the driver if he'll be able to cross the border in time, and my co-passenger asked me "Will we pass the border in time?" Me being a believer of omen, felt the bad vibes and was a bit worried.

We had to pick-up four passengers from Guruvayur - the conductor kept trying their number all the time to request them to come down to Kunnamkulam by auto - but their number were also switched off. Left with no choice, we took the road to Guruvayur. Got stuck at the infamous level crossing, and remained stationery for about 10 minutes. We left Guruvayur at 1627.

The driver was "firing on all the guns" all the time - his driving style was quite different from the "lug happy" Volvo drivers of KaSRTC. This particular bus was from Mysore Rural Depot-2 and had clocked about 9.03 Lakh kms. The bus had very poor pick-upm and the driver had to keep shifting down to the first gear every time he had to stop on an incline.

We passed Nilambur at 1847hrs and Vazhikkadavu at 1916hrs. I started feeling uneasy now - the ghats are quite unpredictable. The driver seemed well versed with ghat driving - he maintained pace and was quite controlled - infact, I loved the way he handled the twisty-curvy ghat section. We got held up in a traffic block in the ghat for about 10 minutes, then had to stop at a hotel on the ghats for the ladies in the bus to use the washroom. We finally passed Gudalur at 2037hrs.

Now the driver was pushing all the bus hard to get past the check post before 2100hrs. We finally reached the RTO checkpost just before the forest checkpost at Thorappalli at 2050hrs - There was a long snarl! And the forest guard comes and shouts at our driver - "Where are you going? The forest is closed - go and join the line".

WHAT? ARE u joking was my first response. The driver looked as shocked as I was! Its only 2052 - 8 minutes to go for 2100hrs - the official closing time! The guard was adamant and stuck to his stand - "THE FOREST IS CLOSED".

It was then that we realised that three Rajahamsas too were standing there - our driver quickly asked the one Rajahamsa guy when he reached - he replied, "I came here at 2015 - the guard stopped me then itself!"

Almost all the male passengers in the bus now got off, and we had a quarrel with the guard - by now two cops appeared, and their patiently spoke to us saying that 2100hrs was the time Karnataka check post closes - TN check post closes at 2030hrs, and blah blah. We now had to resign to fate!

The driver parked the bus closer to the gate on the right side - and broke the bad news to the passengers in the bus. He suggested that we have our dinner at the earliest as well. Left with no choice, most of us attacked one hotel there. The driver left the door open, and informed the passengers on the first row how to operate the door, and he went to the dickey to sleep.

I was lucking to have two seats at my disposal. 2-3 passengers from our bus got off and returned to Thrissur in a bus which came out of the forest. The rest of us tried to sleep. Snores in different wavelengths gave company to my sleep.

After a lot of struggle - somehow managed to sleep for some time. Woke up at around 0545 - walked around the bus for some time. The gate opened exactly at 0600hrs, and it took us 2 minutes to pass the gate. The shameless guys standing at the gate were forcibly blocking cars and asking for "tea money" - they threatened an Innova guy not to let him pass till he paid - and he stayed put - he did not pay. They had to let him through.

This was my first experience through the forest at that time - lots of deers gave company. One elephant family was also spotted. No vehicles came in the opposite direction till we passed into Karnataka. Once out of the forest, the driver stepped on the gas pedal again.

He pushed hard till we reached Mysore - the bus had poor pick-up, and it showed. The 2nd & 3rd gear just doesn't fall, and the driver had to use 4th gear everytime we passed a speed breaker. We reached Mysore at 0805. The crew announced a quick "toilet" break and went to get their waybill signed. Almost half the bus emptied out. We started again at 0823 - they did not try to hunt for Bangalore passengers - simply started out quickly.

The conductor took to the wheels now - this guy was faster than the driver, and he was smarter on the road. We stopped at Maddur for breakfast (18 minutes) and left at 0950. We finally reached Mysore Road Satellite Bus Station (The terminating point) at 1125 - almost 11hrs later than the scheduled time!

This was one helluva "terrific" journey!

The bus was in really poor shape - rattling all the time, poor maintenance resulting in poor pick-up. The drivers tried their best, but still we got stuck!

Guys using the Gudalur Thorappalli checkpost - please note that they've put up boards now saying the closing time is 2030hrs.
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Old 20th August 2014, 09:47   #3379
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

If they are running a schedule with such tight deadlines , I wonder why KSRTC cannot prepone this service by one hour and depart at 1430??? I dont think any one will complain for the crime of reaching an hour early at Mysore or Bangalore.
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Old 20th August 2014, 10:55   #3380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Now the driver was pushing all the bus hard to get past the check post before 2100hrs. We finally reached the RTO checkpost just before the forest checkpost at Thorappalli at 2050hrs -
It was then that we realised that three Rajahamsas too were standing there - our driver quickly asked the one Rajahamsa guy when he reached - he replied, "I came here at 2015 - the guard stopped me then itself!"

Guys using the Gudalur Thorappalli checkpost - please note that they've put up boards now saying the closing time is 2030hrs.
That should have been a real painful experience for you and your co-passengers especially for ladies

If the gate closing time is 20:30 then what is the charm in holding the Rajahamsa bus which had reached at 20:15? To be on a safer side can we assume anytime before 20:00 will be good.

Cheers!
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Old 20th August 2014, 11:33   #3381
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
It was then that we realised that three Rajahamsas too were standing there - our driver quickly asked the one Rajahamsa guy when he reached - he replied, "I came here at 2015 - the guard stopped me then itself!"

they've put up boards now saying the closing time is 2030hrs.
Why was the Rajahamsa guy stopped then? Was there a there a traffic snarl ahead of him till the gate?

Cheers
AB
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Old 20th August 2014, 19:47   #3382
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Was the AC switched on? Or was it also shut?
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Old 21st August 2014, 11:48   #3383
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by coriollis View Post
Why was the Rajahamsa guy stopped then? Was there a there a traffic snarl ahead of him till the gate?

Cheers
AB
Also, Was there any opposite traffic being let out since KA side traffic is allowed till 9 PM? I strongly feel that there was a nexus between the lone restaurant guy and Forest guards for he stands to gain when he stops vehicles 15 mins before the official closing time.

Last edited by DWind : 21st August 2014 at 11:50.
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Old 21st August 2014, 17:19   #3384
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
If they are running a schedule with such tight deadlines , I wonder why KSRTC cannot prepone this service by one hour and depart at 1430??? I dont think any one will complain for the crime of reaching an hour early at Mysore or Bangalore.
The bus loses time in Guruvayur pick-up as well - the level cross is an unpredictable place, plus the traffic near Kunnamkulam. I have dropped in a mail to KSRTC - lets see if they respond or make any time changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by treadmark View Post
If the gate closing time is 20:30 then what is the charm in holding the Rajahamsa bus which had reached at 20:15? To be on a safer side can we assume anytime before 20:00 will be good.
Yes. Those driving that way better consider the time to be 8pm, and not 8.30pm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coriollis View Post
Why was the Rajahamsa guy stopped then? Was there a there a traffic snarl ahead of him till the gate?
There was a snarl when we reached - the Rajahamsa guy said they forcibly stopped all the vehicles at 2015 itself saying the forest was closed. Since there was vehicles coming in the opposite direction they thought they'd be permitted after some time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Was the AC switched on? Or was it also shut?
AC was shut. But it being in the forest, it was quite cold at night. The driver left the main door open, and opened the overhead exhaust glasses too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWind View Post
Also, Was there any opposite traffic being let out since KA side traffic is allowed till 9 PM? I strongly feel that there was a nexus between the lone restaurant guy and Forest guards for he stands to gain when he stops vehicles 15 mins before the official closing time.
May be. There are two hotels - the service in both of them were lousy.
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Old 21st August 2014, 18:23   #3385
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Had to travel to Goa from Madras 3 weeks ago. I had only 2 choices by road, Train or Bus; could not take my car or motorcycle as my intent to travel was to pick up motorcycle from Goa...Madgaon to precise.

Trains...less said better!!

Obvious choice turned to bus, Volvo & only one operator was doing that from Madras - SeaBird Tourists (http://www.seabirdtourists.com/). Got these guys through rediff, when I went to book directly from Seabird, got 5% discount.

Per their plan, they start from Madras by 4:30 PM & reach Madgoan by 10:00 AM next day & they stated no dinner break, which was more than fine by me; the reality was...
16:30 - Madras
22:00 - Bangalore
22:00 to 23:00 - Swimming through B'lore traffic
23:00 - Took off from Bangalore!!
08:00 AM - Ankola (B'Fast)
11:20 - Madgaon

Almost the entire bus got down at Bangalore (Majestic) & they boarded new set of passengers else where (don't remember where) & they had about an hour's time wherein they simply picked up the blankets that were lying down (used by passengers from Madras to Bangalore), folded them & put back to the seat. I tried hard to believe that mine wasn't so

Anyway, these didn't disappoint me, but, the entire journey got delayed by 1:30 hours, which wasn't so pleasing. Even the staffs (spoke Kannada) who were polite in Madras became little unfriendly at Madgaon. Since this is the only operator providing direct Madras - Goa service...do we have a choice?
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Old 21st August 2014, 20:24   #3386
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Routes out of Bangalore are nowadays seeing some of the biggest fare wars in recent times with Indigo taking Air Asia head on on the latter's routes. End result is that Chennai Bangalore fares average 1000 Rs or less, Bangalore Goa and Bangalore Kochi around 2000 Rs or less one way all inclusive provided you are a little flexible with dates and can book a week or so ahead.

So do not rule out fliights altogether . Even a combination of Bus and Flight for Chennai Goa may not have cost you much more than what you had to pay Sea Bird if it was not on a weekend.

How much did you pay for the bus journey??
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Old 21st August 2014, 21:54   #3387
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How much did you pay for the bus journey??
Something close to 2K, I think some Rs 18xx; flights were not an option as they all proved way too expensive.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 09:49   #3388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Had to travel to Goa from Madras 3 weeks ago.

Anyway, these didn't disappoint me, but, the entire journey got delayed by 1:30 hours, which wasn't so pleasing. Even the staffs (spoke Kannada) who were polite in Madras became little unfriendly at Madgaon. Since this is the only operator providing direct Madras - Goa service...do we have a choice?
You have one more option Paulo Travels which is again a Multi Axle Volvo but a sleeper though. Paulo leave Koyambedu around 15:30 an hour before Seabird but reaches Bangalore at 22:00 not sure how this will be after Bangalore.
I've used this Seabird service seven ~ eight times to Bangalore every time I travel in the evening. The cleanliness in the bus is a hit or a miss but then they have always dropped me at Madivala before 22:00 and even at 21:15 once. They always start on time (unless a passenger turns late) as the bus will be at their Koyambedu office even before 15:00 looks like this is a morning service from Bangalore coming from Goa.
Cheers!
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Old 22nd August 2014, 09:57   #3389
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I traveled in Seabird twice and both times, dropped me at Silkboard before 9pm with an early dinner break at Krishnagiri.
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Old 1st September 2014, 16:49   #3390
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Hi Friends,
I travelled from Bangalore to Hyderabad in a Scania bus by Aeon Connect travels. Its a Kochi - Hyd service via Bangalore. They arrived 2 hours late to Madiwala, Bangalore (01:30 am instead of 23:30) from Kochi. It created lot of irritation and lack of proper sleep.

Positives:
1) Super smooth vehicle. Good suspension and no sound. Of course, the road itself is good
2) Sedate driving. No sudden braking, loud honking or zig zag driving.
3) GPS tracking

Negatives
1) Lack of punctuality. They reached 2 hours late to Bangalore. This resulted in 3 hours delay reaching Hyd
2) Water bottle, Juice, Snacks not given to passengers who boarded at Bangalore
3) The blankets were stinking badly
4) Unhygienic seats, especially the last 5 -6 rows.

Aeon connect is ambitious with its timings. They should start from Kochi early to avoid delay reaching Bangalore. Else, they should run 2 services. 1 from Kochi - Banaglore. Another from Bangalore - Hyderabad.

Overall verdict:
I liked Scania multiaxle better than Volvo multiaxle. I will definitely travel in Scania bus again. But, I will not travel in Aeon connect. Waiting for other reputed operators like Kesineni, VRL, HKB to launch Scania buses on multiple routes.
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