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Old 14th October 2015, 23:17   #3571
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Here is the video. At the start you can clearly see in the other car's headlamps, how much smoke the bus is emanating. And then when it gathers momentum, a lot more smoke is gushed out.

This bus was once cancelled a month back stating that there were issues with it. I have half a doubt that it is this same bus. There were no alternatives offered which is a shame considering that their HO is at Salem and if we really mattered, they could have arranged for a spare in 3-4 hours time.

Hear the video at low volumes. There is a bus horn in the middle of the video that could cause damage to your ear drums

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Old 15th October 2015, 08:58   #3572
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Sad state of affairs regarding KPN.

When I first started travelling a couple of decades back on Inter City buses, KPN was THE operator to opt for. Excellent customer service, well maintained buses, good punctuality and courteous crew. Their office in Kalasipalayam had a spactious waiting lounge upstairs where passengers could wait comfortably till the respective bus departure was announced. The same continued when the office operations shifted to Wilson Gardens.I used to travel those days frequently on Chennai Trivandrum route and used to be so disappointed they didn't operate the route as they appear to have a sort of "non compete" agreement with Rathimeena Travels who incidentally was not a bad operator at all.


My family's last trips on KPN were four years back.The 7 PM Non AC Chennai Ernakulam service in which my family members travelled was truly memorable. Bus started half an hour late. The waiting area for the pasengers at CMBT was not only unclean but had company fron assorted wild life. After boarding the bus, passengers were told that the bus will only be till Coimbatore due to permit issues and and another replacement would be arranged. In around an hour one of the tyres had a puncture , they did not have a spare and by the time they managed to borrow one and fix it , around three hours were wasted. Around 7 AM they had reached only Erode. After reaching Coimbatore, the bus was swapped and finally at 1130 AM the bus broke down due to all things "lack of diesel" with around 20 km to go before Trichur. Finally my family members boarded a local bus to Trichur and another KSRTC bus to Ernakulam and reached home. Customer Service was hopeless.. After that have avoided them .

Last edited by TKMCE : 15th October 2015 at 09:01.
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Old 17th October 2015, 09:28   #3573
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Not sure if it is me or it is just coincidence but yet another sour experience in the Bangalore-Chennai sector.

Took the Hebron 10PM Single Axle Volvo last night. It was ready for boarding at 10:15PM at Madiwala and after some initial delays, started at 10:30 (approx).

Reached Bommanahalli and already the lady at the seat 6 started complaining that the seat wasn't reclining. The cleaner tried his best but the seat wouldn't nudge. So had to shift both the ladies to another 'supposedly' free pair in the middle of the bus.

Meanwhile, Senna incarnate took over the wheels and was slipstreaming cars/trucks etc. One such move ended almost badly. The car braked suddenly when the bus was close by, and the bus couldn't stop in time because of the momentum. I was in the aisle seat behind the driver and fell to the steps because of the sudden jerk to the right by the bus.

Twisted my middle finger and was in pain for a while and sternly told the driver that we wanted to reach home in one piece.

In the meantime, the 'supposedly' free seats got filled by some agent at Hosur. Hence chaos ensured and boarding was done for 15 minutes for 8 seats.

Finally everyone settled down and we started in the same pace. The bus was hitting triple digits consistently and I understood that the driver took no heed of my stern request earlier.

To top it all, the guy next to me stinks as bad as a dead rat. The A/C multiplying the effect since it was getting on/off at particular intervals. Had to stay awake all night and got dropped off at CMBT at 4.

My only worry despite all this is that I am taking this bus and traveling in the same seat on the Diwali weekend. Hoping I don't get to celebrate Diwali in the bus
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Old 18th October 2015, 19:38   #3574
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Sad state of affairs regarding KPN.

When I first started travelling a couple of decades back on Inter City buses, KPN was THE operator to opt for. Excellent customer service, well maintained buses, good punctuality and courteous crew. Their office in Kalasipalayam had a spactious waiting lounge upstairs where passengers could wait comfortably till the respective bus departure was announced. The same continued when the office operations shifted to Wilson Gardens.I used to travel those days frequently on Chennai Trivandrum route and used to be so disappointed they didn't operate the route as they appear to have a sort of "non compete" agreement with Rathimeena Travels who incidentally was not a bad operator at all.


My family's last trips on KPN were four years back.The 7 PM Non AC Chennai Ernakulam service in which my family members travelled was truly memorable. Bus started half an hour late. The waiting area for the pasengers at CMBT was not only unclean but had company fron assorted wild life. After boarding the bus, passengers were told that the bus will only be till Coimbatore due to permit issues and and another replacement would be arranged. In around an hour one of the tyres had a puncture , they did not have a spare and by the time they managed to borrow one and fix it , around three hours were wasted. Around 7 AM they had reached only Erode. After reaching Coimbatore, the bus was swapped and finally at 1130 AM the bus broke down due to all things "lack of diesel" with around 20 km to go before Trichur. Finally my family members boarded a local bus to Trichur and another KSRTC bus to Ernakulam and reached home. Customer Service was hopeless.. After that have avoided them .
KPN was also famous for bugs in the seats apart from rash driving. The owner K P Natarajan is based in Salem.
All private operators resort to such tactics during festival holidays as it is the only time they can make money. Some of the big travel operators hire buses from small operators during festival times. People will be accommodated in those buses but the fare will be that of the regular bus.
People have no choice but to pay so as to reach their destinations.
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Old 20th October 2015, 12:49   #3575
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
The owner K P Natarajan is based in Salem.
More than a decade ago, I met Mr. Natarajan once. He was busy in arrangements of his son's wedding. From the others, I heard a bit of history that he rose from a humble driver to the position of owning a fleet. In fact he was sitting in a normal stool in an old office near 5 roads junction. Seemed simple and Genuine.

But after the heir took over the control, the quality started going down the drain. They shifted their focus on more profitable Express cargo, and competed with ABT and ARC. This move stirred some wrong notes and ABT X Travels was launched to put some dent on KPN Travels.

Adding to the above, QoS troubles multiplied when many small fleet owners and newbies started "attaching" their fleet to KPN. I personally know someone who ran 2 of his buses attached to KPN's fleet. Over the time, KPN could not ensure quality and it all started breaking away. Classic case of growing too big, to become manageable and lack of innovation.

PS : Correct me , if the facts above are wrong. I am just recollecting the past happenings over a decade.

Last edited by rajeshsundaram : 20th October 2015 at 12:51.
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Old 20th October 2015, 20:56   #3576
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Lot of bad things to say about KPN; so it is only appropriate that the I tell when almost everything goes good.

It was the return journey and the this time the bus was a different one to the one which had a failed clutch a couple of weeks back.

Still there was a 'game over' (beeeep beeeep) sound coming from inside the bus and the bus was puffing air periodically outside.

Said my prayers and got in, determined to not let these bother my sleep. Had a very good sleep and got dropped off at 4:30 at Madiwala after leaving Adyar at 10:30PM.

It is evident that the maintenance of these buses has gone to dogs with such an exponential rise in the fleet size. Hoping it stays where it is even if things don't improve in the future.

KPN has a special place in my heart since I have travelled with them from the time I was a toddler and mostly they were good to their word in their service. Hoping they can come back to the same level of service sooner than later.
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Old 28th October 2015, 10:15   #3577
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Chennai - Hyderabad: Transit tours and Travels Scania Semisleeper

Travelled Monday night from chennai to Hyderabad. After the dussera holidays had booked Sunday night but due to some last minute change in plan had to travel on Monday. Looked on sunday night in Redbus except the Transit Tours Scania Semisleeper all others options were overpriced or Soldout. So booked this.
Dep time: 9.15 PM outside Omni Bus stand near Hotel Royal Plaza. I reached the point at 8.50 PM and the bus was there already. It was a new Scania White bus and I was impressed immediately with how neat the bus was inside. this is my 1st time with both Transit and Scania. Seats were wide and spacious with neat and clean blankets. Bus started at 9.20 PM and we were given water bottle, juice, biscuit pack and a cake. Bus was speed locked at 90 KMPH I guess. Driving was very sedate and at around 11.30 we reached Sulurpet and the second driver took over after 5 mins of Bio break. I slept very peacefully, no harsh manueovres or honking by this driver. Near Nalgonda previous driver took over and we were near Hayathnagar by 7.30 am. I was dropped near JNTU by 8.45 am. The scheduled arrival was 8.15 am. Even though the bus was new had few rattles, but super silent. I was very impressed with the SCANIA. Volvo is going to have tough competition. Overall Journey was smooth and crew was super friendly and I hope they continue the same way as they grow big.

Last edited by venki.bala : 28th October 2015 at 10:24. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 9th November 2015, 13:57   #3578
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Any idea about Anand Non AC sleeper on Pune Bangalore route? How is it? Is it good for family travel? Is the bus condition good? Punctuality aspect? Crew behavior?
What about AC Sleeper ? Similar questions regarding to it too.
Please advise.
Cheers,
AB
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Old 9th November 2015, 15:06   #3579
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Saw this thread when leisurely browsing through the forum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeshsundaram
More than a decade ago, I met Mr. Natarajan once. He was busy in arrangements of his son's wedding. From the others, I heard a bit of history that he rose from a humble driver to the position of owning a fleet.
My understanding was K.P Natarajan did grow up from the ranks and started of with a small fleet of two buses, which essentially used to ply the local routes (like say Lava Kusha in Bangalore ). But then made steady progress over the years and increasing the fleet little by little.

Quote:
In fact he was sitting in a normal stool in an old office near 5 roads junction. Seemed simple and Genuine.
He may be that typical Tamil businessman who is simple and genuine, but behind that also possesses good business acumen. It was said that during early 1990s when this interstate bus business started picking up, Natarajan used to make random visits to his Salem based office at odd times in the night. All his buses had a mandatory stop at this office and he could check on the crew, punctuality and general accounting etc.

During 1995s to around 2001-2002 time frame, KPN had a pan-South India private VHF wireless network. At that time only police forces (and fire brigades in cities) had this luxury. Smart chap had got a repeater fixed at the Yercaud hills (near Salem), and all his offices right from Chennai, Bangalore and upto Palakkad (and most likely Ernakulam as well) were on the wireless. I remember waiting for a KPN bus at the Madiwala check post office of theirs. After every single bus left the place, a message want sent out indicating the time and other details, plus the number of seats available. Offices at Hosur etc. could immediately ready up passengers based on the vacancy . And the owner himself had a set at his home & office, where he could "over-hear" all these communications.

When mobile phones became more easily available and cell phone networks became more robust, it seems KPN approached a small time vendor with a request. Come up with a device which could send out SMS-s automatically at certain point of time, with certain coded messages. At his main office he (or his staff) could get these SMS alerts and easily tabulate movements of the buses.

Mind you this was all when other bus operators like Jabbar, National Travels etc. had pathetic bug-ridden buses, with no punctuality or any sense of professionalism brought in.
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Old 20th November 2015, 16:10   #3580
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A different kind of a review - MSRTC 'laal dabba' (red box) from Pune to Ambajogai in Beed district.

It so happened that since long I wanted to travel in an ST bus (15 years since I sat in one) and so when the occasion came along for travel to Ambajogai, I insisted that we travel in an MSRTC bus.

There are private sleeper coaches too which were charging double of that charged by the ST bus so went ahead and reserved 2 seats for the bus departing Shivajinagar at 11 am. There were quite a few reservations already done by people (online).

On the D-day, we caught a bus from bibwewadi till shivajinagar and arrived a little early. Now the chaos at Shivajinagar ST stand is to be seen - millions (not literally of course) of ST buses plying in and out with no space available for idle buses. No regulation of any kind yet the drivers manage to drive the buses in and out with no major incidents.

Our bus came to the platform at 10.50 am. As soon as the driver switched off the engine, a swarm of people gathered around the door, each one trying to get in ahead of the other. Some people threw their handkerchiefs, towels through the windows to reserve the seats ! Me and my wife stood calm since we had confirmed reservations to our seats.

We got in and went to our seats only to see a lady with a young child (6-8 months) in her arms and an elderly gentleman besides her. I told them that we had reservations to those seats. On hearing my words, only the gentleman got up saying - please let her sit at least. I repeated very politely that we have reservations for both seats. Then an elderly lady came forward who was the MIL. She began saying that at least look at the young kid and let her sit etc. I told them that it is a 9 hour journey and I would have given a thought for a 1-2 hour journey. At last the young lady's brother came along and asked them to vacate the seats. After that the same incident was repeated with the couple occupying other reserved seats.

The MIL at one point got to saying that she had never heard of reservations for ST buses - she knew that only train seats could be reserved ! Then came along the conductor who asked them to not trouble the reserved ticket holders. The lady completed the whole 9 hour journey sitting on the floor of the bus. It seems they were waiting since 9 am for the bus and were sitting in the bus (in the yard) since 10 am. But neither did the conductor inform them nor did it occur to them to ask which seats were reserved and sit in unreserved seats. The bus was packed with no standing room.

Finally the ST left Shivajinagar at 11 and after an ardous route comprising of bad and worse roads, stopping at every possible village, reached Ambajogai at 08.30 pm. The route taken was Pune (Shivajinagar) - Ranjangaon - Supa - Ahmednagar - Kada - Ashti - Jamkhed - Patoda - Kaij - Ambajogai.

The return journey the next day was less frustrating and also less stressful since the driver followed a different route with only 2 stops in between. Ambajogai - Barshi - Indapur - Pune using the solapur pune toll road. I fail to understand why cannot MSRTC provide good buses for longer routes or at least maintain the available buses in good condition. Everytime there was a ghat in the onward journey, the bus slowed down to the 1st gear and I kept praying that we dont have to get down and push the ST. Thankfully that did not happen.

Last edited by luvDriving : 20th November 2015 at 16:13. Reason: Small grammatical mistake.
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Old 28th November 2015, 10:02   #3581
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One rain and it is all gone. Travelled to Chennai last night and couldn't get an hour of sleep. The road are pretty much non existent. Took the SRM multi axle which was late by an hour. Left Bangalore at 11:30 and was dropped at Guindy at 4:30 AM.

The road is worst from Vellore I suppose. So essentially you get only 2-3 hours of sleep during the journey. But the bus was lot better than the 10 PM Hebron I usually take and soaked up the bumps pretty well. Yet it does wake you up from whatever state of sleep one is in with the noisy suspension and jerks. One does wonder why do we pay toll for that excuse of a road.

BTW KPN has a new Scania service between Bangalore-Chennai at the same price as their Multi-Axle Volvos. Does three trips a day and week day trips are very much cheaper compared to other big players (Hebron is an exception with their ultra low pricing )
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Old 28th November 2015, 13:14   #3582
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The contractor Essel Infraprojects never wanted to relay the roads despite PIL in Madras High court and save funds during the six lane work. Now they have a ruse for bad roads saying rains caused it.
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Old 28th November 2015, 16:03   #3583
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One rain and it is all gone. Travelled to Chennai last night and couldn't get an hour of sleep. The road are pretty much non existent. Took the SRM multi axle which was late by an hour. Left Bangalore at 11:30 and was dropped at Guindy at 4:30 AM.

The road is worst from Vellore I suppose. So essentially you get only 2-3 hours of sleep during the journey. But the bus was lot better than the 10 PM Hebron I usually take and soaked up the bumps pretty well. Yet it does wake you up from whatever state of sleep one is in with the noisy suspension and jerks. One does wonder why do we pay toll for that excuse of a road.

BTW KPN has a new Scania service between Bangalore-Chennai at the same price as their Multi-Axle Volvos. Does three trips a day and week day trips are very much cheaper compared to other big players (Hebron is an exception with their ultra low pricing )
what a coincidence, i was on the exact same bus ! Everyone was shouting in the SRM office in madiwala for the delay - but with the operator adding lots of pick up points (does not want to lose out to competition) and the state of the bangalore roads and the fact that generally, human beings are treated like cattle anyway, by the transport sector ; i did not see much reason to add to the shouting going on in the office. I was waiting there from 10PM for a 1030 PM departure, and as you have said, we left only at 1130PM.

The sector of road you are talking about, are the final 100kms of the 340km. (between the chennasamudram toll booth and chennai). The 3+3 highway until here, has survived the rains very well and the road is still super-smooth. I was surprised that I was not woken up for the last 100km until the cleaner shouted 'poonamalle', but probably that is down to the slumber I went into, owing to the less sleep I have had, over the whole of this week.
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Old 28th November 2015, 23:13   #3584
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what a coincidence, i was on the exact same bus !

The sector of road you are talking about, are the final 100kms of the 340km. (between the chennasamudram toll booth and chennai). The 3+3 highway until here, has survived the rains very well and the road is still super-smooth. I was surprised that I was not woken up for the last 100km until the cleaner shouted 'poonamalle', but probably that is down to the slumber I went into, owing to the less sleep I have had, over the whole of this week.
I heard the agency guy telling the drivers that the customers were shouting. The bus from Chennai came after I was at the stop at 10:30 (approx.).
Of course it was going to be late. I am a deep sleeper but the suspension sound and the vertical movements made by the bus woke me up.

The distance between the towns is also too less to have anything like a good sleep. Hope they get the roads addressed soon.

Could have come earlier but for the ECity goof up. Taking the left at the end and coming to the other side of the toll while the passengers were waiting near it. Also the confusion between this one and the Single axle was too much to bear
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Old 1st December 2015, 18:04   #3585
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Hello Friends,

I will be travelling to Bangalore (for the first time) from Pune on the weekend of the 12th Dec. Can anyone suggest a reliable travels ? I have shortlisted VRL and SRS.

Another query is regarding alighting point. I need to be at Ramamurthy nagar near Raghavendra circle. So which will be the closest point at which the bus can drop me ?

Many thanks in advance.

P.S. How is the Airavat service by KSRTC ?

Last edited by luvDriving : 1st December 2015 at 18:12. Reason: Additional infor for Airawat
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