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Old 30th March 2010, 23:25   #376
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Originally Posted by LPT2625 View Post
But KPN is a key player on the Bangalore-Thiruvananthapuram and Bangalore-Salem/Madurai/Nagercoil sectors, which are not served by Rathimeena. Can anyone shed some light?
Not sure if there exists some understanding between them but wrt KPN serving more destinations from Blore is due to the fact that they are based in Salem. When K.P.Natarajan - Founder of KPN Travels started his first service in 80's the route he chose was Blore - Nellai. Since then they have linked many cities with Blore.
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Old 30th March 2010, 23:52   #377
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Rathimeena is (are they still around??? has been a while I have travelled to MAA) basically a small tamil nadu based operator. Late 1990s they used to have services mainly to Trivandrum, Cape, Nagerkoil and Tirunelveli with I think a couple of services to Tiruchendur or some other nearby Tamil Nadu towns. I think they have a understanding with KPN- in Trivandrum both used to be serviced by the same agent (Aristo travels) and even in CJB I saw one of their buses (I think to Tiruchendur) departing from the KPN office.


The only time I was in a SRM multi axle (for that matter - the only milti axle I was in) I was not too happy !! Driving seemed to be rash - bus got into a small accident,cops came and the bus couldnt go any further. But then came the unexpected aspect - they handled the incident very well! There were about 30 odd people including families in the bus and being the last volvo out of trivandrum , little chance it seemed of catching any following bus. However these guys handled the situation very well - they dropped the pax to the nearest hotel for dinner with the permission of the police - and within an hour or so managed to arrange a spare bus exclusively for us - a normal volvo from Kallada. Extremely professional all the way and in the end I reached home only 3 hours later than scheduled - which I would have never thought possible when the incident happened!!!

But the driving I was not happy - may be as one of my fellow pax said - multi axle is not just suitable for kerala's crowded roads with the heavy traffic!

Last edited by TKMCE : 30th March 2010 at 23:58.
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Old 6th April 2010, 11:34   #378
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But the driving I was not happy - may be as one of my fellow pax said - multi axle is not just suitable for kerala's crowded roads with the heavy traffic!
Other than the possibly increased turning radius, how is it more different than the usual Volvos on the roads?
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Old 6th April 2010, 12:24   #379
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Rathimeena is (are they still around??? has been a while I have travelled to MAA) basically a small tamil nadu based operator. Late 1990s they used to have services mainly to Trivandrum, Cape, Nagerkoil and Tirunelveli with I think a couple of services to Tiruchendur or some other nearby Tamil Nadu towns. I think they have a understanding with KPN- in Trivandrum both used to be serviced by the same agent (Aristo travels) and even in CJB I saw one of their buses (I think to Tiruchendur) departing from the KPN office.
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Originally Posted by LPT2625 View Post
Are private bus operators forming cartels and cornering certain interstate routes? For example, for some strange reason, KPN Travels does not have services on the Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram route. This sector is being served by operators like Rathimeena, Universel, SRM etc. But KPN is a key player on the Bangalore-Thiruvananthapuram and Bangalore-Salem/Madurai/Nagercoil sectors, which are not served by Rathimeena. Can anyone shed some light?
Indeed KPN & Rathimeena have come to an understanding where in they do not ply buses to the routes serviced by the other. Earlier KPN used to run buses to Tirunelveli etc from Chennai which are no more the case, KPN runs only upto Madurai from Chennai beyond which its all Rathi Meena.

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Well things have changed .....

I used to do the MAA-TRV run for many years in lthe 1990s. At that time no Volvos in the route, the quickest was an operator "Rathimeena Travels" who had a 3 PM departure (as as well as another at 5.30 PM ) from Egmore which used to get me to TRV around 07 AM.Later SRM started and then there was some operator "Tippu Sultan" or something of the sort!!! Oh and before I forget , The Tamil Nadu state guys are the oldest operators on this route. It started with the old Pallavan Transports (before my time), then it became TTC (Thiruvalluvar Transport), then became JJTC, followed by RGTC and finally I think Karunanidhi put an end it to it and said SETC!!! During the TTC days (Thiruvalluvar Transport days) the service was not too bad - the first bus used to be at 12:30 from Trivandrum reaching MAA around 5.30 AM.
Was it not 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM for Rathimeena. KPN used to run a 3:00 PM bus to Trichy which was their last bus in the afternoon times and Rathimeena used to run their Trivandrum bus at 3:30 PM.

Am sure no one would believe if I share this experience. In 1996 I have reached Trivandrum at 5:45 in the morning after catching the 3:30 Rathimeena. This was much before the Golden Quadrilateral days when only Chennai - Chengalpattu was 4 lane and rest all was regular high way all the way. Compare this with another trip which I made in the then JJTC A/c bus which left at 4 PM instead of a 2 PM departure and ended up reaching Trivandrum at around 12 the next day afternoon with enough and more troubles with A/c belt, ramming against Police check post and what not.
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Old 6th April 2010, 17:09   #380
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I believe KPN is no longer concentrating on services from Chennai by gradually withdrawing service and instead concentrating on Bangalore Kerala services as it is more lucrative and due to absence of major players. The Chennai - South cities services has cut throat competition with many players.
Last Month I travelled from Jeppiar Travels A/C bus (a new entrant - who has a chain of engineering colleges) from Tirunelveli to Chennai. The bus was supposed to arrive Tirunelveli at 6:30 PM (from Nagarcoil) but was late by one hour. Then it was delayed at the byepass due to construction of flyover on NH7. It reached Kovipati only at 8:30 PM but then reached Tambaram at 4:40 AM with a break of 30 mins inbetween for dinner (520 kms travelled in 7.5 hours!!! on a AL 12 M bus). I was so sure that they were going to reach Chennai by 8 in the morning that I had written in their feedback form that they need to punctual. I had to eat back my words!
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Old 6th April 2010, 21:07   #381
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I believe KPN is no longer concentrating on services from Chennai by gradually withdrawing service and instead concentrating on Bangalore Kerala services as it is more lucrative and due to absence of major players.
I get a feeling that it is these guys who are lobbying against introduction of more trains to Kerala. So that they can milk the customers?
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Old 8th April 2010, 15:42   #382
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the worst buses to kottayam are operated by these guys.

i went for Easter from Bangalore on good friday eve & the bus was stopped at many places without any reason & that too by switching-off the engine there by cutting the A/c.

there were 27 passengers, half of them women, sweating.

finally the passengers ganged-up & abused the driver and threatened to beat him up if he stops the bus. thereafter everything was normal

on my return, the bus broke down & initially they said they will repair and continue, but after 4.5 hours they said the bus cannot be repaired & they will refund / arrange on the next day.

i cant do anything in the night, so i opted to travel the next day. this bus broke down 250 kms away from Bangalore & all the passengers had to get into the other buses of sharma in the same route & continue the journey by standing till bangalore.


i know, we will still continue to opt for this bus as we don't have any other choice.

i request the sharma transport authorities to have some concern for its passengers who pay whatever they demand & travel, expecting to reach there homes in time
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Old 8th April 2010, 16:02   #383
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The feedback on Sharma Travels is interesting because it contradicts the other reviews of the same on this thread.

Festival seasons are when most players try to make the most of the situation and put to use their old buses to add to the revenue. Considering the lask of options, passengers also agree to these. I remember how travelling by Kallada Travels's special bus was a sure shot receipe to reach late, with the bus always having an issue or two along the journey.
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Old 8th April 2010, 18:08   #384
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Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Festival seasons are when most players try to make the most of the situation and put to use their old buses to add to the revenue. Considering the lask of options, passengers also agree to these. I remember how travelling by Kallada Travels's special bus was a sure shot receipe to reach late, with the bus always having an issue or two along the journey.
Especially during Easter, Pooja holidays. These are the toughest times for a passenger when the operators are looking to make quick buck.

For that matter, I had tough time in train itself. People with WL tickets boarded, negotiated with TTE and settled down where ever vacant places existed. They would make a friendly request for little bit sitting space and then you have a sleeper cabin with 14 folks sitting. I wonder where they vanish during the night.
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Old 8th April 2010, 20:20   #385
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Saw some Sharma buses in Ettumanoor today (headed to BGLR from KTM). Not a lot of external body damage or scratches. I've seen Kallada's with bent up lower quarters. But since I've never been on a Volvo, I can't say anything on the travel experience.
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Old 11th April 2010, 16:25   #386
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For that matter, I had tough time in train itself. People with WL tickets boarded, negotiated with TTE and settled down where ever vacant places existed. They would make a friendly request for little bit sitting space and then you have a sleeper cabin with 14 folks sitting. I wonder where they vanish during the night.
This is the main reason why I avoid train travel. Plus the Sleeper class coaches are dirty, beggars seem to have more right than fare paying passengers (atleast in second class), and the so called "superfast surcharges" which IR charges for crawling at or above 55 km/hour makes a mockery of our "so called technological advances".

Nowadays my preferred mode of transport is the Tata Globus a/c service between Bangalore and Trichur. The 8 PM serviice from Trichur has always put me down on or before 6 AM at Majestic-and it is great that KeSRTC is one of the few operators who realises that Koramanagala and Madiwala is not the beginning and end of the malayali empire in Bangalore.

And I pay much less than what I do for the Volvo.


I guess in the end finally what I miss is the old Air Deccan!!!! Dirty, cheap, unreliable - the airline was called all that and more by many - but in the end finally if there is one transport operator who changed the Indan transport scene- it was them!!!!
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Old 13th April 2010, 09:34   #387
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Yesterday I saw a VRL "ISUZU" bus on the Mumbai Bangalore route. The day before that at around the same time in the evening I saw VRL operating a B9R.
Just a few common questions -
1) Doesn't having a same fleet of the same brand help in commonality / driver training / spare parts stock up etc ?

2) Don't the bus vendors give a discount of sorts of when company X buys a certain number of their buses and throw in some other free maintainence etc ?

3) How about seating capacity ? Or it does not matter so long as the bus seats 35+ passengers ?
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Old 13th April 2010, 23:16   #388
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Yesterday I saw a VRL "ISUZU" bus on the Mumbai Bangalore route. The day before that at around the same time in the evening I saw VRL operating a B9R.
Just a few common questions -

3) How about seating capacity ? Or it does not matter so long as the bus seats 35+ passengers ?
Which leads us to question no 4 and the most important one for most (but not all) private operators!

4)How about Cargo capacity ? Or it does not matter so long as the bus seats 35+ passengers ?


This is by no means a sarcastic comment , but the fact remains that for most (but not all - last time I travelled VRL they did not carry any cargo - but last time was 10 years back in my case!) operators, they cannot make money on most routes by carrying pax alone. I have travelled MAA-COK once (forgot the operator ) where there were just 6 of us from start to end!!!Buses normally go full only on weekends and rest of the time they run sometimes half empty!!! And to add to it is the direcitonality of the traffic on some routes. BLR-COK for instance is full on Fridays and return direction on Sundays!!! However some operators seem to have taken this to the extreme and for them the motto appears to have changed from "We also carry cargo" to "We also carry passengers!".

Coming back to VRL and IZUZU, Izuzu may have given some operators a couple of buses on "trial" or some sort.

BMTC was supposed to have put a IZUZU on trial on their Airport service, Kerala SRTC had trialed a Volvo (which it ran on the Trivandrum Palghat route) before discarding it and then later on going for it on a limited way.
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Old 14th April 2010, 10:18   #389
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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
BMTC was supposed to have put a IZUZU on trial on their Airport service, Kerala SRTC had trialed a Volvo (which it ran on the Trivandrum Palghat route) before discarding it and then later on going for it on a limited way.
There was a news article a while back about the BMTC Isuzu to Airport - haven't seen it on road though.

KeSRTC had tried and purchased volvos - back in 2005. In fact KeSRTC was one of the first STUs to purchase Volvos. They bought two. However, they chose the wrong routes - Trivandrum-Palakkad and Trivandrum-Kozhikode. The former was partly successful, while the latter was "so-so". The increasing cost of maintaining Volvos (Remember - the maintenance was done by KSRTC themselves, and instead of keeping the two buses together in one garage, one was kept in Trivandrum and the other at Ernakulam). They sold the old Volvos in 2008 (reportedly Shama took them). In 2008, they placed orders for three new Volvos (as replacement for the old buses).

This time around, they chose correct routes - two buses on TVM-BLR and one on TVM-EKM. Both the routes are returning money for them.

Attaching a couple of pics of the KeSRTC Volvo(s). (The one in the first pic is the old Volvo)
Attached Thumbnails
Intercity Bus travel reviews-p1050082.jpg  

Intercity Bus travel reviews-p1190508.jpg  

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Old 14th April 2010, 10:32   #390
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Originally Posted by ambivalent_98 View Post
Yesterday I saw a VRL "ISUZU" bus on the Mumbai Bangalore route. The day before that at around the same time in the evening I saw VRL operating a B9R.
Yes VRL has taken many Isuzu buses, one has been introduced between Bangalore - Mumbai route, another one has been introduced in Mangalore - Mumbai route, others not aware, but saw one Isuzu Firday night, but dont know where it was going.

I had travelled bu Sea Bird Isuzu, the bus is excellent with awesome power, its on par with Volvo and Mercede's.
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