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Old 13th June 2010, 03:29   #451
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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
Is it a brand name for the service? "Big Bus" is famous in UK and recently started operations in US. I saw a "Grey Hound" bus in Kochi recently.
Big bus in UK is a hop on-hop off kind of tour bus (double decker) with open top.
Probably what you meant i believe is the Megabus operated by stagecoach for intercity operations.
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Old 13th June 2010, 12:25   #452
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Big bus in UK is a hop on-hop off kind of tour bus (double decker) with open top.
Probably what you meant i believe is the Megabus operated by stagecoach for intercity operations.
You are right, it is Megabus, I got confused Megabus with Big bus.
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Old 14th June 2010, 09:42   #453
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I saw a "Grey Hound" bus in Kochi recently.
This local "Grey Hound" is operated by Ashirwad Travels on Bangalore-Kochi and other routes.
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Old 14th June 2010, 14:20   #454
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Default Palakkad to Chennai, on a Rainy Evening

My trip began at around 7 o'clock, from Palakkad KeSRTC bus depot. It was raining. I managed to spot a bus to take me to Coimbatore. It was a Leyland Viking - RAE793. The driver was really good - rarely get to see such guys. He was following traffic signals while inside the town, giving way to smaller vehicles, using proper signals, using the low-beam for the most part, and switching to hi-beam only when there's no on-coming traffic on the highway, driving in the correct gear, smooth gear-shifts, gradual acceleration and braking, no violent turns... It was on the whole, a very smooth ride. The bus was also in impeccable condition. No rattles, no leaks, Seats were very comfortable - enough leg room, comfortable seating posture (non push-back), and clean. One of the best maintained buses i would say. I never felt the engine gasping or groaning even though the bus was packed.

In an hour, i alighted at Coimbatore Ukkadam bus stand in Coimbatore city. I located a bus to take me to Gandhipuram - a TNSTC Viking SLF from the JnNURM scheme. This driver was not so good - was lugging all along, and I saw him jump two signals. didn't bother to close the pneumatic doors... He was always driving on the right-side lane on a 4-lane road. Got down at my bus stop at 8:30.

I walked around, and found out the boarding point for ABTX Travels. The bus was already parked behind their office. And I got in. It was an air-conditioned AL 12m bus. Body built by Prakash Coach. Mine was the first seat behind the door to the crew cabin, on the left side. Leg room was not sufficient. No calf support too. But I managed somehow. There were seat belts, but the one in my seat was jammed, so i couldn't wear it. The crew was polite and helpful. Blankets and drinking water were provided. The bus took a break for 15minutes, in between, at around 2 o'clock. The second driver was not very smooth. He was "redlining" till he reaches the 4th gear. And then an abrupt shift to top gear. Gear shifts were not smooth. This continued till we reached Poonamalee when the other driver took over, and it was again smooth.

I got down at Guindy at 6:15. The bus had started at 9:45pm. Saw the ARC Tours' bus pass by shortly. They too have a service to Chennai at 9:45pm.
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Old 14th June 2010, 19:33   #455
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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
The bus was also in impeccable condition. No rattles, no leaks, Seats were very comfortable - enough leg room, comfortable seating posture (non push-back), and clean. One of the best maintained buses i would say. I never felt the engine gasping or groaning even though the bus was packed.
You should've certainly complained if the engine was gasping - RAE793 (of PLKD) is a 12M Leyland bus. Its powered by a 177hp engine! This bus is part of a lot of 12 buses allotted to Palakkad depot, exclusively to work Palakkad-Coimbatore chain services.

Given the humongous amount of power at disposal, drivers manage to finish the distance in an hour or max 70 minutes. However, TNSTC buses take anywhere between 90 and 120 minutes - depending on the mood of the particular driver.
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Old 19th June 2010, 12:51   #456
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Default Dangerous (my opinion) scheduling of some KeSRTC services

I was getting to be a big fan of KeSRTC nowadays and am a "regular" on the 7.30 PM Tata Globus A/C service (and the 8 PM returning service) between Bangalore and Trissur, depsite the fact I still need to take a further two buses to reach my place in the outer suburbs of Alwaye. Advantage ofcourse is that I can reach "home" at either end before 7.30 AM, and can leave/make it to work without taking permission/being docked half a day salary! Had no issues so far (one breakdown before Palghat on the way to Trissur was handled extremely professionally).

Now what prompts me to post this is the observaton I got to make on my last trip back to Kerala. The BLR bus dropped me at Trissur bus station at 5.20 in the morning and there was a waiting Ernakulam bound Ordinary FP (Not a LSFP or Super Fast) which I boarded for Alwaye and which left soon after at 5.30 AM.

Nowadays many KeSRTC buses on the panel immediately behind the driver displays the duty roster the bus (and the crew of the bus) have to do that day. The "rotation" (as the airline folks call it ) for the bus I boarded was as follows. The bus as I mentioned was an ordinary FP and was of the MALA depot.

Mala (dep 1630 pevious day)-Trichur(1745 arr 1800 dep)-Calicut(arr 2125)

Calicut (0200 Next Day)-Trichur(0520 arr 0530 Dep)-Ernakulam(arr 0745)

Ernakulam (0815 Dep)-Ankamali-Chalakudi-Mala (arr 1000 AM).

Now we all know that Mala is one of the biggest teeny weeny villages of Kerala, made famous first by the LEADER and then the SPEAKER (or have I got the second part wrong) but honestly the above schedule is both meaningless as well as potentially dangerous in my opinion.

I really do not know the need to run a ordinary FP service between Calicut and Ernakulam starting at 2 AM in the morning and more importantly forcing a crew who has driven through peak hour traffic to reach Calicut hopefully (and this is a big hope l) at 2130 to start again in the middle of the night after 4 1/2 hours??? What are chances of the crew of having any meaningful rest between 10 PM and 2 AM in a crowded place like the Calicut bus station??? All it does is expose both the crew and the passengers to needless risk (the bus incidentally was packed- around 80 people on board - by the time it left Ankamaly on the way to Ernakulam).

Optimum bus utlisation etc and other IE theories are all fine , but the point is, crew fatigue is not to be confined to Airlines (where there are strict FDTL rules in place - although it took until the late 1970s and a loss of 550+ lives in one horrific aaccident to get even that done!). Crew fatigue plays an important part in Road and Rail safety as well but clearly there is a lot to go in this direction atleast as far as KeSRTC is concerned.

More than 15 years back (was in either 1993 or 1994)I escaped a major accident caused by driver faitgue, due to sheer luck and nothing else. Old timers may remember this, a Trichur Trivandrum ordinary FP bus which left Ernakulam around midnight collided head on with a lorry near Cherthala and burned , kiilling a lot of young kids among others who were in the bus . The crew and the bus I think was of Attingal depot which was doing a smilar overnight long schedule as the Mala crew and I had reached Ernakulam bus station just after this bus had left and was in a bus following the ill fated bus and I was just plain lucky!!!


15 years down the line after that horrific accident, KeSRTC still does not seem to have learned its lesson and (in my opionion) is still apparently not bothered to correct the situation!!!

Regrettably our media is also not bothered (except one popular TV channel which to its credit did try to raise the issue recently but it got side tracked soon enough). It is high time that that the local print media also does some serious investigations rather than carrying interviews with the cook who is to make breakfast or lunch for the PM or President on their umpteenth visit to Kerala or cover factionalism news of 1 or 2 MLA political parties who have switched sides so often that the "heroes" themselves cant remember how many times they have done so!!!!


A few idle thoughts form a wandering mind
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Old 21st June 2010, 10:14   #457
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Sharma Transports started their Trivandrum-Bangalore service with Multi Axle Volvo (Dep EKM at 9.45pm

Now following multi axle buses are available on this route (via EKM)
SRM
Sofiya Lines
KPN
Shama
Sharma
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Old 22nd June 2010, 11:46   #458
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I have travelled quite a few times in the Volvo Buses.
- Hyd-Bombay-Hyd by AP Tourism buses
- Pune-Bombay-Pune by Neeta/Prasanna/Govt Volvo etc.

The main problems with these travels is the amount of time they wait at the start city in order to fill up the bus. Sometimes, upto 30-45 minutes is spent waiting. In a long journey like Hyd-Bombay, this isn't significant, but on a shorter journey like Pune-Bombay, it irritates the hell out of you - that's one of the reasons I stopped doing Pune-Bombay by Volvo.

- Overall, the experience with AP Tourism for Hyd-Bombay was good - except for one time when the driver waited 30 minutes in Pune to fill all the seats which were vacated by people getting down in Pune.

- The Pune-Bombay trips were miserable. I used to go on Friday evening & come back on Monday Morning. Since these are the peak periods, few times I pre-booked the tickets. Most of the time, spend 30 minutes+ at Aundh, waiting for the particular bus to arrive. And then another 30 minutes for it to fill up. So next I tried not booking & getting into whatever bus came first. Unfortunately, on that day, every bus came full. So took me 45 minutes before I could find a bus with an empty seat. Next tried booking for the Govt Volvo Buses. On that day, the bus I booked got full at Pune Station itself & they never came to Aundh. I got a refund at the Aundh Govt Bus stop & took a shared taxi. Overall, almost none of my weekend Pune-Bombay trips by the Volvo buses were good. However, whenever I travelled on the weekdays the trip was excellent & even cheaper.
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Old 11th July 2010, 18:40   #459
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Default TNSTC Volvo - Trichy-Chennai

I was in Trichy for two days in end-June.

Everytime I go there,there's some new mode of transport to Chennai,which becomes an exciting proposition to try out.

This time I found there are Low Floor Volvos run by TNSTC - five services a day Trichy-Chennai.

The first one is at 0900 hrs and they claimed the journey would take 5.5 hours;tall claim I thought.But I was proved wrong.

I was in Vadapalani at exactly 1415 hrs , 5hrs 15 mins after the bus left Trichy.

Summary:
  • Airconditioned but no video;good songs are played,though through a decent quality IBE(In Bus Entertainment)
  • Much smoother ride than the regular Volvos
  • Effortless manouvering and overtaking
  • Speed restricted to 90-95kmph - that's what I felt
  • Rs.330 Fare - a steal
  • The evening services start 1830 hrs and are there every hour or so - ideal for those wanting to get to the airport for a night flight
  • No luggage racks but plenty of room on the walkway
  • Excellent comfortable option -one can forget Vaigai and Pallavan Expresses.
  • Gets into ONLY Villupuram and Tindivanam for passenger pick up.
  • STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
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Old 11th July 2010, 18:47   #460
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Sharma is a veteran, then came Shama which is now around for a few years! Last weekend at the rip iff place where most of the buses towards Kerala and South TN break for dinner (dont forget the name but it is near Krishnagiri) saw a SHAIMA volvo(no I was not groggy - rechecked the name a couple of times). Now who is this new sister???

Tommorrow I am experimenting with our good old KeSRTC BLR , no the Garuda or Volvo, but the old veteran express bus (green one). No I am not saving pennies, I just want to ensuire I reach my place (which is the wrong side of Madiawala) before 6 AM whhich no private bus guarantees. The KSRTC first Volvo service from EKM may reach but since i am travelling on a Monday, there is every chance that they may waste an hour in CJB trying to pick up pax to fill empty seats.
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Old 11th July 2010, 19:22   #461
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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Sharma is a veteran, then came Shama which is now around for a few years! Last weekend at the rip iff place where most of the buses towards Kerala and South TN break for dinner (dont forget the name but it is near Krishnagiri) saw a SHAIMA volvo(no I was not groggy - rechecked the name a couple of times). Now who is this new sister???
Oh! Had seen the name of such an operator on RedBus.in.. I thought that was a spelling mistake! Now this is some news.. so we have Sharma, Shama and Shaima Volvos from Bangalore to Trivandrum (all of them are B9Rs, IIRC).

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Tommorrow I am experimenting with our good old KeSRTC BLR , no the Garuda or Volvo, but the old veteran express bus (green one). No I am not saving pennies, I just want to ensuire I reach my place (which is the wrong side of Madiawala) before 6 AM whhich no private bus guarantees.
Where are you boarding from? Aluva or EKM itself? This bus usually makes it to Bangalore by 4 AM - Atleast it used to during its Super Fast days. The buses are usually well maintained. Please share your experience once you are back at Bangalore.
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Old 11th July 2010, 19:32   #462
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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Oh! Had seen the name of such an operator on RedBus.in.. I thought that was a spelling mistake! Now this is some news.. so we have Sharma, Shama and Shaima Volvos from Bangalore to Trivandrum (all of them are B9Rs, IIRC).
There is an operator by the name of Shaima. The bus is an old Volvo, which is of light purple shade. I believe there is liberal use of LEDs in the bus as well. Seen this regularly waiting near the Sharma Travels office at Madivala. Not sure on which route this operates.
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Old 11th July 2010, 23:19   #463
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1, Wgat time does the TVM - BLR multi axle volvos leave TVM? Where do they start from? Aristo? Will they take EKM passengers?

2. I have seen a private operator doing this timing - Start from Payyannur late afternoon (2-3 PM); reach Trichur around 9-30 or 10.30, (night), return at 11.30, reach Kannur, start to Kasargod early morning from Kannur, and then return back to payyannur to reach b mid day. This schedule leaves little time even for routine maintenance like oil change.

KeSRTC bus stands, AFAIK, have clean and neat facilities for operating staff. I may be wrong - and will be happy to know if anybody has first hand information.
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Old 11th July 2010, 23:27   #464
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Anybody wanting to get into the Travels business would do well to read this thread. What a wealth of information
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Old 11th July 2010, 23:59   #465
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1, Wgat time does the TVM - BLR multi axle volvos leave TVM? Where do they start from? Aristo? Will they take EKM passengers?
TVM-BLR Multi-Axle Volvos leave between 3-5pm from TVM. They start from near the Thampanoor Bus Station. They do take in passengers from EKM - only that you have board at Vyttila Junction (usually outside the Kochi Corporation Shopping Complex).

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This schedule leaves little time even for routine maintenance like oil change.
There are lots of private operators doing this kind of schedules. Have seen many of them ignore routine maintenance, and do them during Harthals and Bus Strikes (we any have lots of them).

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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
KeSRTC bus stands, AFAIK, have clean and neat facilities for operating staff. I may be wrong - and will be happy to know if anybody has first hand information.
Depends. In general, they do have good facilities for operating staff. However, some bus stations have bare-bone tin-roofed rooms on terraces for their staff - these get unbearably hot during summers. However, from what i have seen, these facilities are better than the ones MSRTC used to provide to their staff (back in 2003~2007).
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