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Old 25th October 2010, 14:00   #511
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Planning to go home via Coimbatore this friday. I've booked a seat on Conti travels' Isuzu bus. Anybody got first-hand experience? I've used only their non-AC bus 2 years back, and it was way behind schedule.

The reasons why I overlooked ARC and ABTX:
1. Boarding points available are only at CMBT, while Conti has Egmore
2. Both of them do not provide pickup facility from other parts of Chennai
3. ARC and ABTX can't be booked through redBus as before
4. ARC and ABTX charge some 8% extra on internet bookings (565 is the fare shown in their respective sites, but the actual amount debited is 590 something)

#1 is actually what made my decision. It's extremely difficult to reach CMBT - it takes close to 3 hours from the OMR side, while Egmore can be reached in an hour, by the MRTS train service
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Old 25th October 2010, 14:07   #512
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Originally Posted by rajesh1868 View Post
One doubt on KSRTC(KK) boarding point. I have booked one ticked from Bangalore to Ernakulam. Boarding point kept is Shantineketan bust stand. Now most people are telling Christ college is the normal boarding point. Im a bit confused as I didnt see this among the boarding point options that was provided and Shantiniketan is bit inside when compared to the normal route. Can any one traveled before confirm if bus comes to Shanthineketan depot?
Its safer to board from Shanit Nagar bus stand since the bus can not
stop at Bangalore dairy (Christ college) for long time.
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Old 25th October 2010, 15:04   #513
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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
The reasons why I overlooked ARC and ABTX:
1. Boarding points available are only at CMBT, while Conti has Egmore
Not sure of ARC but for ABT their buses start from Guindy (in the ABT showroom next to SPIC office). I have used this place as boarding point atleast twice last year. But then it is not as convenient as Egmore. For reaching the Guindy place no bus stops there you would need to walk from the Guindy station.
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Old 25th October 2010, 15:59   #514
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Originally Posted by rajesh1868 View Post
One doubt on KSRTC(KK) boarding point. I have booked one ticked from Bangalore to Ernakulam. Boarding point kept is Shantineketan bust stand. Now most people are telling Christ college is the normal boarding point. Im a bit confused as I didnt see this among the boarding point options that was provided and Shantiniketan is bit inside when compared to the normal route. Can any one traveled before confirm if bus comes to Shanthineketan depot?
I guess you mean Shantinagar and not "shantiniketan". If your boarding point is Shantinagar, the bus comes to Shantinagar BMTC bus station. If you have opted for Dairy Circle (or "KMF"), then the bus comes outside Christ College (a bit towards Forum - you'd see a KSRTC Travel House there. IIRC, its bang opposite Concorde).

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Planning to go home via Coimbatore this friday. I've booked a seat on Conti travels' Isuzu bus. Anybody got first-hand experience? I've used only their non-AC bus 2 years back, and it was way behind schedule.
The Isuzu is a good product. I had used the Conti Travels Isuzu from Coimbatore to Bangalore earlier this month. The bus has a very comfortable ride, and the seats were awesome. The bus is a bit underpowered for ghats - I got a very lousy driver, who did not seem to be gearing properly, so cannot be sure of the underpowered part. But the NVH levels are amazingly under control, and you would love the ride in the bus (atleast, I did).

I had posted a detailed review of this on my blog, and there are a couple of images as well.
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Old 25th October 2010, 17:16   #515
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@DWind: Yeah, that's true. I don't want to walk all the way from Guindy station to the ABTX boarding point, with my heavy backpack.

@binaiks: Thanks for that piece of info. Read your review too. Good. Got a question for you too: do they provide plug points for mobile chargers? Because my worst fear during a bus trip is, the movie that they play during the journey. I use my mobile to escape that torture, which necessitates a charging point. ARC and ABT provide one
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Old 25th October 2010, 17:37   #516
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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Thanks for that piece of info. Read your review too. Good. Got a question for you too: do they provide plug points for mobile chargers? Because my worst fear during a bus trip is, the movie that they play during the journey. I use my mobile to escape that torture, which necessitates a charging point. ARC and ABT provide one
Thanks.

I did not notice any charging points in the bus - my seat was up at the back, and there were none around. Not sure if they have any around the front. But, I've often noticed that Conti guys do not play movies - this is based on my experience, might be entirely wrong though.
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Old 25th October 2010, 18:15   #517
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Default Charging dock in a KSRTC bus

I traveled between Kottayam and Trivandrum last week and saw a working Mobile phone charging dock in a Kerala SRTC , express (green one) bus , there were 2 plug points in the bus which gave AC out put , The seats were plush too.
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Old 30th October 2010, 23:52   #518
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Default A flash visit to Kerala in an ISUZU and a Viking

I'd planned this flash visit a couple of weeks back, and had the tickets ready. Since there are few buses that start from Chennai at around 9pm,going to Kerala, I split my trip to Chennai to Coimbatore and then hop onto a KeSRTC to reach my hometown, Palakkad. This time I decided to try out the Conti travels' ISUZU.

So, I went to their boarding point at Egmore, Pantheon Road. It was more of a parcel godown since, apart from a dozen chairs kept inside their office, there's no other facility available for passengers. And their other boarding point is at Koyambedu, near CMBT. It was raining in Chennai, so the Omnibus stand was like a small lake- close to a foot deep. Because I boarded from Egmore, I was spared of the horror of wading thru the "lake".

The bus was there at 20:30hrs itself. Engine off. I got my boarding pass, and swiftly hopped in. They were loading parcels in the luggage compartment, and someone was checking the insides.

The driver cabin was neatly laid out.Gear lever looked more like that of a car - jutting out from a console. The dashboard was ok. Though nowhere near to the elegant one found in Volvo 9400.

Seats were good. But I expected somewhat better calf support. Each seat had a bottle holder and a small pouch. Leg room was sufficient. We were not provided any blankets or drinking water. There were adjustable AC vents and reading lamps. The AC vents were ergonomically designed, but their positioning is something I feel could've been better. Reading lamps were not working. The maintenance is not up to the mark, which is evident from the dirt that can be seen, in one of the pics below. The AC was very effective. The consequence was that, there was mist on the outside of the glass windows.

There were two LCD screens - one at the front and the other towards the middle. The second one seemed like being fitted by the operator. The quality of the picture was also not that great. However, the OE screen at the front was crisp. The movie they played was Baasha. Sound was not bad, and the volume was not too high to be a disturbance for people who want to doze off. Since I like that movie, i didn't resort to using my stock - movies in my mobile. Hence, the absence of a charging point did not affect my trip

The journey started at sharp 21:00hrs as scheduled. It took us close to an hour to reach Koyambedu. The traffic along Nelson Manickam road was really thick - typical of this road. Most of the seats were already occupied by the time we started from Egmore. Now, the remaining were also filled. The bus started off at 22:10hrs, after a delay of ten minutes.

After leaving the city, the bus was shown as moving at close to 78kmph by my GPS. Don't remember seeing anything more than 80 at any point.
Ride quality was as good as the front-engined ALs. Passenger cabin NVH was also comparable, but not as good as in well-maintained Volvos. We reached Mettur at 04:30hrs. The roads didn't seem too congested but the bus was going slower compared to ABTX or ARC. We were at Coimbatore city at 07:10hrs. It came via Saravanampetty and Ganapathy. The first pic was taken after getting down.

On the whole, the ISUZU gave me a pleasant ride. On enquiring at the KeSRTC booking office at Gandhipuram, CBE, I was told that there is a bus to Palakkad at 07:50hrs. I took a stroll, and found a few SETC buses and KaSRTC buses apart from a couple of KeSRTC buses. There was this KeSRTC Super Express parked there. It was built on an AL 12m chassis - the characteristic rear wheel hub design and ten-bolt arrangement, plus the better looking instrument console proves my point. It had a pneumatic door at the front. The text on it read "Driver Operated" instead of the "Automatic Door" sticker seen on MTC buses. It's not really automatic, is it?

And then my ride arrived - an AL Viking 114bhp. Got the first seat on the LHS - clear view of the road, the driver's RHS mirror and dash board. We started off to Palakkad at 08:00hrs. The bus was well-maintained. Engine sounded very healthy. After listening to the lugged engine note of the MTC buses, this one was like music. Seats are comfy. The driver was very good too. He was driving in the correct gear at the correct RPM ranges. The Tach needle always stayed in the green region. More importantly, he was sticking to the appropriate lanes, used indicators as required, and also no bullying of smaller vehicles. I was in Palakkad KeSRTC station at 09:10hrs - right on time.

A nice journey on the whole. Reached home in our trusty M800. Loved driving it after a gap of two months.
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Last edited by silversteed : 30th October 2010 at 23:59.
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Old 31st October 2010, 12:49   #519
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
...
The driver cabin was neatly laid out.Gear lever looked more like that of a car - jutting out from a console. The dashboard was ok. Though nowhere near to the elegant one found in Volvo 9400.
...
The Conti bus running from CBE to Chennai seems very different from their buses running to Bangalore. The Bangalore buses had a cabin layout very similar to the Volvo itself.

The Bangalore bus was easily hitting 100kmph, and I was witness to the bus speeding up from 0-90kmph. The reading lamps are kept off by these operators - perhaps to avoid people leaving them on through the run - or could be plain ignorance.

See some pics from the bus that is running to Bangalore:

Intercity Bus travel reviews-img_4329.jpg
Intercity Bus travel reviews-img_4355.jpg
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Old 31st October 2010, 17:11   #520
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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
I guess you mean Shantinagar and not "shantiniketan". If your boarding point is Shantinagar, the bus comes to Shantinagar BMTC bus station. If you have opted for Dairy Circle (or "KMF"), then the bus comes outside Christ College (a bit towards Forum - you'd see a KSRTC Travel House there. IIRC, its bang opposite Concorde).
You are partially right. The KSRTC Travel house is on the other side (Christ college) while the bus boarding happens in the opposite side. In front of Nandini parlour.
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Old 31st October 2010, 22:33   #521
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@silversteed - I had done B'lore - Mysore - B'lore in an Isuzu 6-7 years back. That was a conducted tour. It was terribly slow - started from B'lore at 7AM, and were back only by 11 PM. I thought it was something wrong with the bus itslef - like mounting an HCV chassis on an LCV engine, and the incident was out of mind as a bad dream.

@bnaiks - Conti travels bus - that logo is not clear to me, but is it a Tata?
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Old 1st November 2010, 06:50   #522
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@bnaiks - Conti travels bus - that logo is not clear to me, but is it a Tata?
It's an Isuzu. You'd be lucky to get an instrument cluster like that on a Tata.
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Old 1st November 2010, 09:30   #523
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
@silversteed - I had done B'lore - Mysore - B'lore in an Isuzu 6-7 years back. That was a conducted tour. It was terribly slow - started from B'lore at 7AM, and were back only by 11 PM. I thought it was something wrong with the bus itslef - like mounting an HCV chassis on an LCV engine, and the incident was out of mind as a bad dream.
The Isuzu bus being discussed now was brought to the market only 3 years back. Although this product does not have the outright performance like the Volvo, it is good enough. In my case, the first driver has picking up speed quickly and we maintained amazing pace through. However, the second driver was too lazy - he never bothered downshifting at up-grades, and the bus was left to struggle up.

He said the bus hardly reaches 100, but I witnessed it reaching 90 from 0 in no time!
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Old 1st November 2010, 10:11   #524
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... It was terribly slow ... like mounting an HCV chassis on an LCV engine, and the incident was out of mind as a bad dream.
Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
... the bus hardly reaches 100, but I witnessed it reaching 90 from 0 in no time!
The bus I travelled in picked up speed. Acceleration was smooth, but I didn't see it cruising at anything beyond 80kmph, according to the GPS in my mobile phone. I had perfect satellite lock almost all the time I turned it on

@BSD: This new bus is very comfortable, not like an HCV chassis with an LCV engine.

I've heard from a local bus driver that the earlier interstate buses (the "Air Bus" services) run by Supaa etc were actually Sutlej or Azad bodies built over some truck chassis (Comet/Taurus/Tusker?). Of course, retrofitted with air suspension. Is he right? I'm talking about the mid-late 90s, and Bangalore - EKM/TVM route via NH-47

Last edited by silversteed : 1st November 2010 at 10:14.
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Old 7th November 2010, 16:10   #525
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A few words about the Mercedes Benz Dual Axle bus operated by Parveen Travels in the Chennai - Trivandrum route.

I travelled in the bus last Friday. It arrived promptly at 8:30PM in Perungalathur. The bus looks stunning in its white theme. But I think they could do with an identity instead of displaying words like "Travel with the Star" etc. I mean we identify Volvos very easily on the road and the bus screams that its a Volvo through the way it looks and doesn't need telling.

Got into the bus, the seating arrangement is familiar to Volvo and the driver cabin is good too with a very short stick for gear shift. Got 6 forward and 1 reverse gear in it.

The bus has got good lighting and is not subdued like the Volvo. It is very much 'in your face' kind of white lights. Once those were switched off, some blue lights took over filling the bus with a blue tone. It was quite good to look at.

The bus has got two LCD's in it and the sound quality was good too with acceptable levels of volume. They played a movie till 11:45 at night after which it was switched off immediately.

I was in for a pleasant surprise when the attender gave me a paper bag with details of Parveen all over it. It had a juice carton, a biscuit pack, a half-litre water bottle in it.
I was happy to see the kind of treatment given to the travellers in this bus.

The seats were from Harita and were good. In addition to the Shawl we were given a small pillow too. Since there were only 23 in the bus on that particular night, I had the luxury of taking two seats for myself and made myself comfortable with one pillow to my back and the other one for my neck.

Coming to the seats, I feel Volvo could learn from MB. The seat next to the window was very much comfortable since I could move the hand-rest (or what ever that stick is called) to access the push back button. This is very much a pain in the Volvo atleast in KPN's, where the stick will not move much and accessing it is difficult for people on the healthier side

Add to that, the MB bus has a AC vent on the roof between the window and the luggage rack which gave a AC surround effect for me. I was sweating before I boarded the bus but the AC's not only chilled but also dried me pretty quickly.

I was sitting directly above the tires but didn't feel much of jerks during travel. Dinner was done at Dindivanam in a good hotel after which there were no stops (to the best of my knowledge).

The NVH was very much subdued and not much of engine noise filtered in. But I should tell it was not totally silent too. I could hear the engine accelerating very well and it was music to my ears. There was some particular 'swishing' sound when the bus was into hard braking; I am guessing that it could be the retarder. Those who know what it is could enlighten me.

The bus was very fast but there were no sudden accelerations or braking. He overtook most buses which started atleast half hour prior to this MB as soon as Villipuram.

I alighted the bus at Tirunelveli at 3:45AM. The journey took 7:15 minutes and I was happy as a kid with a cotton candy.

I am impressed with the way I was attended to and also about how the journey went; even though I feel they can operate the bus a little slower.

Good Job Parveen, Kudos to you!

Last edited by SchumiFan : 7th November 2010 at 16:17.
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