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Old 21st November 2010, 20:06   #541
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Agents for buses from intermediate boarding points (like ALW, TCR, etc) are allotted fixed seats - like "#16 for the ABC travels at ALW, 23-28 for XYZ @ TCR, 29 & 30 for CDE @ TCR, etc).

If one of these seats is allotted from / by some other agent, they need to call up the main office / the other agent and take their permission.
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Old 21st November 2010, 20:06   #542
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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
They have a Volvo bus at the same time which I assume reaches much earlier so that is another good option.
The Volvo that runs via Aluva comes from Trivandrum - its a B9R. Sharma has three Volvo services to Kerala - Trivandrum (B9R), Pathanamthitta (B7R) and Kottarakkara (B7R).

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The Non AC Bus is a 2 x 1 and they dont charge extra for the single seat so that is another plus.
In normal cases, the charge per seat in a 2x1 bus higher than the charge per seat in a 2x2 seater bus. This is because the 2x1 bus carries lesser passengers. Therefore, you pay the same fare irrespective of you choosing a 2 seater or a single seater. I guess the seats are wider than the regular 2x2 seats as well - Are they?

(I've not traveled in a non-AC long distance bus since 1998! So cannot really say more about them. My last journey, in 1998, was in a Conti Travels non-AC Air Bus from Coimbatore to Alappuzha. The bus was built by AZAD.)

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One tip : I did get a ticket for a sunday travel as late as firday. The website shows all full, trick is to go to one of their booking agents. In Alwaye it is Sona Travels (not Zam Zam who is down the road) Sona also is the authroised agent for Karnataka SRTC wh now have a boarding at Alwaye, but the travel agent is so clearly disinterested in promoting the Karnataka SRTC that it is better to book either at BLR or in the internet.
I think KaSRTC gives less commission than the private guys. Sona is the main agent for Sharma in Kerala, and they would obviously promote Sharma over KaSRTC. Plus, Sona has their own Volvo running between Bangalore and Ernakulam.

The KaSRTC agent at Ernakulam is decent (Thekkel Enterprises, IIRC). The service was good, and tickets are usually given in an envelope.

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IF you want to get a Karnataka SRTC ticket at Trchur, there is one booking agent just outside the exit of the KSRC bus stand. Again Sunday evening tickets are surprisingly easy to get without premium . I think these guys block off the tickets in advance.
The agent at Thrissur is Hotel Sansar. I had once walked all around the bus station searching for this guy - back in 2008. He had no boards anywhere to indicate that he sold KaSRTC tickets. I got their address from the KaSRTC website, and walked into the hotel and asked for tickets!

Given the rapid deterioration of the KeSRTC Globuses, Karnataka buses are gaining importance now! (not that they were not famous earlier).
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Old 21st November 2010, 20:47   #543
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I had been very regular until a year or so on the Pune-Manipal (Udupi-Mangalore) circuit..

There are tons of Volvos plying on that route but if you are from Pune, you have to go to a particular Natraj Travels office near the Katraj bypass.

All of them arrive at this spot around 1830-1900; pick up passengers from Pune and then head off. The scheduled stop for dinner is at Natraj Hotel some 45min-1hr from this boarding point. From there, they don't generally stop except when the driver wants to take a leak.
Fare around 900-1100 (off-peak season)

Few of the best services are :
- Canara Pinto
- VRL

However, the best service is offered by KSRTC. They have a bus (at times, 2) originating at Natraj Travels, Swargate at 1900. It stops at Natraj Hotel and then further at Belgaum for refuelling.

I am a regular on the Bangalore-Manipal circuit now.

Again, very biased towards KSRTC. They have Volvos running almost every half n hour in the evening. Excellent service; stops at Rajajinagar KSRTC and then once at Mysore.
Fare around 600.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 12:29   #544
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Well I used to frequent regularly in between Pune and Hyderabad in 2007 end till 2009 Nov. Generally, preferred APSRTC Garuda initially as they were mostly punctual and tickets were available. Lately, RTC person was him self selling black tickets in one of the festive seasons at Pune station itself. Later due to non availability of Garuda service, I booked SVR bus. The service was really good as the bus was new, neat and tidy. Even the Razai's supplied were clean unlinke Garuda ones. Though he started behind schedule of more than 1.5 hrs, he touched lakdikapool at 6.30 am as promised. The same thing happened while I was returning to Pune.
In all those two years, there were no major noticeable delays or bad experiences I faced. Infact, I forgot Garuda, as the access of their tickets was not easy in Aundh. I need to go to station all the way along.
I tried all three major players SVR, Kesineni and Kaleshwari. All of them were good in terms of service, timing and cost. Cost ofcourse was always higher than Garuda, around 100 or 150 more which landed to 750 to 800.
They touched 1900 to 2k in the festive times.
The availability of water bottles is not consistent with these operators. They were cutting costs when the economy was down.

I am trying out the Mercedes Benz bus from Neta Volvo, this time. Will update you about the service. I am going for only a day and will return the coming Saturday in Garuda again. Just willing to check their status.

Will definately update with pics if possible.
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Any reviews of the Volvo buses to Mumbai from Hyderabad? I travelled in AP Torusim's Volvo 5 years ago and it was good at that time.

Nowadays we have Kesineni's, Sree Kaleswari and others added to the list. Anybody travelled in any of those? If so what is the journey time and the fare? This apart, are the seats right behind the driver comfortable, or would you suggest better spots for maximum comfort? I do find online booking available with some providers.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 12:33   #545
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I have regularly using the Thane-Pune-Thane volvo buses run by MSRTC. Never had any issues with booking/arrival/dep timings till date. Now that the tickets can be booked online too with seat preference & card payment, its great improvement from the Asiad buses days.

One irritation though is the frequent increase of the fares. Initially it used to be 180 bucks which now is around 275/- for single journey.
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Old 28th November 2010, 10:54   #546
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Before the Katraj byepass came in, in the late 190s and early 1900s, all the buses to Pune from BLR used to stop at Hotel Natraj in Swargate. Most then used to take the University, Aundh route into the old Pune Mumbai Highway.

SVR is a good service, I have taken ther Volvo on the HYD BLR route. Another good option was Diwakar at that time.

Binaiks : I like the Sharma Non AC service for a different reason, the bus has only 30 seats compared to volvos which has anything from 4o0 to 50 so it is less claustrophobic and leg room is better. The single seaters are actually narrower (not wider in Sharma- they were wider in KPN when they had the Chennai -Cochin service using a similar bus)

Interestingly there is a 1815 Rajahamsa service via Hosur starting from Trichur on Karnataka SRTC which uses a 32 or 35 seater. Good option reaches Trichur early morning.

Thekkel in Ernakulam is a good agent. They dont deal with other private operators, hence service is better.
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Old 29th November 2010, 12:21   #547
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Default Pune - Hyd - Pune

Guys, just did the Pune - Hyd - Pune stint for attending a function on 26th Nov.
Pune - Hyd by Neeta Tours on Mercedes Benz bus.
Hyd - Pune by APSRTC Garuda Service.
Will update both the experiences with pics very soon.
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Old 29th November 2010, 23:06   #548
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I did a to and fro trip to Kerala (Pandalam) via the Kallada travels B9R along the route. This was my first time on the multi-axle, and must say the ride over bad roads is certainly better than the normal B7Rs. Since i had tickets on both occassions towards the rear of the bus, i can easily confirm the same.

For a bus which has already completed 2.6+ lakhs kms, the bus felt pretty solid, and has held up quite well. However, for some reason which seems to be internal policy, the bus wasnt clocking high speeds both on the to as well as return journey. This was despite being on good roads.

Needless to say, the bus which was to depart at 6:30M from Madiwala reached at 7:45PM, and i reached Pandalam at 10:15AM, which suddenly made it seem a train was a better option! The return journey was equally slow as well.
Anyone has any concrete info if this is an instruction from the company?
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Old 29th November 2010, 23:09   #549
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Looks more like a sensible driver(s) rather than co. policy.

Kallada are Irinjalakuda / Kunnamkulam based, right? How do they manage a Pandalam service?
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Old 29th November 2010, 23:12   #550
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Looks more like a sensible driver(s) rather than co. policy.

Kallada are Irinjalakuda / Kunnamkulam based, right? How do they manage a Pandalam service?
For years now, they have been operating Volvos from Bangalore to Adoor. The B9R has just replaced the B7R which had aged. It is still put to service as a 'special' bus at times, i believe.

At one point of time, they were a monopoly on the route. Now, other A/C options on this route include Padikkal Travels and Sharma (B7R).
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Old 30th November 2010, 09:57   #551
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I
Anyone has any concrete info if this is an instruction from the company?
Fuel Economy.
I had a chat with their Alleppy-Bangalore Multi axle Volvo's driver few months back. As per this driver, the management is very particular on fuel economy and drivers are questioned, if its low.

Don't know if there is any other reason.
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Old 30th November 2010, 11:09   #552
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Fuel Economy.
I had a chat with their Alleppy-Bangalore Multi axle Volvo's driver few months back. As per this driver, the management is very particular on fuel economy and drivers are questioned, if its low.

Don't know if there is any other reason.
I am not too sure that would be a good idea.

The reason why the Volvos were preferred were because of lower fatigue, and also because of the shorter times in which they were able to complete the journey. With such a move, wherein the travel times have considerably increased, trains seem to be a better alternative.

I could observe passengers who were complaining about how slow the bus was going, and how they were getting late.

I usually reach Pandalam max by 8AM by the earlier Kallada Volvos, but this time reached only at 10:15AM. i had an appointment at 11AM, and while i initially thought i would reach well in time, in the end i just about made it in time.
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Old 30th November 2010, 12:25   #553
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IMO, now Kallada is not for those who are looking for a fast travel.

Last month my friend traveled from Alleppy to Bangalore in their multi axle Volvo which crossed Walayar 4 hrs late. Even after this, the bus did only 60-80 speed and reached Bangalore at 12.30noon.
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Old 30th November 2010, 12:29   #554
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IMO, now Kallada is not for those who are looking for a fast travel.
Quite true. After being a Kallada long term traveller over these many years since they started plying on our route, i am now shifting preferences. I would certainly be interested in trying out Padikkal travels.

How have their reviews been? They seem to have a smart office setup in Madiwala.
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Old 30th November 2010, 12:51   #555
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KPN Volvos' also are these days not plying on higher speeds consequent to regular accidents and possibly to reduce fuel consumption as well.
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