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Old 1st March 2011, 10:29   #706
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Yesterday I saw about 4-5 Volvo B9Rs belonging to VRL towards Mumbai on the NH4. I wonder what it was for. They were all the same livery and empty. I wonder if it was some lease agreement.
Any info on this ?
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Old 1st March 2011, 11:00   #707
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Default Re: LUXURIA - Bangalore to Chennai. EDIT : Now renamed to *Luxury* Buses

I had travelled in this service about a month ago. I had to reach Bengaluru from Chennnai in a emergency kind of situation and there was no other option except flying there or taking a Luxuria.

Then me got thinking and calculating, it was time v/s money, believe me or not, Luxuria scored in both, money as well as TIME. First Money factor, it was straight, a flight costs around 3000 Rs. for single way so that makes it 6000 Rs. for a round trip, In Luxuria it was 3600 Rs. for a round trip. Then came the Time factor, my sister was saying that one can take a flight and reach Bengaluru in 25 mins, true, but what about the other time taken? I asked her. I live in Adyar, it takes about 30-40 mins to reach Airport depending on traffic, so normally we start about 1 hour before to reach. Again, we have to be at the airport atleast 1 hour before the scheduled departure. Then 30 mins for flight time. 30 mins to enter and exit the Airport. Again another 2 hours to reach Bellandur from the airport. So that makes it a total of 5 hours to reach Bellandur from Adyar which is more or less the same taken by a Luxuria to reach Bellandur.

Now for the travel experience part of it. It was business class all the way. Took the 11 pm bus out of Chennai, reach the pick up point and just before i reached, got a call from Luxuria reminding me about my travel plan. The pickup point was a 3 star hotel. Was giving my boarding card and a coupon to have my dinner at 24 hour coffee shop of the hotel, since i had my dinner just before reaching the place i dint use the coupon. The bus arrived at 10.50 and the baggage was tagged airline style and was loaded on to the bus by uniformed guys. We were shown our seats. It was more like a reclining sofa. There was a laptop/moblie charge point at every seat and I think there was Wifi too, I dint get to use it as I was too tired but saw couple guys on the laptops but I am not sure if there was Wifi like they claim. I slept like a baby, was very comfortable, usual blankets and water were given in addition to a small kit, which I saw later contained some biscuits a energy bar and stuff. Ride was excellent no complaints there. Reached Silk Board Jn at 4.00 and HSR layout at 4.15. Everyone got down there expect me and another lady, She wanted to get down near K.R. Puram, now they explained to us that it was not possible to take the bus all way for just the two us and if dint mind they would drop us at our drop point in a car. Fair enough we accepted and what a car it was!!! It was a stretched Innova, the driver informed us the company has instructed him to drop us at our doorstep for the inconvenience caused, me .... Reached my sisters place at Bellandur at about 4.45 am.

Return too was a equally good trip. Overall, it was a very refreshing experience after struggling with these so-called Omini bus operators. These guys take customer relation seriously and understand that they are serving for the money they get, unlike these bus operators who think that they are taking us for a free ride (pun intended).
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Old 1st March 2011, 11:12   #708
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Default Re: LUXURIA - Bangalore to Chennai. EDIT : Now renamed to *Luxury* Buses

^^^ Thank you for that informative review. Probably the first user-review on the Super Luxury. Where was the pick-up point in Chennai, by the way?
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Old 1st March 2011, 11:13   #709
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

^^^ VRL had placed orders for quite a few number of Volvos. Must be one batch of their order being delivered to their Mumbai office.
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Old 1st March 2011, 12:41   #710
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
I saw the same bus with the same driver today at Periyar "Complex" bus station at Madurai.
: Read earlier about this bus being mentioned as Mark II. Is that a Mark II or Mark I?
The straight glass window behind the driver points to it being a Mark I ( I might be wrong here as I believe Mark II had the first window behind the driver curve down toward the driver's door).
Looks like the front end has been changed to make it look like the new Mark IV with a nice paint job.
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Old 1st March 2011, 13:23   #711
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Default Re: LUXURIA - Bangalore to Chennai. EDIT : Now renamed to *Luxury* Buses

Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
^^^ Thank you for that informative review. Probably the first user-review on the Super Luxury. Where was the pick-up point in Chennai, by the way?
Thanks mate. There are two pick up points in Chennai. One is at a hotel in OMR and the other is the one which I went to, Radha International Hotel on the 100 feet road near MMDA signal.
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Old 1st March 2011, 13:44   #712
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Default Re: LUXURIA - Bangalore to Chennai. EDIT : Now renamed to *Luxury* Buses

Archish - That's a nice crisp review. Excellent customer service by blue hill. I hope they continue the good job and keep raising the bar
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Old 1st March 2011, 16:53   #713
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Default Re: LUXURIA - Bangalore to Chennai. EDIT : Now renamed to *Luxury* Buses

I have seen that their HSR office is re-named as Luxury. They have used paper to hide the earlier name. Wondering how they would have accommodated the name change in their buses? Does the bus have Luxuria sign still?
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Old 1st March 2011, 19:14   #714
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Default Re: LUXURIA - Bangalore to Chennai. EDIT : Now renamed to *Luxury* Buses

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Originally Posted by rajakumar View Post
Does the bus have Luxuria sign still?
No... they have changed it to Luxury. I saw one of the buses couple of days ago at around 11 on the 100 feet Road near Vadapalani Signal.

Last edited by Archish : 1st March 2011 at 19:17.
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Old 1st March 2011, 21:08   #715
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Default Re: LUXURIA - Bangalore to Chennai. EDIT : Now renamed to *Luxury* Buses

That was because of the law suit claimed by AL aganist the name "Luxura".
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Old 1st March 2011, 23:57   #716
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Default Re: LUXURIA - Bangalore to Chennai. EDIT : Now renamed to *Luxury* Buses

I will definitely try this out soon. As for the Stretch Innova, I have seen it a couple of times around Bangalore

But, good experience you have posted there and nice to know the start process is good. Like the tagging of the bags and so on
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Old 3rd March 2011, 10:04   #717
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
This photo is really good to see! Nice shood indeed!
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
OT Binai Did you spend time bus spotting in Madurai. Like Coimbatore & Erode Madurai is one place where you get to see a variety of private buses.
I did. But I am not a fan of private buses, and did not bother clicking them. I had been to Mattuthavani and Arappalayam to spot buses. Was traveling daily from Periyar to MKU, and did lot of bus spotting on the way as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by f1fan View Post
The straight glass window behind the driver points to it being a Mark I ( I might be wrong here as I believe Mark II had the first window behind the driver curve down toward the driver's door).
The bus is a 2003 make. I believe Mark-IIs came around the same period. The layout of the dashboard looked very well like a Mark-II. (Mark-Is had a slightly different shape to their dash). But, it is very possible that the front was rebuilt earlier as well.

Return Journey:

As compensation for the breakdown on my way to Madurai, Kallada offered free ticket for my return journey. I encashed the opportunity, and booked on the Kallada departing from Madurai on 02-March-2011. I reached the bus station around 2115 for the 2130 departure, and the bus was already parked. Since mine was "free seat", I wasn't given a "ticket", but only a "boarding pass". Boarding for the bus started only at 2130. They had lots of parcels today. Only around 10 passengers were reserved on the bus.

The bus was, again a 2003 make, rebuilt to look like a Mark-III. The bus was KL-45-E-4100. Kallada has four re-registered buses now (KL-45-E-4100, 5200, 7229 and 7929). They are running two to Madurai, one runs Kottayam-Chennai (Weekends only) and the fourth is a spare. I heard from their driver that they run Coimbatore-Chennai trips as well during weekends and peak periods!

The bus took off from Madurai only at 2210 (Late by 40 minutes). Kallada is the last bus from Madurai to Kerala, and hence they keep waiting for passengers. While only 10 were reserved, the bus left with over 25 passengers! We also picked a couple of passengers at Oddanchatiram. The cargo "hold" was full, and luggage was dropped/picked on the way.

The bus reached Thrissur around 0430, and halted for around 15 minutes to unload parcel. I was dropped at Edappally at 0600. The crew were, surprisingly, very cordial! I met a few passengers who were using this bus regularly every month (some for personal reasons, and some on business). I heard from a guy that TVS is sending their staff to Madurai (for official purposes) on Kallada these days! The bus was in average shape - the rear lamps were broken. The front dash was completely redone - and the piano type switches were replaced with the "pull-type" ones were usually see in Ambassador cars (of the old days).

The ride was not very comfortable - thanks to the horrible roads. There are lots of level crossings between Dindugal and Pollachi, and almost all of them are in horrible shape (Gauge conversion of the line is in process). The seats were in good shape, though. (Bottle holders were gone in almost all seats. Even the magazine pouches were gone).

All in all, I'd suggest this service. Although they left late, they did arrive here on promised time. No rash driving or hard braking. I also noticed that all crew on this route are Malayalees (long back they had a lot of tamil drivers).

The EKM-MDU route now has four players: Kallada (Volvo), Supaa (iT09), KPN (Non-AC 2x2) and Greyhound (Non-AC 2x2). Supaa is the first bus, while Kallada is the last (both ways).

Edit: A "File" picture of the bus attached.
Attached Thumbnails
Intercity Bus travel reviews-img_4990.jpg  


Last edited by binaiks : 3rd March 2011 at 10:05.
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Old 5th March 2011, 19:52   #718
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

The EKM Bangalore Sharma Non AC Bus I take (I like it for the 2 x 1 concept as it gives me some privacy - after all I get the benefits of both a window and an aisle!!!) does not go to Trichur town. I have used this about 3 times recently and they are more or less consistent - do not hang around enroute waiting for pax other than at their designated agents - Alwaye, Angamaly and Chalakudy. I am aware of the Greyhound-Ashirwad service but I book tickets usually from Sona Travels at Alwaye and they prefer to sell Sharma more and because of the 2 x 1 I am okay with that. Plus driing is also smooth and the crew are experienced.

My first ever experience with Kallada shotly after they started from Trivandrum many years back (a 2 x 2 non aC bus to Bangalore via Palakkad) was enough to qualify them as a last choice for me ever since. One of the drivers was foul mouthed all the way abusing pax whenever anyone asked him anything. A few subsequent trips were no better - rarely come across a courteous crew (the one exception was when I was never booked on them in the first place - the SRM TRV-BLR multi axle got into an accident enroute and we were put in a spare Volvo (B7R) of Kallada. The driver was a gem of a person. But generally I avoid these guys.

I used to travel on KPN a lot usually on BLR-TRV and BLR-EKM. But finally when their EKM service deteriorated rapidly to something I felt like "KPN Travels BLR-EKM daily cargo service on 2 x 2 - we also take pax subject to our convenience and timings"" then I quit!!! Switched to Blr-Tcr KeSRTC globus AC which for a long time was quite reliable.

As for BLR-Poona I started traveling at a time when the GQ was on the planning stages and long before Volvos made an appearance in India!!! What a journey - 18-20 hours on a Sharma 2 x 2 Non A/c- 3-4 movies minimum - all Hindi which I never could understand!!! One of them was QSQT - I think - super movie I remember my seat mate saying!!!! No ipods at that time - so it was back to the old fashioned (atleast nowadays) stuff called reading!!! No expressway or even Katraj byepass. Buses used to stop at Natraj hotel in Swargate. Return I used to travel VRL , they had a service which used to start at Chinchwad and come via Aundh.!!! This was even before KOnkan rail so sharma used to have a ernakulam bombay via BLR (the same bus I used to take to Poona). Overall 32-36 hours end to Ernakulam- Poona. Other operators were YESBEE, Indira , and NS-RPD at that time on EKM-BLR.
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Old 5th March 2011, 20:06   #719
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I always prefer ARC or ABT travels when it comes to travelling in and out of Coimbatore. These services do not have Volvos in their stable but nevertheless they are very comfortable. Both these services are very punctual too. KPN used to have the best service in this sector but off late I have found their quality has deteriorated.

So my pick for travelling in and out of Coimbatore:
1. ARC travels
2. ABT travels
3. KPN (only their newer buses)
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Old 6th March 2011, 16:36   #720
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Guys any reviews on Sharma and Kesineni buses on Hyd-Blr-Hyd route?
I have booked Sharma Volvo semi sleeper for Hyd-Blr and Kesineni Sleeper for Blr-Hyd, by looking at their pickup and drop points.

Have occassionally come across these buses on hyd roads and all seemed to be in good shape.

I had travelled in a Kaleshwari AC Sleeper(Isuzu) about a month back, checked this time and they have jacked up the fare by a good 200 bucks! (Total- Rs.1100)
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