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Old 8th March 2011, 19:27   #721
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Last weekend I had a round trip to Bangalore-Pandalam. This time i have opted for KPN multiaxle volvo(Bangalore-Kottarakara) on both the direction. I was doing an interstate bus trip after a long period. Both the direction journey was comfortable. From Bangalore to Pandalam, they have started from Bangalore(Madiwala) at 7.35pm and reached Pandalam at 6.45 am. And return journey, started from Pandalam at 3pm and reached silkboard at 4.45 pm. Both of them are new buses.
One more good thing is they took the dinner break at some decent place, onward journey they stopped the vehicle at HP petrol bunk before Krishnagiri, there we have option of Coffeday, Mac and a good vegetarian restaurant(Krishna Inn).
This is first time in my experience the buses are stopping at some decent place for dinner break.
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Old 9th March 2011, 09:20   #722
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by kavu75 View Post
One more good thing is they took the dinner break at some decent place, onward journey they stopped the vehicle at HP petrol bunk before Krishnagiri, there we have option of Coffeday, Mac and a good vegetarian restaurant(Krishna Inn).
Surprised, KPN generally makes a stop at BP bunk which has A2B near Chinnar. This is the first time I am hearing that they had stopped in HP. Generally the A2B gets crowded as many of the KPN bus goes there.
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Old 9th March 2011, 10:07   #723
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by kavu75 View Post
Last weekend I had a round trip to Bangalore-Pandalam. This time i have opted for KPN multiaxle volvo(Bangalore-Kottarakara) on both the direction. I was doing an interstate bus trip after a long period. Both the direction journey was comfortable.
Kavu, thanks a lot for this update. I beginning to find the Kallada timings (or lack of it) rather irritating along this stretch. Good to know of an alternative in KPN.

The time by which they reach the destination is also convenient, as against Kallada multiaxle which reaches Bangalore only by 7:30 - 8AM.
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Old 9th March 2011, 10:59   #724
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by rajakumar View Post
Surprised, KPN generally makes a stop at BP bunk which has A2B near Chinnar. This is the first time I am hearing that they had stopped in HP. Generally the A2B gets crowded as many of the KPN bus goes there.
I think KPN chose BP-Coffee Day as their dinner stop. Last time while I traveling from Bangalore to Coimbatore, it stopped at this same place at mid night and someone got into the bus for checking seats/chart.

Another bus I found there was Sangitha travels.
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Old 9th March 2011, 11:40   #725
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Default Reviews/Suggestions on late night travel from Chennai to B'lore

I would be required to see off my sister at Chennai airport on a sunday night, and reach Bangalore the next day. What are the options i have? My requirement is, it should not be before 23:30hrs. Anything after that is fine, provided I reach Madiwala before 0800hrs.

redBus mentions Sangita travels Volvo at 23:55hrs
Ticketgoose also mentions the same

I also see an ABTX service at 12:30 in Ticketgoose. But their office says such a trip doesn't exist now. However, I'd once booked on that bus (but I canceled the trip) and I know for sure it's a late night service.

My experience with Sangita travels has been bad. So I want to stay away from them as far as i can.

Trains are also out of question.
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Old 9th March 2011, 13:56   #726
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Iit stopped at this same place at mid night and someone got into the bus for checking seats/chart.
Yes, regular checking happens at this stop. Heard that it has been done to avoid drivers picking up additional passengers en-route.
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Old 9th March 2011, 16:16   #727
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Default Re: Reviews/Suggestions on late night travel from Chennai to B'lore

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
I would be required to see off my sister at Chennai airport on a sunday night, and reach Bangalore the next day. What are the options i have? My requirement is, it should not be before 23:30hrs. Anything after that is fine, provided I reach Madiwala before 0800hrs.

redBus mentions Sangita travels Volvo at 23:55hrs
Ticketgoose also mentions the same

I also see an ABTX service at 12:30 in Ticketgoose. But their office says such a trip doesn't exist now. However, I'd once booked on that bus (but I canceled the trip) and I know for sure it's a late night service.

My experience with Sangita travels has been bad. So I want to stay away from them as far as i can.

Trains are also out of question.
KSRTC has Airavats and Coronas till 2335. They will get you here by 6-6.30am. If you are fine with a non-a/c bus; KSRTC runs Rajhamsa every 10min at night and the last bus is at 2351. It will reach by 6am latest. (personal experience). And do take the Hosur route one rather than the Chittor route (terrible road).
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Old 9th March 2011, 16:43   #728
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Default Re: Reviews/Suggestions on late night travel from Chennai to B'lore

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
KSRTC has Airavats and Coronas till 2335. They will get you here by 6-6.30am. If you are fine with a non-a/c bus; KSRTC runs Rajhamsa every 10min at night and the last bus is at 2351. It will reach by 6am latest. (personal experience). And do take the Hosur route one rather than the Chittor route (terrible road).
Thank you for that suggestion, and I did check the Airavats and Rajahamsas. The issue is, they do not have a boarding point at Guindy or Central, while *some* of the private buses do. I'm inclined to catch one from Guindy instead of CMBT (Koyambedu) as the latter is ~15km from the Airport.

However, if there are any Rajahamsa/Airavat/Corona services after midnight, say 00:30-01:00hrs, I'm ready to go to CMBT and pack off. Time of arrival is not a major concern because as long as I choose a bus that goes via Hosur, I'll reach B'lore (Madiwala) before 07:30 or, latest 08:00hrs.

Are you sure the last KaSRTC bus leaves at 23:51hrs? Because the KaSRTC site says the last one is at 23:35hrs (Airavat).

Some of the operators are yet to start their bookings, and I still see a lot of free seats in almost all late night services. So, waiting...
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Old 15th March 2011, 13:09   #729
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Default Re: LUXURIA - Bangalore to Chennai. EDIT : Now renamed to *Luxury* Buses

If i recall right a lot of private operators already adopted the tag system for luggage. I recall trips on Puzhekadavil (Blr- Kochi) when they were in operation (which now seems quite some time back), they used to tag the luggage and most times, compare your tag at the time of unloading as well!
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Old 25th March 2011, 22:36   #730
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Default SeaBird travels-> Bad to worse

On March 4th, I traveled from Bangalore to Karwar (Final Destination Goa) on a SeaBird bus . There was only one driver scheduled in-spite of the fact that this was a Bangalore-Goa long distance bus.The 'cleaner' was a kid barely 12-14 years old.

The bus stopped at Tumkur for dinner at approximately 11:00pm. After this, apparently there was RTO checking going on some distance away. In order to avoid the RTO squad, the bus took a de-tour through Kunigal and re-joined only NH4 at 03:30AM at Tumkur!
The driver was constantly checking the movement of the RTO squad over the phone with the SeaBird management apparently. He was completely exhausted and stopped the bus to sleep for sometime after the "danger" had passed.

He woke up after another half an hour and drove from Hubli towards Ankola. He stopped at Yellapur, contacted another SeaBird driver there and he then drove from there on.
The bus finally reached Karwar at around 01:30 pm against the scheduled arrival of around 07:00 AM.The folks travelling to Panaji would have reach at least another couple of hours later.

I knew SeaBird was bad but this was terrible. Pretty obviously, the mails sent to the Seabird management did not yield any results.
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Old 26th March 2011, 00:30   #731
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Default Re: Reviews/Suggestions on late night travel from Chennai to B'lore

Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Thank you for that suggestion, and I did check the Airavats and Rajahamsas. The issue is, they do not have a boarding point at Guindy or Central, while *some* of the private buses do. I'm inclined to catch one from Guindy instead of CMBT (Koyambedu) as the latter is ~15km from the Airport.

However, if there are any Rajahamsa/Airavat/Corona services after midnight, say 00:30-01:00hrs, I'm ready to go to CMBT and pack off. Time of arrival is not a major concern because as long as I choose a bus that goes via Hosur, I'll reach B'lore (Madiwala) before 07:30 or, latest 08:00hrs.

Are you sure the last KaSRTC bus leaves at 23:51hrs? Because the KaSRTC site says the last one is at 23:35hrs (Airavat).

Some of the operators are yet to start their bookings, and I still see a lot of free seats in almost all late night services. So, waiting...

Hey I am a regular user of ABTX, I can assure you that they have no service except the only one from Chennai to bangalore at 2200hrs. Well, Airavat, yes they run untill 2351, with the introduction of the Club class at 2310, the mysore airavat runs at 2335, and a last volvo has been added up at 2351, 2355(special) which would cost you 900 instead of regular 600.
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Old 6th April 2011, 07:47   #732
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Over the past week end, travelled by a Neeta B9R from Bangalore to Pune and then on a Neeta Mercedes Benz from Pune to Hyderabad. So putting down my experience and doing a sort of camparo of the two premium bus makers of India.

1st the Volvo. Oddly enough it was a slightly new, KA registered Neeta B9R for the Bangalore to Pune trip. The staff were pretty courteous, bus was pretty clean and well maintained. Something which I noticed was that the bus's 8 tyres came from no less than 3 different brands, 4 JK's, 3 Michelins and one lone surprise Hankook. I think Volvo uses Michelins as their original supplier even in India. Trip took a good 14hours, from about 8.30pm departure to an 10.30am drop at the last stop in Pune where I got down, before the bus went on to Mumbai. Something which I had not expected was a bottle of water, but was provided with one, along with very clean blankets.

Now the Merc, again very well maintained white Mercedes, with courteous staff. A little issue with my seat due to some confusion due to some travellers between Mumbai and Pune occupying the seats. Was politely requested to occupy another seat for some time. Bus arrived about 15mins later than the 10pm departure time in Pune, and thanks to heavy traffic on the Pune-Solapur highway, we reached Hyderabad an hour late at 9.30am next morning. On the tyre front, surprisingly this was shod with JKs all round.

A comparision between the two buses in the next post.
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Old 6th April 2011, 08:25   #733
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Well, having experienced a Volvo and Mercedes Triaxle, almost back to back within days from each other, these are my views of the two costliest buses in the Indian market.

Contrary to what most people have said here, I am all praise for the Mercedes and would rate it a few notches higher than the Volvo. In my opinion the few extra lakhs that Merc charges is well worth it.

The Volvo interiors were pretty much like any other Tata/AL bus. Most of the interiors components were exactly the same. For example the aircon-vent assembly was the exact same as most Tata/AL private buses today. In fact a few Tata/AL's today use better looking aircon-vents. Most of the interiors lights were also pretty much cheap looking, and used a standard tube-light inside them. The Mercedes on the other hand, felt properly premium in all its components and gave off a completely different feel to the Volvo. In the interiors its all about the small touches, some of which I am noting

a) Flush fitting interior lighting fixtures in the Merc made specifically for the bus, unlike the ones in the Volvo.
b) Premium air-con vents, matching with the overall bus scheme.
c) Volvo had no specific place to mount a video screen at the front, unlike the Mercedes. The Volvo had to make do with a fixed standard TV, while the Merc had a drop down one. The 2nd and 3rd screens in the Mercedes were larger thanks to the interior design
d) The interior digital clock had a specific place in the Mercedes, which remained visible even after the blinds were drawn. A makeshift one had been added to the Volvo.
e) The Volvo used additional speakers mounted to the luggage racks, eating up space. The Merc used the speakers built into the air-con panel, and had an option of switching them off as well.
f) The charging points were high quality and flush fitting on the Merc and seemed like a cheap after-market addition on the Volvo.
g) The Merc had channels to fix blinds in the front built into the roof panels, while the Volvo use a cheap, what seemed like an after market addition, chromed rod.
h) Opening the passenger door automatically triggered the doorway light. Such a light was not even present in the Volvo, whose door-opening mechanism had already failed.

Onto to other technical comparisons. The Mercedes is definitely more powerful, and it feels than a lot more than the 20hp advantage it has over the Volvo. The Mercedes was a lot more comfortable at overtaking traffic. Along with that the Mercedes was also a lot quieter and had less harsh vibrations at low speeds. Ride of both the buses was equally good, though I have to say Volvo scored on the ride at low speeds inside the city, which is the only point where the Volvo scores. One thing I noticed was, the Volvo's brakes were a lot quicker to apply on, even on slight touches. This meant that even while slowing down, the passengers were getting flung forward in the Volvo, while this was not the case in the Merc. This was even more surprising considering that the Mercedes driver was a lot more harsh than the Volvo one. The Merc's brakes are a lot more progressive, which I experienced when I got flung forward, when the driver braked very hard, due to a Maruti changing lanes suddenly in front of us. This allows the Merc driver to be more sensitive to passenger comfort, a boon in overnight semi-sleeper journeys.

I am not comparing the seats or the space, as this is very much customisable. Though I will still say the Merc had far better seats, with a lot more cushioning.

Overall, today, it is the Mercedes which is a properly premium bus. After this experience with Volvo, I would say, it is better than the Tata/AL crowd only because of its mechanicals. Now I think, the new Tata Hispano has a pretty serious chance at gaining a good market share in the 'premium' bus market.
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Old 6th April 2011, 14:15   #734
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Did Bangalore- Chennai on ABTX last night for the first time and had a pretty good experience.

Pros:
1) Clean buses, shawls, window curtains
2) Well behaved staff
3) Seat belts for all seats
4) water bottle for the journey
5) Power outlets for laptops, mobile phones
6) Positioning of AC vents
7) Good powerful 205 bhp AL 12M with Prakash Volvo clone body. With the doors closed, the vehicle was very silent with minimal/no vibrations.
8) Ride quality almost on par with Volvos.
9) Reached Koyambedu in 5.30 hrs from Madivala
10) Rich looking leather/art leather seats
11) No stops to onboard passengers enroute even though there were a few vacant seats.
12) Smooth gear shifts but Volvo is a different league.

Cons:
1) 20min delay in departure for no reason. The Bangalore-Coimbatore bus was delayed by 0.5 hr.
2) 5 mins Stoppage at a tea stall at 3:00 AM. Most buses KPN, MSS etc. don't have proper place for overnight stoppage.
3) Art-leather seats - looked rich but not as comfortable as fabric seats
4) Seats don't incline as much as I have seen other private operated buses
5) Did not provide eye masks as promised
6) Seats not as wide as some of the other travels (Prakash's Kushy).
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Old 6th April 2011, 17:52   #735
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Contrary to what most people have said here, I am all praise for the Mercedes and would rate it a few notches higher than the Volvo. In my opinion the few extra lakhs that Merc charges is well worth it.
Surprising - seriously surprising! But you aren't fair comparing a new bus with an old one.

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
c) Volvo had no specific place to mount a video screen at the front, unlike the Mercedes. The Volvo had to make do with a fixed standard TV, while the Merc had a drop down one. The 2nd and 3rd screens in the Mercedes were larger thanks to the interior design
The TV in a Volvo is according to customer specification. Volvo provides a standard 21 inch TV or a wide LCD screen depending on the customer's request. KaSRTC buses come with LCD screens - same with most private operators here in Kerala/Karnataka.

I felt the fixed screens were better - especially since the foldable ones tend to breakdown faster than the fixed ones, plus if they aren't kept in decent angles, one gets a lot of glare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
d) The interior digital clock had a specific place in the Mercedes, which remained visible even after the blinds were drawn. A makeshift one had been added to the Volvo.
Volvo buses do not come with a clock. They are always added after market. I heard that the latest B9Rs are getting a clock as a standard fitting - but I haven't seen one till date.

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
e) The Volvo used additional speakers mounted to the luggage racks, eating up space. The Merc used the speakers built into the air-con panel, and had an option of switching them off as well.
The speakers on the luggage rack are an aftermarket fitting. The standard ones come inside the Aircon vent panel. Most operators install an aftermarket amplifier and add these speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
g) The Merc had channels to fix blinds in the front built into the roof panels, while the Volvo use a cheap, what seemed like an after market addition, chromed rod.
The chrome rod is certainly an aftermarket fitting. The ones that come from the company are drop down screens - which most private operators rip off and fix the age old curtains instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
h) Opening the passenger door automatically triggered the doorway light. Such a light was not even present in the Volvo, whose door-opening mechanism had already failed.
In a Volvo, the exit lamps can be switched off - which is what most operators do. In fact, in a Volvo, both the lamps in the driver cabin switch on the moment you open the door. In many cases, private operators never bother to repair the lamps once the bulb goes off.
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