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Old 6th July 2011, 22:35   #946
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
Take the SRM multi axle, the best of the lot among the Chennai - Tvm services.
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Try SRM non stop service (7.15 pm Departure; Rs. 1050). This should be one among the fastest services.
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Trivandrum-Chennai route has the following operators: SRM, Rathimeena, Bharathi, Tippu Sultan, Parveen, Jeppiar and ARC. Except the last 2 operators, all others run Multi Axle buses. SRM is the fastest, followed by Rathimeena.
Thank you everyone for such a quick response!! So all in all, from your posts, I understand SRM is better. How about Parveen's Mercedes? My sister has traveled in the Merc and said it has better comfort than the Volvos. But I find it to be the other way around in many of the reviews! Any one who has traveled in both??
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Old 7th July 2011, 00:16   #947
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Well, a few months back I had done a Merc and Volvo multiaxle ride, almost back to back, and even I had felt that the Merc is better.

But just comfort obviously is not the sole reason to pick a particular service. I would take a faster Volvo service, rather than a slower Merc service, because the difference in comfort level is not that much.
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Old 7th July 2011, 01:01   #948
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Thumbs down First Bad Experience with redBus.in

I had travelled to Palakkad last friday. Since the trip was planned at a short notice, I had difficulty in getting direct tickets to Palakkad in either of the KSRTC buses. So, I booked a ticket to Coimbatore with Conti travels in their 22:45hrs service, through redBus. I observed that I did not receive an SMS alert, but according to the T&C mentioned in their site, if the ticket number got generated, then the ticket is considered booked. I was happy that I got a seat in the Isuzu bus, and was looking forward to a comfortable journey home.

On friday, I reached the Conti travels office at 22:00hrs itself, and presented my e-ticket printout to the person at the counter. He checked his log sheet, tick-marked the seat no and gave me the ticket. I asked him for the boarding pass and he said, the e-ticket is my boarding pass. So far so good, so i thought. The bus was late, and arrived at 23:00hrs. I hopped in, only to find another guy in the seat allotted to me. He showed me his boarding pass issued by Conti travels. Another guy, who'd also booked through redBus, had the same fate. Both of us, now turned to the driver who immediately called the office guy (the same one who was sitting in the counter, and verified my ticket an hour ago). He washed his hands off saying that it's got nothing to do with Conti, and it's redBus's fault. They might have just collected the money, but did not confirm the seat.

Both of us refused to get down from the bus, and told him that we have to travel and it's no fault of ours that our ticket was not confirmed. Both of us had been waiting in their boarding point office for quite some time, and they should've had the courtesy to tell us at that time itself. After a heated argument, our man now said, he'll arrange a seat in whatever bus he can find. We told him clearly that we will not get off the bus unless he confirms a seat or berth.

He was seen talking over the phone, probably trying to find if there were any seats available, for some fifteen minutes. He arranged a seat for one of us in an A1 Travels Volvo B7R. Next was my turn. There was an SRS Travels non-A/C Sleeper coach which was about to leave, as luck would have it, it had one berth vacant, and I hopped in. The bus was supposed to start at 23:15hrs, but it was waiting for loading some parcel onto the cargo hold. It started at 00:00hrs sharp, and reached Coimbatore at 06:45hrs. The bus stopped at Hosur for 20 minutes, and again at Salem for around 40 minutes, to load and unload luggage

As for the ticket refund, the Conti guy had scribbled something on my ticket printout and asked me to collect the refund money from any of their offices. I had to pay SRS Travels' driver for the berth though. After reaching home, I wrote to redBus, mentioning the turn of events, and they agreed to refund the full ticket amount.

I returned to Bangalore by KSRTC (Kerala) AC Bus. It was a Tata Globus LPO1616. As someone had once pointed out here, it was an impartial setup - whether the seat is at the front or at the back, it was equally bumpy, and being a Tata, it had the vibrations at idle and at higher speeds. Seats were comfy, leg room should've been better though.

The bus, which originates from Thrissur (at 21:00hrs) reached Palakkad depot at 23:00hrs, 40 minutes behind schedule. I reached Madiwala at around 06:40hrs. It took the L&T by-pass road, instead of going inside Coimbatore city, and also, the halt at Salem was hardly 5 minutes.
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Old 7th July 2011, 09:16   #949
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by freakmuzik View Post
Thank you everyone for such a quick response!! So all in all, from your posts, I understand SRM is better. How about Parveen's Mercedes? My sister has traveled in the Merc and said it has better comfort than the Volvos. But I find it to be the other way around in many of the reviews! Any one who has traveled in both??
I have travelled extensively on both the Mercedes and the Volvo (single axle). The Volvo is definitely much, much better than the Mercedes.

Aalok
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Old 8th July 2011, 19:23   #950
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Well, a few months back I had done a Merc and Volvo multiaxle ride, almost back to back, and even I had felt that the Merc is better.

But just comfort obviously is not the sole reason to pick a particular service. I would take a faster Volvo service, rather than a slower Merc service, because the difference in comfort level is not that much.
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I have travelled extensively on both the Mercedes and the Volvo (single axle). The Volvo is definitely much, much better than the Mercedes.

Aalok
Thanks julupani and aalokg. I guess I'l try both Volvo and Merc, one way each, just to know how they are. My travel would be somewhere in the next couple of weeks. I will share my experience once I get back after that! Thanks.

Cheers!
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Old 9th July 2011, 20:35   #951
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by freakmuzik View Post
Thank you everyone for such a quick response!! So all in all, from your posts, I understand SRM is better. How about Parveen's Mercedes? My sister has traveled in the Merc and said it has better comfort than the Volvos. But I find it to be the other way around in many of the reviews! Any one who has traveled in both??
I have posted my experience in this post. Believe me it is a superb coach and was very fast too.

Choose the one which complies with your travel time. I haven't travelled in SRM to comment about their service.

Link to my post: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...ml#post2131865
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Old 9th July 2011, 23:43   #952
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Yesterday, I took a Mercedes bus ride from Chennai - Trichur (Parveen Travels). The journey was nice,the driver was driving very smoothly and I had a pleasant ride. I have done few Volvo multi axle rides before and the ride quality of Mercedes is comparable to the Volvo IMHO.I boarded from CMBT at 7:30 and reached Trichur by 6:30 AM.

The Merc was easily doing 120's whenever the road was clear.

One thing I noticed is the rear axle setup for the Merc is different from that of Volvo multi axle. In Volvo multi axle it is 2-2-4 (Wheel count from, front to back) where as in Merc it is 2-4-2. Experts please throw some light on this or am I asking a stupid question.


I also have tried ISUZU bus Chennai - Trichur (Sona Travels), ride quality is no way near the Merc or the Volvo.The driver was very rash and because of that the ride was bouncy. You don't get that floating feel like in the Volvo. Few seats also started rattling, looks like the bolt holding it to the floor came loose. Which is not acceptable for a fairly new vehicle(Poor maintenance by the tour operator). There were quite a lot of empty seats, so I moved around to check the ride quality. The last two rows of seats, which I tried were really bad and I was literally flying whenever he goes over a hump, after experiencing that for sometime(near Avinashi, where we have to take sudden small detours because of lane expansion work), I stopped the ride quality test and came back to my original seat .

IMHO if the ISUZU driver had driven the bus smoothly i.e, linear acceleration, predictive braking and all, I think I could have had a pleasant ride. So ride quality is as good or as bad as your driver.
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Old 10th July 2011, 03:34   #953
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by ecenandu View Post
Yesterday, I took a Mercedes bus ride from Chennai - Trichur (Parveen Travels). The journey was nice,the driver was driving very smoothly and I had a pleasant ride. I have done few Volvo multi axle rides before and the ride quality of Mercedes is comparable to the Volvo IMHO.I boarded from CMBT at 7:30 and reached Trichur by 6:30 AM.

The Merc was easily doing 120's whenever the road was clear.

One thing I noticed is the rear axle setup for the Merc is different from that of Volvo multi axle. In Volvo multi axle it is 2-2-4 (Wheel count from, front to back) where as in Merc it is 2-4-2. Experts please throw some light on this or am I asking a stupid question.


I also have tried ISUZU bus Chennai - Trichur (Sona Travels), ride quality is no way near the Merc or the Volvo.The driver was very rash and because of that the ride was bouncy. You don't get that floating feel like in the Volvo. Few seats also started rattling, looks like the bolt holding it to the floor came loose. Which is not acceptable for a fairly new vehicle(Poor maintenance by the tour operator). There were quite a lot of empty seats, so I moved around to check the ride quality. The last two rows of seats, which I tried were really bad and I was literally flying whenever he goes over a hump, after experiencing that for sometime(near Avinashi, where we have to take sudden small detours because of lane expansion work), I stopped the ride quality test and came back to my original seat .

IMHO if the ISUZU driver had driven the bus smoothly i.e, linear acceleration, predictive braking and all, I think I could have had a pleasant ride. So ride quality is as good or as bad as your driver.

good images there! you are correct Mercs have 2-4-2 set up and volvos have 2-2-4 set up i.e. live axle ahead of dead axle. Rightly said ride depends on the driver, but then my question to you, how was the NVH level inside the Merc, as its a Sutlej built bus, which seats would you prefer, is it the volvo ones or merc? What is your opinion on overall ambience of the inside? I always felt the sutlej seats are cheap and gave an impression so! but the ones in volvos give a feel of quality and good finish. Especially the air vents in the mercs are rotary type and not flow adjustable like in volvos which I find very irritating and cost cutting. What about the pick up? I have noticed that mercs are slow to gather speed.
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Old 10th July 2011, 04:47   #954
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Please find my answers in bold.

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, how was the NVH level inside the Merc,
Slightly on the higher side than Volvo.Especially noise.

as its a Sutlej built bus, which seats would you prefer, is it the volvo ones or merc?
I didn't find much difference.Since you pointed out, I have put this on my check list for the next trip.

What is your opinion on overall ambience of the inside?
Parveen has lit the entire bus with blue leds.You can see the blue light in the picture I have already posted.I found it to be very cheap.Many people had hard time finding their seat numbers as these leds were stuck below the seat number sticker on the parcel shelf.They also gave a kit comprising of water bottle, mango juice and a packet of cream biscut.

I liked the ambience of ARC Travels much better.If I remember correctly each seats had two independent handrest. The legroom was also good.


I always felt the sutlej seats are cheap and gave an impression so! but the ones in volvos give a feel of quality and good finish.
Especially the air vents in the mercs are rotary type and not flow adjustable like in volvos which I find very irritating and cost cutting.
True, even I found it to be irritating.
What about the pick up? I have noticed that mercs are slow to gather speed.
Its good. It was effortlessly cruising around 110-120. My gut feeling is that the acceleration is linear in Merc, so we are finding it slower.I may be wrong here. I will ask the driver next time, though not reliable but we can see their point of view.

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Old 10th July 2011, 07:49   #955
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

According to my experience on the Merc, the seats on both Volvo and Merc are from Harita only. Also the seats are a customisable component, so will very by operator.

NVH, what I feel, is actually a bit better in the Merc, though on the outside the Merc is a lot louder. Also, though I am not sure, but the Merc aircon vents did have flow control too.

Also, I distinctly felt the Merc to be much faster accelerating than the Volvos, and also more progressive braking.
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Old 10th July 2011, 10:32   #956
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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NVH, what I feel, is actually a bit better in the Merc, though on the outside the Merc is a lot louder.
In the regular two-axle bus, the Mercedes provides no better NVH levels than the Volvo - both are on par.

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Also, though I am not sure, but the Merc aircon vents did have flow control too.
The two-axle one surely does not get Air-Flow Control vents. I am sure the Triaxle too doesn't get it - I remember seeing the regular vents (with only direction control) on the Parveen Multi Axle. IMO, this is not a customisable part. (Attaching a pic of the air vents in the two-axle Merc)

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Also, I distinctly felt the Merc to be much faster accelerating than the Volvos, and also more progressive braking.
The Two-Axle Merc struggles to get moving - you can feel it struggling to get going. From what I saw from outside, the triaxle too struggles to get moving. On the run acceleration is on par for both the Volvo and the Mercedes.

With respect to braking - both buses perform similarly when the Retarders are functional. I've seen many Volvo drivers keeping the retarders switched off, and hence the bus relies on its brakes to slow down or stop.
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Old 10th July 2011, 10:53   #957
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I dont know about the two axle bus, but the tech specs suggest the 3-axle would be much faster. The 3axle gets the 11litre 360hp engine compared to the puny 7.2L 300hp one in the 2axle one. The noise level among the two 3-axle versions, is better on the Merc, though not by much. But the vibration levels on the Merc were a good deal better. But noise/vibration level does tend to depend on how well a bus is maintained too.

Also, I mentioned progressive braking, and not overall braking ferocity. That is the Volvo just brakes very hard each and every time. There is rarely ever a smooth braking maneuver in the Volvo, unlike on the Merc. This I feel is very important on the long overnight semi-sleeper journeys.

The Volvo drivers keep retarders off when going upto speeds like 120kph!!!! Its suicidal not to mention uneconomic as you will wear out the brakes way too soon.

I remember seeing different vents on the Merc I travelled in compared to the one pictured above. It was a comparatively older one, may be from the first lot. The vents may have changed subsequently. Also, the bus I was in had much larger video screens, than the one in the above shot.

Last edited by julupani : 10th July 2011 at 11:01.
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Old 10th July 2011, 13:54   #958
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
In the regular two-axle bus, the Mercedes provides no better NVH levels than the Volvo - both are on par.



The two-axle one surely does not get Air-Flow Control vents. I am sure the Triaxle too doesn't get it - I remember seeing the regular vents (with only direction control) on the Parveen Multi Axle. IMO, this is not a customisable part. (Attaching a pic of the air vents in the two-axle Merc)



The Two-Axle Merc struggles to get moving - you can feel it struggling to get going. From what I saw from outside, the triaxle too struggles to get moving. On the run acceleration is on par for both the Volvo and the Mercedes.

With respect to braking - both buses perform similarly when the Retarders are functional. I've seen many Volvo drivers keeping the retarders switched off, and hence the bus relies on its brakes to slow down or stop.
Exactly the words which I had in mind! But then instead of repeating the same theme again and again, I would like to move towards the engine section, as julupani sir said, mercs(two axle) have a 7litre engine and so does the volvo B7R(mk.3/4 or the latest one I mean, I dont think it could be called a 9400 if it has a 7litre engine)single axle isnt it? The multi-axle volvo is also a 9400(10litre) engine correct? As much as I know volvo is yet to bring in their B12B(12 litre engine). So technically Mercs(multiaxle) has a more powerful 12litre OS457 with 260 Kw of power output.(ref. my earlier comparison between Indian mercedes multiaxle and Mercedes Benz Travego in Europe which share the same engine with different outputs). This means in papers Merc multi axle is more powerful than volvo 9400 multiaxle. But then still I feel Mercs struggle to startup and as such they are devoid of some good driver features, even the simple things like Front windshield heater. An example for this is KSRTC mercs, the driver had to constantly wipe the windshield from inside or wake the conductor up to do it while driving whereas in volvo, driver just presses the mirror heating+windshield heating switch and magic no fog in the windshield!

Julupani sir, which merc you travelled? A private operator? I guess he must have configured the interiors for his style. The KSRTC or the Parveen here down south have very similar setup and seats are really crappy like the seats we find in JNNURM city buses, low quality plastics, thin feel like they may break if a huge person sits.

Last edited by AlphaKilo : 10th July 2011 at 13:59.
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Old 10th July 2011, 14:29   #959
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Exactly the words which I had in mind! But then instead of repeating the same theme again and again, I would like to move towards the engine section, as julupani sir said, mercs(two axle) have a 7litre engine and so does the volvo B7R(mk.3/4 or the latest one I mean, I dont think it could be called a 9400 if it has a 7litre engine)single axle isnt it? The multi-axle volvo is also a 9400(10litre) engine correct? As much as I know volvo is yet to bring in their B12B(12 litre engine). So technically Mercs(multiaxle) has a more powerful 12litre OS457 with 260 Kw of power output.(ref. my earlier comparison between Indian mercedes multiaxle and Mercedes Benz Travego in Europe which share the same engine with different outputs). This means in papers Merc multi axle is more powerful than volvo 9400 multiaxle. But then still I feel Mercs struggle to startup and as such they are devoid of some good driver features, even the simple things like Front windshield heater. An example for this is KSRTC mercs, the driver had to constantly wipe the windshield from inside or wake the conductor up to do it while driving whereas in volvo, driver just presses the mirror heating+windshield heating switch and magic no fog in the windshield!

Julupani sir, which merc you travelled? A private operator? I guess he must have configured the interiors for his style. The KSRTC or the Parveen here down south have very similar setup and seats are really crappy like the seats we find in JNNURM city buses, low quality plastics, thin feel like they may break if a huge person sits.
I had travelled in what most likely was a first lot Merc triaxle sold to Neeta Tours and Travels, who were I think the first operators of the Merc buses.

Overall, in my experience, the interiors of the Volvo is just a few notches ahead of a Tata/Leyland bus built by a good body builder. But the Merc has a proper premium feel, with everything made for the bus. You can read my comparison on page 49 of this thread.

As for how fast it goes, I had travelled almost back to back, just one night in between, on a Neeta B9R and then a Merc tri-axle. I had felt, like I have mentioned before, that the Merc is faster than the Volvo was.
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Old 18th July 2011, 20:55   #960
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Monday - Thursday, VRL offers Bangalore-Mumbai/Pune for Rs. 800 and Bangalore - Hyderabad @ Rs. 400 on Multi Axle Volvo !!
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