Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Commercial Vehicles


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 21st October 2011, 00:41   #1186
Senior - BHPian
 
silversteed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PGT//BLR//STR
Posts: 1,915
Thanked: 1,294 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Finally I got a chance to try out the much hyped Olivea service between Chennai and Bangalore. Their website here: Olivea

The bus looks good from the outside and inside. What's the most inviting feature of this service? There's only one answer: Space. Amazing amount of space for the passenger. It's just like a business class seat in an aircraft. There is a small tray fitted behind the seat in front, for having food, a magazine pouch, two water bottle holders. Remote controls like those found in aircrafts for the entertainment system. The seats have seat belts too. Two small bottles of drinking water, a blanket and a pillow were provided as soon as I settled down in my seat.

Other USPs: wifi connectivity - worked like a charm. DishTV entertainment system - works, but loses signal every now and then. The In-bus entertainment is crap. Seems the power supply is not properly shielded, as the earphones let out only noise, and very less amount of the actual audio. The Sony earphones sound ok with my laptop, so I'm pretty much sure about the cause of the noisy audio. Other amenities provided: fully reclining seats with push-button adjustment for calf and back. However, most of the seats have the electrical adjust mechanism for the back rest broken, and the recline has to be adjusted the conventional way - by pulling a lever and pushing the seat back. There's a small tub-like thing to hold the two remote controls (one for DishTV, and one for the entertainment system). This thingamajig was broken in almost all the seats.

The bus as such is not very comfortable. It's jerky. Very very jerky. Not recommended for people with spine problems, and those who want a comfortable trip. Other normal Volvo/Merc/AshLey airconditioned buses are far superior when it comes to ride comfort. This bus is a Volvo 9400XL multi-axle coach, with body and interiors designed by the (in)famous Dilip Chhabria (DC Designs).

I had booked the 23:30hrs departure from Chennai. Boarding point was Hotel Radha Regent, Arumbakkam. As soon as I reached the hotel, one of the Olivea staff handed me the boarding pass and a complimentary food pass for the cafeteria in the hotel. The bus arrived at 23:25hrs and all the passengers were escorted to the bus. Those who had heavy baggages were given tags, after checking in the bags. Finally after ensuring that everyone had settled down, the bus started off at 23:45hrs. It was doing 80kmph and above consistently. No rash maneuvers.

The bus wouldn't go to the usual dropping points in Bangalore (read Madiwala, Majestic, Anand Rao Circle etc). Instead they would head to HSR Layout. So, I had to get down at Silk Board junction. The steward came near me at around 4 o'clock and informed me politely that the bus wouldn't go to Madiwala, so I'll be dropped at Silk Board junction. He also gave me a "breakfast pack", in which the only "breakfastable" item would be the small butter-filled bun. I got down at 04:30hrs.

My impression: A premium service, but the buses (or the one in which I travelled) needs refurbishing very badly. Ride quality is nowhere close to premium, but other things definitely are.

Some bad quality pics:

The boarding pass

Name:  1.jpg
Views: 15368
Size:  70.1 KB


The fine print

Name:  2.jpg
Views: 10833
Size:  57.8 KB


The controls beside the seat

Name:  3.jpg
Views: 11780
Size:  51.1 KB

L-R: Calf support up, Recline down, Reading lamp on/off, Request earphones (top row), Calf support down, undo recline, Mood lighting on/off, Lighting on/off, Call Steward


The ceiling

Name:  4.jpg
Views: 11203
Size:  58.3 KB


Business class seats

Name:  5.jpg
Views: 22130
Size:  67.8 KB


The photos of the bus' interiors are of such pathetic quality because of the bumpy ride.

Last edited by Technocrat : 21st October 2011 at 04:07. Reason: Corrected typo as requested, Thanks
silversteed is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2011, 01:59   #1187
Team-BHP Support
 
Mpower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,414
Thanked: 1,627 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Thanks, whats the ticket price and how many seats total?

Do you have a picture that shows legroom?
Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
The bus looks good from the outside and inside. What's the most inviting feature of this service? There's only one answer: Space. Amazing amount of space for the passenger. It's just like a business class seat in an aircraft.

The bus as such is not very comfortable. It's jerky. Very very jerky. Not recommended for people with spine problems, and those who want a comfortable trip. Other normal Volvo/Merc/AshLey airconditioned buses are far superior when it comes to ride comfort. This bus is a Volvo 9400XL multi-axle coach, with body and interiors designed by the (in)famous Dilip Chhabria (DC Designs).

but the buses (or the one in which I travelled) needs refurbishing very badly. Ride quality is nowhere close to premium, bu
Not sure I understand why its jerky??? Only the interior is done by DC. Otherwise its just a standard Volvo 9400XL with even better seats...so why should the suspension or ride be worse.
Mpower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2011, 02:11   #1188
Senior - BHPian
 
silversteed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PGT//BLR//STR
Posts: 1,915
Thanked: 1,294 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Thanks, whats the ticket price and how many seats total?
Ticket price is Rs.1200 during weekdays (excluding Friday), and Rs.1899 on weekends. There are 24 seats in all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Do you have a picture that shows legroom?
I'm afraid, no. The ride was so bumpy that I could manage only the 5 pics that I'd posted above, among the dozen or so pics that I shot. Rest all were blurred beyond recognition. There is enough leg room that even if I stretch my legs there's still half a foot (or more) of space left between the seat in front. I'm 5'4". That should give you an idea.


Quote:
Not sure I understand why its jerky??? Only the interior is done by DC. Otherwise its just a standard Volvo 9400XL with even better seats...so why should the suspension or ride be worse.
Possible reasons:
1. Buses these days have harder suspensions, to increase the life of the air suspension components. This is just another new bus, so...
2. The bus that I'd travelled in, badly needs maintenance
3. The operator would've tweaked the suspension to make it last longer, by stiffening it.
silversteed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2011, 09:53   #1189
Senior - BHPian
 
coolclouds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Garden City
Posts: 1,779
Thanked: 498 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Ticket price is Rs.1200 during weekdays (excluding Friday), and Rs.1899 on weekends. There are 24 seats in all.


I'm afraid, no. The ride was so bumpy that I could manage only the 5 pics that I'd posted above, among the dozen or so pics that I shot. Rest all were blurred beyond recognition. There is enough leg room that even if I stretch my legs there's still half a foot (or more) of space left between the seat in front. I'm 5'4". That should give you an idea.



Possible reasons:
1. Buses these days have harder suspensions, to increase the life of the air suspension components. This is just another new bus, so...
2. The bus that I'd travelled in, badly needs maintenance
3. The operator would've tweaked the suspension to make it last longer, by stiffening it.
Thanks for the review and pics.

I hope you were in the 4th row as per the ticket, ie, almost middle. Still its a bumpy ride!!

I don't understand why they stiffened the suspension on a Bangalore-Chennai route (GQ) where almost 100% roads are smooth.
coolclouds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2011, 09:54   #1190
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Ashley2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NH7
Posts: 2,050
Thanked: 1,377 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Not sure I understand why its jerky??? Only the interior is done by DC. Otherwise its just a standard Volvo 9400XL with even better seats...so why should the suspension or ride be worse.
The ULW/LW could be the culprit.
This will be definetely differenct for this compared to the normal ones!
Ashley2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2011, 13:16   #1191
BHPian
 
DWind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Singara Chennai
Posts: 754
Thanked: 153 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

The TN Gov is ready to give temp permit for operating School / College buses for Inter city (probably within TN) during the Diwali Holiday season as per article in Indian Express. Dont be surprised to see run-down school buses from Chennai down south.
DWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2011, 16:50   #1192
Senior - BHPian
 
speedsatya's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: bangalore/manga
Posts: 3,157
Thanked: 702 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
I don't understand why they stiffened the suspension on a Bangalore-Chennai route (GQ) where almost 100% roads are smooth.
Stiffened suspension could be to take into account the additional weight of the accessories and the gizmos.If bumpy is what you meant by jerky,it could be anything from over inflated tires to a lsser load on stiffer suspension to poorly designed aftermarket suspension .

I once remember a DC Tempo Traveller belonging to some filmstar in Mumbai ,which had all the facilities inside.But according to the workshop (where it had come for repairs),DC failed to stiffen the suspension to take into account the additional weight .Another interesting fact is that the TT didnt even have PS.
speedsatya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd October 2011, 11:16   #1193
Senior - BHPian
 
coolclouds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Garden City
Posts: 1,779
Thanked: 498 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I traveled from Coimbatore to Bangalore yesterday night. I booked SRM A/c sleeper through Redbus (Booked at 9.30pm, Fare Rs. 590). The bus was scheduled to depart at 10.30pm but arrived TTC Gandhipuram (MM Travels) only at 10.45 to make actual departure at 11.05pm. The bus was in good condition but the bedsheets looked dirty. The suspension was not that smooth and the driver was driving it left right which is not ideal for a sleeper bus.

I was droped at Bommanahalli just after 5am. The driver, attender and ticket staff were very polite. Overall, I rate SRS non a/c sleeper better in terms of bus and ride quality.
coolclouds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2011, 09:56   #1194
Senior - BHPian
 
binaiks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: KL-47 // KA-51
Posts: 1,694
Thanked: 771 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

My review of the KSRTC Multi-Axle Mercedes Benz (Airavat Club Class):

This was my first travel in an Airavat Club Class. I traveled from Bangalore to Thrissur. Booked the ticket online about two days prior to the journey - got seat 36. (The front half was fully sold off). The pickup point was "Shantinagar BMTC Bus Station". I reached there by 2030, and the bus was to depart at 2120 - the bus was already parked, but was not opened.

The Conductor came in around 2105, and started allowing in passengers. I left my baggage in the undercarriage hold (due to my prior experience with a Merc - the regular travel bag just doesn't fit in the overhead rack of a Merc) and took my seat.

The AC was yet to be switched on. The driver got in and switched on the AC at 2115. They played a Hindi movie as well. There were about 40 passengers in the 49 seater bus - all on a Thursday night! Out of the 40, 37 got in at Shantinagar itself. The driver got in at 2120 - shifts the gear, the bus inches ahead. But lo! The engine shuts down! The driver tries to start it - but the engine does not budge.

He gets of the bus, opens the rear engine door, plays around something - but no response. Other drivers - Volvo guys - join in. They check the battery connections - and try cranking again - but no response! The TV was running all this while - the lights and the TV is switched off, and the driver tries again - the bus doesn't budge. Finally, they play around the Aircon Compressor, and the bus starts! They close the engine door, and try moving the bus - but the engine shuts down again. Finally they summon a guy from the depot - the guy comes in. He plays around the AC Compressor, tries starting the engine - it budges. He switches off the engine, starts again - it responds.

Finally, the confirm that all is well, and the bus starts off at 2258 - with a delay of 38 minutes. We pick up a couple of passengers at Dairy Circle, and one more passenger at Madivala (St. Johns). Although all passengers were on board, the bus went below the Elevated highway - thankfully traffic was light. We stopped for a break at Shoolagiri HP Pump (at the food court beside it - the one with McDonalds, CCD and Krishna Inn). The break was 20 minutes long.

The bus stopped for yet another break at Ettimadai (Coimbatore) - 12 minutes here. Finally I was dropped at Thrissur KSRTC bus station at 0558 - exactly 8 hours after we started from Shantinagar.

The ride was average - jerks were on the higher side. The engine noise was heard clearly inside the bus. The retarders did an awesome job though - except during those occasional hard brakes, passengers weren't thrown out of their seats. The AC did a good job - if not for the awfully placed Air vents near the windows, the climate inside the bus would've been better.

The graphics on the bus' exteriors are actually Flex printed, cut shoddily and stuck even more shoddily. The graphics were peeling off around the rear of the bus - the material is opaque, and hence passengers getting windows that have the graphics on would have a blindfolded journey - avoid seats after 34 in the Merc.

This is the air-vent I was talking of:
Name:  IMG_7847.jpg
Views: 10543
Size:  103.7 KB

This is the bus that I traveled on - it had all of 13000kms on the odo:
Name:  IMG_7877.jpg
Views: 20255
Size:  139.8 KB

Although it departed late, it reached Thrissur more or less at the promised time. I felt they could've avoided the break at Ettimadai (it was just 4 hours after the previous break) - KaSRTC buses running to Kerala are very notorious when it comes to taking breaks - wonder why they need to stop so many times.

The driving was average - the driver went over the diversions in the Chengampalli-Neelambur section at full speed - he did not bother stopping at places where the road ends abruptly to give way to potholes. Overtakes were cautious - he did not use the horn much. Braking was decent - no hard braking (except a couple of times after getting into Kerala).

The Aisle is too narrow - oversized people like me would have to stick to the front seats. I'd give this bus a miss the next time - A Volvo B9R anyday - atleast I wouldn't be frozen to death by those ever open air vents. This time, I had both the seats to my disposal, and hence kept shifting between them to avoid getting frozen - plus the driver kept the blower speed low and temperatures in the 22-24 range, which helped a lot.
binaiks is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2011, 11:54   #1195
BHPian
 
venkyhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: hump city
Posts: 337
Thanked: 276 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Anybody travelled by the KaSTRC 2035 Ernakulam - Bangalore Club Class volvo ?

I plan to be travelling with family, and I would like to avoid the pvt-operator speed guns, hence I am inclined to take the KaSRTC. I would like to know :

1) punctuality of departure
2) dinner break place (to decide whether to carry food from home or not)
3) arrival time at silk board
4) ride quality (cleanliness/rattles noise etc)
venkyhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2011, 14:00   #1196
Senior - BHPian
 
binaiks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: KL-47 // KA-51
Posts: 1,694
Thanked: 771 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
Anybody travelled by the KaSTRC 2035 Ernakulam - Bangalore Club Class volvo ?
..
1) punctuality of departure
Usually, buses departing from Ernakulam leave on time - unless the bus is empty (the crew would try to get more passengers).

Quote:
Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
2) dinner break place (to decide whether to carry food from home or not)

I've usually seen these buses stopped at a Food Mall about 40kms after Ernakulam - at a place called "Karukutty". That place is decent enough. However, I'd always suggest having food before start, or carrying food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
3) arrival time at silk board
A 20:30 departure would mean an arrival around 6 AM. From my yesterday's Merc experience, KaSRTC drivers would maintain decent pace and hence would take about 9~10 hours for Ernakulam-Silk Board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
4) ride quality (cleanliness/rattles noise etc)
KaSRTC Volvos are generally clean - the Multi-Axles are well cared for as well.
binaiks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2011, 15:27   #1197
Senior - BHPian
 
navan49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CHENNAI
Posts: 1,010
Thanked: 68 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

The private Volvo buses KPN, Parbeen and so many omni buses in Tamilnadu is well maintained and running profitably. But where as the SETC buses makes us to vomit on seeing from outside it self. The cleanliness in side we don't have to talk at all. I happened to travel from Madurai to Chennai in one of the State Transport AC bus thinking of it would be some what clean.But that too was not clean. The State Government can privatise the transport services for the better with monitoring.
navan49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2011, 17:16   #1198
BHPian
 
DWind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Singara Chennai
Posts: 754
Thanked: 153 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by navan49 View Post
The State Government can privatise the transport services for the better with monitoring.
The State Government should instead privatize the maintenance of these buses. The staff at the Depot are lazy. Hence they don't bother with regular maintenance like keeping the interiors clean, oil change, topping up fluids or changing light bulbs. On top of that they break the rear view mirrors by parking buses too closely and then replace these mirrors by small round ones where you are a tiny spec which makes it too easy for the driver to miss. And in the name of fuel efficiency they make the drivers (they are also to blame) drive on wrong side, perform dangerous maneuvers.
DWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2011, 22:03   #1199
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 412
Thanked: 344 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Paulo Travels the established Goa based operator has started Goa- Kochi via Mangalore Calicut. Although advertised as a daily service inititally it appears to be a tri weekly service. Planned journey time is 18 hours as per their wbesite. They have started Chennai - Goa as well.

To a more mundane level, have a query on travelling between Alwaye and Pala by public transport.


1 What is the best mode -are there direct buses ??? Would like to avoid the train + bus option. If there are direct buses, how long should it take roughly???

2 Also looking at options of travelling from Angamaly, Perumbaoor or Ernakulam, but I would prefer Ernakulam. Are the options better from Ernakulam to Pala compared to all the other places???

3 My cousin has to take an exam at "BVM College" Cherpunkal Pala.Is this near the Pala town???

4 Finally is there any good accomodation at around 1000-1500 per night for a double in Pala itself??? The exam is at 9 AM, so would like to reach the previous night itself. Any contact details and how to book in advance etc. The exam is not any IIT/IIM even the Kerala or PSC one so Pala is unikely to be flooded with a an accomodation shoertage - but you never know!!!!


Any feedback will be great


THanks in advance
TKMCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2011, 22:35   #1200
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kottayam
Posts: 1,080
Thanked: 149 Times
Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
2 Also looking at options of travelling from Angamaly, Perumbaoor or Ernakulam, but I would prefer Ernakulam. Are the options better from Ernakulam to Pala compared to all the other places???
There are KSRTC buses and plenty of private (FP) buses from EKM to PALA. Almost all the Highrange and Soth Kerala (PathanamThitta, Ranny) private buses starting from EKM goes via Pala.
teamveevee is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
OneSideTaxi.com: One-way taxi for intercity travel girishglg Street Experiences 4 25th January 2016 14:04
Intercity Bus Operations - Bubble waiting to burst? Ashley2 Commercial Vehicles 38 27th January 2013 13:06
POLL: Your dealmaker for an Intercity Bus Trip TheARUN Commercial Vehicles 15 1st September 2012 05:52


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 11:29.

Copyright 2000 - 2016, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks