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Old 10th March 2009, 11:25   #1
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Default Intercity Bus travel reviews

While i usually like to drive down to my home state, there are times when one ends up at the mercy of the private bus operators to commute. While i have usually have had no issues, there have been some recent incidents which have led me to change that opinion. The most recent among them is what transpired yesterday.

I had booked tickets on the Kallada Volvo service from Bangalore to Pandalam (Kerala) for my cousin and his wife. The bus was to depart from Madivala at 6:45PM. While one is used to the buses not leaving on time, what happened later along the trip was an eye-opener.

The reason we booked tickets on a Monday was to avoid the rush of people who return back following the weekend. Needless to say, when we booked the tickets, it was readily available, although they were doubtful of whether the bus would actually operate.

On Monday morning, i got a call from the Kallada office saying the Volvo service would not operate, and whether i would like to be put on their normal non-A/C service; other option being put on the Shama Volvo service, but the seats allotted would be towards the rear of the bus.
Left with no other option, i asked to be transferred to the Shama Volvo.
We were asked to be at the Kallada office without fail by 6:45PM.

Being punctual folks, and not wanting to make a last minute dash, we reached the place around 6:15PM. We were given a temporary ticket from Kallada and asked to report to the Shama office which we did. We were then handed the boarding pass and informed that the bus would start only at 7:30PM!!

45 minutes of sitting there was irritating in itself, but so long as the trip was fine, it was fine. When i spoke to my cousin in the morning, he hadnt yet reached home, although it was well beyond the time he should have reached.

I was told that the passengers were asked to deboard the bus in which they had left Bangalore somewhere along the border and then board another Shama bus which was bringing passengers from Kerala! Seems like yet another ingenious method to avoid paying tax perhaps.

As if this wasnt enough, the bus which was to proceed along MC Road in Kerala towards Kottarakara was diverted at Tiruvalla towards Pathanamthitta. At Thiruvalla, the passengers who had to proceed further were dumped into an Ambassador and then continued with their journey, rambling along its way.

While I had booked a ticket to travel in A/C till Pandalam, the passengers were inconvenienced at more than one occassion along the trip, all thanks to the unscruplous ways of the private bus operators.

Just thought i shall bring this to the attention of the public travelling along these routes, so they are aware of these happenings. At every occassion when the passengers were bundled around, they were given the lame excuse that the bus was on the verge of breakdown, and hence couldnt continue further. Blatant lies!
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Old 10th March 2009, 12:07   #2
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That's a not un-common treatment, but was hoping that an operator sufficiently big will not do that. The passengers do expect better treatment when opting for a Volvo-like service. But then, bus operators are no angels, right ?

Next time, do try the Karnataka SRTC's volvo service.
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Old 10th March 2009, 12:15   #3
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Happening with some of the small time service operators for a long time now! But did not expect this from Kallada and the likes!
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Old 10th March 2009, 12:22   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Next time, do try the Karnataka SRTC's volvo service.
Had there been a service to our place from the KSRTC (KA), we would definitely have opted for it.

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Happening with some of the small time service operators for a long time now! But did not expect this from Kallada and the likes!
Exactly my point! I have always had the greatest respect for Kallada (not the G4) as an operator, and always recommended their service to my friends and relatives.

As for Shama, this was the first time i have had anything to do with them. Not really a flattering first opinion, i must say!
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Old 10th March 2009, 12:26   #5
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Quote:
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Next time, do try the Karnataka SRTC's volvo service.
They don't have Volvo service to Kerala.
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Old 10th March 2009, 13:23   #6
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Benny try and avoid private operators and of the whole lot Kallada are the real low life scum bags with absolutely no regards to their customers.
Shama has been operating for years now, much before even Kallada came into existence.

I have had my fair share of bad experience with them when my parents traveled to Cochin.

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They don't have Volvo service to Kerala.
KSRTC has service to Volvo Kerala and its mostly Cochin.
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Old 10th March 2009, 13:29   #7
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Benny try and avoid private operators and of the whole lot Kallada are the real low life scum bags with absolutely no regards to their customers.
Shama has been operating for years now, much before even Kallada came into existence.
Riju, there is sadly a dearth of options. The remaining operators being National and No1AIR. Both of these have buses with bugs in the seats. These bite, and totally ruin whatever little peace of mind one had. You end up after the journey with an itching body.

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KSRTC has service to Volvo Kerala and its mostly Cochin.
I believe they also operate to Kottayam (not sure) and Palakkad.
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Old 10th March 2009, 14:36   #8
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...I believe they also operate to Kottayam (not sure) and Palakkad.
Most of these buses to Kerala, which enter Kerala thru PGT, take passengers to there also. The draw back is that you get dropped at the by-pass turning. But since there is an auto stand just opposite to this place, it is convinient.

But come holiday season, and they ask you to pay full fare till the last stop regardless of where you get down!
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Old 10th March 2009, 14:45   #9
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Till date i had thought these Kallada people were good by seeing the number of buses on Kerala route, have you guys heard about Puzaikadevil (No idea if this is the correct name) how is the service given by them.

Conti Travels has got good buses and they give a good service.

I have heard that even KPN has got buses to Kerala.

Last edited by gowda79 : 10th March 2009 at 14:46.
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Old 10th March 2009, 14:45   #10
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I'm suprised at what the private bus opterator did!

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The remaining operators being National and No1AIR.
Also, i have heard Yathra Travels plying buses between these places.
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Old 10th March 2009, 14:50   #11
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Conti Travels has got good buses and they give a good service.

I have heard that even KPN has got buses to Kerala.
Conti is one of the best travels I have been thru. They primarily operate between Coimbatore and Bangalore. Not sure, and have not come across, their service to Kerala.

But if there, will trust them more that the rest of the jokers.

And for KPN, they have services to Allepey, Eranakulam, Kollam & Munnar. Check it out at their website www kpntravels in . I have been using their online portal for booking for more than a year now, especially when I had a project in Chennai. Good service and they have more than enought buses to cover up for any emergencies.
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Old 10th March 2009, 15:00   #12
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Even I have faced similar issues with SHAMA Travels while travelling to Cochin. Half way thru, they asked us to board another bus and the excuse was the same that the bus was about to breakdown. To top it, they stopped the second bus mid way again and got some more passengers board. We had passengers sitting in the Walk way and some of them sleeping as well.

That was my first and last with SHAMA. Have had good experiences with Karnataka SRTC Volvo's & KPN.
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Old 10th March 2009, 15:03   #13
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If you prefer to travel in a non A/C bus i would suggest you to opt for Rukma Travels ( Now renamed to SPS Travels ). They are well know for maintaining timings and are better off than others.
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Old 10th March 2009, 15:19   #14
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@gowda: Puzhekadavil(a family name) service is no more ,I can see.Their service from cochin to mangalapuram was excellent back those days compared to durgamba/sri durgamba.
CONTI travels to madras ,I board sometimes.their service from ernakulam is good.but these major operators are not considering their service south of kottayam(the gulf belt).
--
I feel tourist bus service upto kottayam is OK?.I board normally in SC Travels(their buses are not good),Udaya etc but they are consistent .kallada buses are pathetic to southern routes.
I think still KPN,NO.1,SPS-Rugma(they and eastcoast travels were the fastest services during 1990's),a-one etc are having service to kottayam.there is a A/C Leyland KSRTC(kerala) service plying between Kottarakara and bengalore.there are rajahamsa buses from kottayam at evenings.those south of kottayam ,they must protest against such things done by service operators(most of these services are owned by non-keralite operators)-seems like they are not getting enough passengers?

PS:there was some operators like asian,aasha travels etc from south kerala.are they stopped?

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Old 10th March 2009, 15:22   #15
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Most of the private bus operators are arrogant. I was cheesed off by most of them on multiple occasions.

Alternatives:
1. Book tickets by train (even the tatkal one costs lesser).
2. Travel by Kerala SRTC (though they stop at all bus stands once they enter kerala)
3. Travel by Karnataka SRTC

Another irritating tactic is to stop at shabby restaurants on the way which are secluded (so that passengers have no other option). Most of the times I carry food on my own (purchased from better restaurants in Bangalore) or remain hungry.
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