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Old 3rd October 2014, 13:57   #1036
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Default Re: City Buses of various STUs all over India

BMTC was always in the forefront in introducing newer, modern and efficient modes of transportation. Starting from Volvo to Marcopolo and from Corona to Lynx, they were able to plug out gapes available in the range of fleet as Big 10, Big Circle, Suvarna etc.

During JNnurm1 six years ago, that was the time where SLF buses were gaining momentum. Only few cities in India were having SLF and post which it was introduced pan India. So when BMTC wanted to move one step ahead, they wanted to try low cost AC services in the 650mm floor height platform. Low cost means, lower cost of acquisition, lower cost of maintenance and hence lower ticket fare to passengers. The thought process was encouraging as BMTC was not still making enough margins with Volvo at that time, though it had strong passenger reception.

BMTC took advantage of JNnurm and floated tender for a low cost AC bus (mostly matching to spec of LPO 1618 with Marcopolo body). Branded as Suvarna AC,Media did give enough coverage as well because of the positioning of the bus as a low cost AC and it was almost the first of its kind in India. Minister even announced they may end agreement with Volvo, if this service was a success. Transport minister flagged of first buses on 2nd Nov 2008. As much as 98 buses were procured in phases as against the tender of 100 buses.
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But soon after the launch, with in a short period various technical issues started to surface. There were frequent engine breakdowns, transmission failures etc. Unfortunately many engines met with premature failures and Tata was not able to support the fleet completely. Bangalore had relatively a lower ambient temperature compared to other Metro's but even in that condition, AC was not effective.
Other side is due to poor performance of AC and huge noise emitted it received very cold response from the commuters as well. There were even public nuisance cases filed when a commuter eyes were infected with the smoke it spew, when he was standing behind. Soon after which the tail pipe was modified with facing downwards.

Subsequently BMTC diverted portion of fleet to ORR, where the commuters paid monthly rentals for using buses, mostly IT professionals. Bust soon due to breakdown, the service was to be continued only with Volvo as promised earlier.

Finally many buses started to get retire or been cannibalized and so BMTC tried to increase the fleet utilization by converting to Non AC buses. Though it did increase the up time, this raise questions of under utilization of buses (as revenue earned was also less). So the conversion was stopped.
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Finally today BMTC has written to Govt. seeking permission for scrapping the buses completely as they proving to be costly for maintenance. In many cases their fuel performance was less than even the much higher HP Volvo (180 Vs 290).
Quote:
The BMTC is planning to scrap 98 of the buses plying on city roads as they have become economically unviable. BMTC authorities have sent a proposal to the State government in this regard seeking permission to do so.
Ekroop Caur, Managing Director, BMTC, said, “The running cost of these buses is high and people don’t like it. So we are scrapping them.”
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper...cle6453695.ece

Though many blame BMTC for procuring these buses, its actually the fault of manufacturer to supply these buses. Technical viability of a product for said application with given boundary conditions was not studied. Post acquisition, field fix for the failures were also not supported to ensure running of the buses. No body will ever believe that these buses undergone testing phase.
These are the results of several rounds of discussions with a manufacture claiming top position in the Indian Auto Industry. Finally the much touted public service ends. There are enough clauses with in tender agreement to blacklist the supplier for supplying under performing buses, but still due to upper hand of supplier and BMTC's reliance on them makes them to walk out freely.
I would also blame BMTC for not convincing their Govt. and auditing authorities to continue running as Non AC. At least part of acquisition cost would be recovered. As usual rule is a rule and only tax payers money is wasted.
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Old 3rd October 2014, 22:28   #1037
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Default Re: City Buses of various STUs all over India

Firstly, these buses were not even meant to be on the roads. Not sure if TATA even tested these buses before deploying them into fleets such as BMTC. All noise, no show.

The engines were bound to wear out quickly since they were running at high speeds continuously. Why couldn't such issues be dealt with while these buses were under test? Forget smoke, lack of pickup and other issues. At least such basic things like a good transmission, good AC could have been provided. Sadly BMTC were fooled by the value proposition offered by TM. A Volvo type of bus at half the price was what caught their minds. Sadly they couldn't see the actual difference between the two products.

Isn't it more of a transmission issue than an engine or AC issue that caused the poor performance of these buses? The engine shouts at high speed, yet vehicle doesn't move, which is like heavily slipping the clutch in an MT. Guess the torque convertor wasn't able to transfer power well to the wheels. Even if the driver switched off the AC, there was no improvement in pick up. I guess it would have been better to remove the Automatic Transmission and replaced it with a Manual unit which would have at least improved performance with or without AC.

Anyways, good thing these buses are going. Its a disgrace to BMTC. The TATA non AC buses are so good compared to these things. Especially the latest ones which are very silent and smooth.
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Old 4th October 2014, 08:36   #1038
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Default Re: City Buses of various STUs all over India

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Though many blame BMTC for procuring these buses, its actually the fault of manufacturer to supply these buses. Technical viability of a product for said application with given boundary conditions was not studied. Post acquisition, field fix for the failures were also not supported to ensure running of the buses. No body will ever believe that these buses undergone testing phase.
I totally agree the blame should be on TML, This was a model specially created for BMTC based on their specifications and because of the strict time lines, probably did not go through the normal testing cycles. The same model was not sold to any other STC. But only TML engages in these type of practices? Absolutely not. AL did the exact same with JNNURM1 buses for Kerala RTC. The RE semi low floor AL buses supplied to KerRTC are very unique, these models were not sold to any one else. Due to lack of spare parts most of these are off the road now. Unlike BMTC, KerRTC did not care about such things, as they bought again from the same manufacturer. AL has many proven models in their stable, then why did they sell these one of a kind buses to KerRTC? Bottom line, all manufactures do this, does not matter AL or TML

Please take a look at this news article Non-AC JNNURM buses 'vanishing' .
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The maintenance cost of these vehicles is as much as 25 per cent higher than normal buses. And most of them are in need of periodical maintenance. The average mileage of the AC buses is 2.2 km per litre, while that of the non-AC buses is 3.2 km per litre; whereas, the average of a regular KSRTC bus is 4 km per litre.
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Old 4th October 2014, 11:14   #1039
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....Isn't it more of a transmission issue than an engine or AC issue that caused the poor performance of these buses? The engine shouts at high speed, yet vehicle doesn't move, which is like heavily slipping the clutch in an MT. Guess the torque convertor wasn't able to transfer power well to the wheels. Even if the driver switched off the AC, there was no improvement in pick up. I guess it would have been better to remove the Automatic Transmission and replaced it with a Manual unit which would have at least improved performance with or without AC.
.


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?... AL did the exact same with JNNURM1 buses for Kerala RTC. The RE semi low floor AL buses supplied to KerRTC are very unique, these models were not sold to any one else. Due to lack of spare parts most of these are off the road now. Unlike BMTC, KerRTC did not care about such things, as they bought again from the same manufacturer. AL has many proven models in their stable, then why did they sell these one of a kind buses to KerRTC? Bottom line, all manufactures do this, does not matter AL or TML

I totally agree with your bottom line and no matter it's AL, TML or even Volvo.

But problem is just because they are unique, we can't accept the fact that they can be neglected and bypassed. Take a case with DTC. When they floated tender for 3000 ULE buses way back in 2008-09, both AL and TML didn't have any clue. Both developed the bus from scratch and also with partnership. Almost every aggregate was unique. There was a huge delay in supply and lot of issues were in the buses, including fire accidents. But still some how, the buses were on road and is running(of course running condition of buses itself a separate story to write) just because they are under AMC and they are paid for it. Infact there are lot of field fix have gone into bus post sales. But my point here is in BMTC, the service levels were not at par and manufacturer was not able to service them. Also as said, these buses are not unique, the engine is same as supplied to thousands of buses supplied in JNnurm. For Transmission, TML doesn't take any responsibility and is done by Allision only. The major flaw was in integrating the vehicles systems, for which it's accounted to manufacturer only. Also, no corporation will be dare to take a decision of scraping, without having sufficient backup for maintenance.

BTW, would like to give some clarifications on AL RE LF buses. First of all, these buses are not unique. Same buses are running with JCTSL, HREC, Spicejet, Indigo and many airlines as Tarmac coach(in various avatars). If at all you wanted to dig still deeper, the aggregates are almost same as your front engine, including S5 36 GB . And even with all this, I never said, these buses are picture perfect and comes with its own if's and but's. Though they are not good, but definitely they are not bad to the level of scrapping ( or I should reserve my words till they are scrapped)

And with respect to uniqueness, almost the entire lot of buses that is going to be supplied under J2 will be unique for both manufacturers.

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Old 4th October 2014, 22:17   #1040
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Default Re: City Buses of various STUs all over India

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e clarifications on AL RE LF buses. First of all, these buses are not unique. Same buses are running with JCTSL, HREC, Spicejet, Indigo and many airlines as Tarmac coach(in various avatars). If at all you wanted to dig still deeper, the aggregates are almost same as your front engine, including S5 36 GB . .
The tarmac coaches owned by indigo are definitely better than the marcopolos doing the same duty. At least they are much smoother and don't make a racket. Not sure about their maintenance and reliability.

Before scrapping the Marcopolos, they should group them up in front of TML headquarters and redline them till the engine dies. That will teach a lesson to the manufacturer to not sell such contraptions again.

Why cant the manufacturer sued in this case? When they promise some economical returns and the bus is a flop within a few years of its actual product life, its cheating, especially when they deal with such transport corporations. If BMTC were a private player, they would have simply stopped any more orders itself. Here nothing is seeming to happen but crores of money being scrapped.
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Old 5th October 2014, 05:21   #1041
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Same buses are running with JCTSL, HREC, Spicejet, Indigo and many airlines as Tarmac coach(in various avatars). If at all you wanted to dig still deeper, the aggregates are almost same as your front engine, including S5 36 GB .
In case of KerRTC, looks like main issue is lack of parts. Both cases, aggregates are proven, but not the integrated product, at least at the time of delivery. For the RTCs you mentioned, i am not sure whether they were also supplied at the same time as that of KerRTC. You know more than any one else, aggregates does not matter.

In case of Tarmac coaches, Spice Jet's, AL Turmac coaches are pretty new and comfortable. Same way new Tata Marcopolos of Indigo are very comfortable. Jet airways has very old Tata Globus and Sutlej built AL turmac coaches, both are equally uncomfortable. We cannot compare an old generation vehicle with a new generation vehicle. Most of the airports have old Tata Globus Tarmac coaches, i assume the reason being AL did not had a Tarmac coach at that time.
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Old 5th October 2014, 11:25   #1042
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In case of KerRTC, looks like main issue is lack of parts. Both cases, aggregates are proven, but not the integrated product, at least at the time of delivery. For the RTCs you mentioned, i am not sure whether they were also supplied at the same time as that of KerRTC. You know more than any one else, aggregates does not matter.

In case of Tarmac coaches, Spice Jet's, AL Turmac coaches are pretty new and comfortable. Same way new Tata Marcopolos of Indigo are very comfortable. Jet airways has very old Tata Globus and Sutlej built AL turmac coaches, both are equally uncomfortable. We cannot compare an old generation vehicle with a new generation vehicle. Most of the airports have old Tata Globus Tarmac coaches, i assume the reason being AL did not had a Tarmac coach at that time.

The case with KeSRTC is different. The first and foremost is that KeSRTC does not have facilities to maintain these low floor buses. Thank god, Volvo is concerned about its buses and they have made arrangements to ensure their buses are not ill treated.
While the Jnnurm1 AL RESLF of KeSRTC was built by Veera, Prakash and MG-Alma; those given to JCTSL are built by Azad.
Many of these buses were parked idle for more than 8 months as KeSRTC could not take delivery due to payment issues in the initial period. This has resulted in many issues related to failures of components like clutch, gear cables etc. The product is a good one and its only a newer version of the earlier "Panther". KeSRTC had 4 of them from 2001 and its still running in Trivandrum city (Ananthapuri Air bus). And finally, the timely supply of spare parts would have something to do with mismanagement at KeSRTC for sure.

Meanwhile, It was AL who had the real tarmac coach, called AVION (Frontengine, fully low floor, front wheel drive and automatic transmission). I believe, AL did not concentrate much in this segment even though they had the products. While TML made a big headway with their LPORE1623 etc.But today the scene is different, AL has gained a sizable share of the market in this segment with their fully built buses.
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Old 5th October 2014, 23:42   #1043
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...Meanwhile, It was AL who had the real tarmac coach, called AVION (Frontengine, fully low floor, front wheel drive and automatic transmission). I believe, AL did not concentrate much in this segment even though they had the products. While TML made a big headway with their LPORE1623 etc.But today the scene is different, AL has gained a sizable share of the market in this segment with their fully built buses.
Further development of Panther canibalised Avionics ULF. For a similar price, you get a full 12M length coach, though with limitation of raised floor.
But as you said, AL also slightly moved away from Avion, as that platform required substantial and dedicated investment for varied fuel and emission norms later on. Today Panther based Avion RESLF is available in diesel (BS3, BS4), CNG (BS3) with tailor made options for each customers. These are extension of regular City buses and AL have standardized power train across them. So they are cheaper to develop and have less product life cycle cost as against Avion.
Other way IMO, Janbus will definitely be a true low cost dedicated Tarmac coach due to its full flat floor feature. But it's unlikely to get this avatar in near future.
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Old 6th October 2014, 12:08   #1044
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Today Panther based Avion RESLF is available in diesel (BS3, BS4), CNG (BS3) with tailor made options for each customers.
Looks like SpiceJet replaced all their Tarmac coaches pan India, by ALs. Which other airlines use these exclusively?.
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Old 6th October 2014, 20:10   #1045
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Looks like SpiceJet replaced all their Tarmac coaches pan India, by ALs. Which other airlines use these exclusively?.
The share is much higher in Indigo. It has all the latest RESLF with Leymatic. Since 2010, all new purchases are AL(to reduce variance) and only airports requiring ULE CNG purchased Tata Marcopolo.
Apart from it Air Coasta, Celebi, Globe group, Bhadra etc are purchasing AL Tarmac coach.
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Old 6th October 2014, 22:49   #1046
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The share is much higher in Indigo. It has all the latest RESLF with Leymatic. Since 2010, all new purchases are AL(to reduce variance) and only airports requiring ULE CNG purchased Tata Marcopolo.
New Indigo Tarmac coaches in Bangalore air port are Marcopolos. Not sure whether they are CNG or not.
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Old 7th October 2014, 23:20   #1047
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Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
.....
While the Jnnurm1 AL RESLF of KeSRTC was built by Veera, Prakash and MG-Alma; those given to JCTSL are built by Azad.
...
A ref pic of JCTSL RESLF.
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Old 14th October 2014, 17:44   #1048
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BMTC milching professionals of Bangaluru by forcing AC Volvos on select routes
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Old 14th October 2014, 19:48   #1049
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BMTC milching professionals of Bangaluru by forcing AC Volvos on select routes
Too much of a one sided article which uses random figures to back the story. Surprised to hear that there are very less non-AC buses in ITPB and surrounding areas. Firstly, I dont believe that there are only 12 ordinary services. What routes and sub routes have they considered? No mention of that. Of course certain route numbers are volvo specific, for example 500K, 600K, 201R etc. If we compare the number of 500K volvo schedules to a 500K normal bus schedule, there are no normal buses running that route at all. That doesnt mean there are no buses running on the same route.

Its just a mutually benefiting idea to put A/C buses in places where they are in demand. Even the so called 47 buses run at full capacity during peak hours. Here is a peek into the number of AC and non AC services between KBS, Electronic city and KBS - ITPL for example:


City Buses of various STUs all over India-capture.jpg

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City Buses of various STUs all over India-capture21.jpg

City Buses of various STUs all over India-capture22.jpg

Sadly, Bangalore Mirror(read Times of India) must learn to verify stuff before making articles like these. And for those who end up spending 200 a day in a volvo, there is a daily pass offered which is a lot VFM in both AC and non AC version of these passes.

End of the day, be it AC or Non-AC, the ticket rates are insane these days. During my PU college days, I used to travel regularly in a Volvo for Rs. 8 a journey. Mine was the second stage and the minimum was Rs. 5 then. Worst case I used to pay Rs. 10 IIRC if the route was different.

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Old 10th November 2014, 13:54   #1050
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In the picture above, the bus in question is an APSRTC local city bus.

Off late I have been noticing two pipes coming from underneath the chassis and being left open on top (See beside the rear glass).

1) What are those pipes?

2) What is its function?

3) From where is it originating?

Not all buses have this kind of arrangement of pipes which are present in the rear so confused as to what it could be.

Anurag.
Travelled in one of the CNG city buses from Secunderabad Railway station to my home last night. What a surprise! No engine noise as against any other diesel powered bus. The journey was smooth. I realized that there are two advantages by travelling this bus. These not only reduce carbon foot print but also reduce noise pollution.
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