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Old 8th January 2011, 14:13   #76
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Thats really a nice move.
you can really go ahead after trying with AL and TML.
That is a definite no from me . AL is fine ,Tata is not . Dont even waste your time thinking about Tata .

Last edited by v12 : 9th January 2011 at 11:51.
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Old 8th January 2011, 15:58   #77
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

AFAIK, Harita - Grammer is a S. India based, Lakshmi or probably TVS group company. Cant exactly recall the details. One and half decade back, they did to automobile seating what Volvo did to bus transport industry. They introduced option. Till they came around, all the hapless bus operators had was custom fabricated seats.

I believe that they will have several options on seating, and IMO, blame for uncomfortable seats should be placed squarely on the operator who chose the less costly model.

Harita is not the only seat maker in India. I repeat, please go through raj's thread on his a/c bus.

I also saw a mention about "Volvo Luxuria" on BLR - Chennai route. Have you got the branding accurate? Is it the AL's "Luxura" brand?

BTW, I finally located this thread:- please go through it, especially the posts I made there.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...omparison.html

Finally, if allowed to make a decision with my heart, I will make the following decision.

(vehicle build specifications)
1. AL rear engine
2. Most power full engine, with longest wheel base, least possible rear overhang (if configurable).
3. 1x2 seating configuration, with push back and calves support (i think this what they call "semi sleeper".
4. Laptop / mobile charging points for each seat.
5. airline like tray behind each seat.
6. Inbuilt toilet.
7. Insist on latest emission standards, whether mandatory or not.
8. GPS tracker on vehicle - so that I can monitor vehicle movements real time.

(operational specifications)
1. Outsource ticketing for first one year/
2. Have minimum 3 offices - one each at each end, with another in between. Drivers and staffers will be changed at the in between office. This is for a trip which is longer than 8 hours.
3. Drivers should be 35+ years old. Stick to a constant speed. (not just "as fast as possible" kind). 2 expereinced drivers on board. Not more that 4 hours of continuous driving by one person. (heck, this will be monitored by GPS).
4. Give staffers at least 7 sets of uniforms, in seven colours. They will be forced to change every day For the driver, permit rules requires use of all white uniform. I will have seven bands stitched on somewhere. This also means that they cannot run away in case of accidents. Therefore, they will be more careful.
5. Load luggage before passengers get in. Unload luggage after passengers get off. No luggage for in between destinations.
6. No waiting for passengers. (That is what the GPS is for - staffers cannot bootleg passengers on board).
7. Online ticketing.
8. Unlimited supply of bottled water from a reputed brand. (should not cause a problem- there is toilet inside the bus).
9. Price at 15% discounts to highest priced Merc / Volvo operator.

Edit:- Please note that the choice of AL RE is NOT a rational decision - it is purely from the heart. have owned multiple brands (Tata, AL and Fargo - all in KL), and multiple body builds - custom, TVS, Nachimuthu, and only AL buses with TVS body was successful in the long term. Note the plural.

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 8th January 2011 at 16:07.
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Old 8th January 2011, 16:26   #78
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post

I also saw a mention about "Volvo Luxuria" on BLR - Chennai route. Have you got the branding accurate? Is it the AL's "Luxura" brand?
Yes, this is DC designed Volvo Multi Axle with just 21 seats. Here is the link: Welcome to Super Luxury Buses

IMO, having a toilet can attract lady passengers who are scared of overnight bus journey.

Last edited by coolclouds : 8th January 2011 at 16:42.
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Old 8th January 2011, 17:01   #79
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

RaySat mobile satellite antennas and dishes - Mobile Satellite TV for Vehicles

Have a look at the site . It offers mobile satellite tv for buses . Rather than play content from DVD .. this seems to be a better idea .
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Old 8th January 2011, 17:03   #80
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Yes, this is DC designed Volvo Multi Axle with just 21 seats. Here is the link: Welcome to Super Luxury Buses

IMO, having a toilet can attract lady passengers who are scared of overnight bus journey.
THis is the first time , i think the DC design seems acceptable . But , again not much of exterior mods have been done . So the bus retains the typical volvo character .
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Old 8th January 2011, 17:11   #81
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Originally Posted by greatmana2000 View Post
RaySat mobile satellite antennas and dishes - Mobile Satellite TV for Vehicles

Have a look at the site . It offers mobile satellite tv for buses . Rather than play content from DVD .. this seems to be a better idea .
Blue Hill Volvo Luxuria is an operator with Satellite TV and wifi.
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Old 9th January 2011, 02:31   #82
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

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Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
Talked to Tata Motors representative today.The 280 HP Tata Hispano Globus is available on order.BS 3 compatible. They dont have any direction on BS 4 compatiable buses.Its available in 36 and 43 seater configurations.He said they have also changed the suspension of the bus.Could not catch the name of some system that he was talking about.Maintainance or service is fairly cheap and it comes with 1 & 1/2 year or 1,50,000 KMS warranty.Due to the limited customers and the company trying to promote the Hispano brand , he said they offer a lot of annual maintainance plans.Did not go into details.I will be getting a broucher soon.Will update more info.
There are way too many Volvos and ALs in interstate routes. Probably a TM bus could be a differentiator for you. There is good reviews about the Tata Hispano SRS in Chennai Bangalore route. With a 2 year AMC with TM (including the Body), no head aches, especially for a new operator like you. More than the bus, service should be the differentiator.
70 Lakh for a Tata bus, is it worth? In case of Hispano, do they offer various suspension options, or just one configuration?
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatmana2000 View Post
AL is fine ,Tata is not . Dont even waste your time thinking about Tata .
I think greatmana2000 s comments are based on his experience with Tata in the past. TM commerical vehicles came along a long way, in the past couple of years. As a truck operator you might have noticed the % increase in TM trucks on TN roads in the last couple of years.

Like Binai said, for a Night service, the entertainment is not a big factor. Most of the people would like to sleep. Seat comfort, leg space, A/C, blankets, pillow, water etc play much bigger role.
The main problem i see with bus travel is the booking agents. When you reserve a seat in a train, you are confident that the seat will be available to you, on the date of travel. I do not have that confidence in these booking agents. How many times they assign the same seat to more than one person? If you are serious about it, start your own booking system. For agents also, insists on getting a computer system, provide an application they could run on their computer that connect to your central system, assign seats and print tickets. In case of system outage etc, send a text message/email to ticket holder indicating the seat number, date and time of travel etc. On the date of travel, send a reminder.

Another important factor is the punctuality. Always be on time. Another tendency i see is, lot of times, if the bus is not full, i have seen the buses take passengers on the way for short distances. Some times they sit inside the drivers cabin also.
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Old 9th January 2011, 09:59   #83
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

70lakhs for the Hispano Globus seems like a lot, especially considering that the 235hp model was available at 15lakhs less. Take a good look at the bus beforre making a decision.

The AMC though will be a very thing for you. As Tata will also provide you service on almost any highway you are on. It removes all kinds of headaches from your shoulders.

@teamveevee

What do you mean by multiple suspension options. I didnt think fully built buses like these came with too many customisation options. Do Vovlo offer multiple suspension configs with their buses??
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Old 9th January 2011, 11:47   #84
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
70lakhs for the Hispano Globus seems like a lot, especially considering that the 235hp model was available at 15lakhs less. Take a good look at the bus beforre making a decision.

The AMC though will be a very thing for you. As Tata will also provide you service on almost any highway you are on. It removes all kinds of headaches from your shoulders.
AMC for body is fine . But ,please note it is not a private vehicle . The body might be or might not be suitable for carrying cargo .
SRS travels is a very good operator in my opinion . They started with AL initially and only now have they gone in for TATA buses . Going by the speeds in which they cruise .. I am sure they just carry passengers and no cargo because i have seen them do in excess of 80 KM/Hr .

Last edited by v12 : 9th January 2011 at 11:51.
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Old 9th January 2011, 12:28   #85
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The AMC though will be a very thing for you. As Tata will also provide you service on almost any highway you are on. It removes all kinds of headaches from your shoulders.
What about turnaround time? Will a bus be back after service in 4 to 7 hours? I doubt no operator can/ will tolerate longer service turn around times.

Quote:
I didnt think fully built buses like these came with too many customisation options. Do Vovlo offer multiple suspension configs with their buses??
When Volvos changed the rules fo the games in India, they did one thing - they gave very little leeway for operators to cut corners.

Operators have a very bad habit of cutting corners, given half a chance. If Volvos did not allow lower options, it was for a good reason. And they have been very successful at ti.

On the seats configurations front, where I believe Volvos gave some leeway, we can see quite a few comments in the intercity travel review thread about seats in X operator's Volvos being narrow / uncomfortable, etc. While Y operator's VOlvos have better seats.

That said, it is absolutely essential for a chassis provider to give full freedom to operators to customise their bodies - that is how the industry works world wide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatmana2000 View Post
SRS travels is a very good operator in my opinion . They started with AL initially and only now have they gone in for TATA buses . Going by the speeds in which they cruise .. I am sure they just carry passengers and no cargo because i have seen them do in excess of 80 KM/Hr .
I feel that is a strange line of thinking. Mind elaborating on it?
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Old 9th January 2011, 12:43   #86
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I feel that is a strange line of thinking. Mind elaborating on it?
SRS seems to be a cash rich operator . If you had a chance t be on a highway especially the chennai -BLR route These SRS travels guys just zip in excess of 80KM/hr on leylands . That gave me a feeling that they do not carry any cargo and operate only passenger service . I dont know what led them to change over to TATA , may be they switched because they were getting a fully built bus or may be the buses were higher powered or may be they were operating only passenger service and it made sense to buy a ready made bus . The new Tata buses seem to have very big front hubs . ANy one has info on them ?
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Old 9th January 2011, 13:55   #87
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

The Hispano Globus has a similar cargo bay arrangement as the Volvos, so there is a good deal of space for cargo.

The Tata service is generally very good, they keep in mind that the vehicles they service are CVs, and try to get the vehicle out in time. Especially if you build a good rapport with a particular dealer.

Even Tata do give out a few options for seating. Orissa Tourism Dev Corp have got some Tata Hispanos with 2x1 configuration.
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Old 9th January 2011, 20:14   #88
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Default My suggestion

I have two suggestions for you mate.
  1. Test the waters
  2. Get yourself an Education
Test the waters
Instead of plunging head long into the business, what you could do is buy the chassis, give it for Body building, which takes about 3 months. The point is, don't wait for your busses to hit the road before you start the business, hire two busses and start plying them. In 100 days you will have enough contacts and will know enough to be in a better position to run your brand new busses. Even if you are able to run the hired busses at a no profit no loss basis you would have still won

Get yourself an Education
Instead of getting 2 busses, get 1 bus and ply on a short route. Eg: Bangalore-Madras or Bangalore-Hubli where you can make 2 trips a day. That way, it wil help you get on your feet and then you can plan out the expansion you have in mind.

These bus owners have
  • Fixed petrol bunks where they get fuel on credit
  • Fixed tyre shops where they get tyres on credit
  • Fixed spare parts shops where they get tyres on credit
  • Monthly payments to the high and mighty
  • Loyal and long cultivated Drivers
A newbie against them needs all the pluck in the world to survive

Wish you all the best
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Old 9th January 2011, 22:01   #89
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Sensible suggestion, IMO. But why wait for the "leased bus" option till a bus is booked?

Also, he is not looking for a custom built bus on a normal chassis. He is looking to provide a premium service, using premium buses. Vehicle booking to delivery would definitely take up to 3 months still, I feel.
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Old 10th January 2011, 08:39   #90
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Bangalore-Madras or Bangalore-Hubli
Excellent suggetion, Did george_kj mentioned somewhere in thread that he/she like to start operations based out of Hyderabad?
Out of curiosity, is there any companies in India that leases fully built buses? CV Vehicle leasing has not caught up in India yet, which is a very common practice in developed countries.

Last edited by teamveevee : 10th January 2011 at 08:42.
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