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Old 24th September 2009, 11:26   #31
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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
In fact even commuting by KSRTC Volvo buses (Karnataka) has become an amazing experience.
I don't know about the inside, but outside of the Volvo bus (if you are in a car / bike), the travel is really amazing

You must see it to believe it - how my friends who drive 335E (and other such Red Monsters) switch from one lane to another - how they terrorize fellow road-users - how they squeeze themselves into a 1-inch gap and then squeeze you out of the road !!

The Golden Rule I follow in Bangalore: Never allow a Volvo to overtake you - better still, if there's Volvo behind you reduce your speed to 10 kmph.
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Old 24th September 2009, 11:31   #32
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Good point in bringing up the bus. Question : Are the buses any quicker than travelling by car? I bet not (even in Bangalore whose traffic I have heard a lot about). B.E.S.T. offers an excellent premium air-con bus service in Mumbai. Yet, it does have to travel on the same roads as the cars do, and because of more frequent stops, is slower. Example : Same evening as my example, a bus would have taken 2 hours at the minimum.
No. They are not any faster than travelling by car. But, you only have to travel in the comfort of the air conditioned bus. You do not need to negotiate the rough and tumble of the so called Bangalore roads. The driver does it for you.

You could ask me, "why not hire a driver?". I for one will not give my car to any driver. It is a priced possession for me. My wife has got to drive it only after 5.5 years of us owning the car .
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Old 24th September 2009, 11:43   #33
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On the subject of city transport, for once NMMT (Navi Mumbai transport) has put BEST to shame with its new fleet of A/c Volvos ( compared to the BEST Kinglongs ). They seem so slick and have become very popular already on the trunk route of Belapur to Bandra. Tickets costs around 50 bucks.

Am a regular Harbour line traveller from Panvel to CSTM, so many a times am praying for a job change which would allow me to discontinue this daily grind ( travel in First class). First class is packed so much in peak hours. Suburban train travel in the sweltering humid months of March/April and September / October is a torture unbearable.
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Old 24th September 2009, 11:43   #34
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I happen to take the BMTC Volvo once in a while when I give my car for service and it is a breeze actually compared to driving.

This bus is very clean and comfortable and quick and has fantastic acceleration too which sometimes the drivers misuse for overwhelming the smaller vehicles.

I see the early morning Volvos are all full with IT crowd and has some PYTs too adding some colour .

I still like driving to the office but a nice alternative is already there.
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:19   #35
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The black and yellow cabs should be banned in bombay...
the last time there was a taxi strike, i made it to office [without driving like a maniac] in 16 minutes. That too over a distance of 9 KM at 10 in the morning.

Even BEST works really well when taxis are on strike.
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:24   #36
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Originally Posted by Sprucegoose View Post
The black and yellow cabs should be banned in bombay...
the last time there was a taxi strike, i made it to office [without driving like a maniac] in 16 minutes. That too over a distance of 9 KM at 10 in the morning.

Even BEST works really well when taxis are on strike.
You think about banning the yellow and black cabs and we folks in b'lore think about banning the loud and polluting AUTO.
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:38   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Just makes you think how different life in an Indian metro would have been if the public transportation was A-grade.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post



The best part was when the bus started, a guy came running to catch the bus. He had no reservation and the bus was full. The conductor promptly got up, gave his small seat to him, printed out the ticket through the electronic ticketing system that he was carrying and came to Bangalore all the way standing. I was really impressed both on the service quality as well as the promptness. At least I had not seen this level of service before !
Well said GTO. That would make life so much easier for so many people. Especially for regular commuters.

A majority of the KSRTC Volvo staff are very courteous. All this is going in the right direction.

Last edited by beejay : 24th September 2009 at 12:40.
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:57   #38
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Originally Posted by emkay456 View Post
On the subject of city transport, for once NMMT (Navi Mumbai transport) has put BEST to shame with its new fleet of A/c Volvos ( compared to the BEST Kinglongs ). They seem so slick and have become very popular already on the trunk route of Belapur to Bandra. Tickets costs around 50 bucks.
+ 1 to that. The new NNMC Volvos are super and BEST is already feeling the heat.

I had a chance last friday to cross the road opposite VT station and I chose the subway. Trust me it was a very very pathetic experience.

Hawkers have taken over the subway totally. There is only one lane each way for people to walk.

It is dirty as hell and paan spit dominates the walls and floors.

There are juice bars and vada pav stalls inside. They throw the fruits in open baskets after juicing them creating a stench that unbearable.

Cooking with gas cylinders and stoves is free inside - how bloody dangerous is that, anyone knows except the railways / BMC who allowed the cooking.

There is absolutely no ventilation (forget air conditioning)

There are no direction boards available.

The steps have broken away and have never been repaired.

Beggars have made it their home and keep pestering the people walking.

When you come out of the subway - the entrance / exit is totally blocked by news paper vendors and lottery ticket sellers. People crowd around creating jams

Do the government / railways even care for the commuters ? As long as their pockets / profits are taken care of - Damn the Commuter.
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Old 24th September 2009, 13:00   #39
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Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
I have travelled in Mumbai trains for 7 years, 5 for college and 2 for office. My experience is quite the contrary of GTO.

The distinction between Central and Western line is huge. At Western, the fast trains run all day long, and at Central, they run frequently only at peak hours, and reduce frequency or stop running on other hours. Catching any train from Dadar towards Thane from 6.30 to 9.30 is like challenging Yamdoot. Some posts above paint quite romantic picture of the public transport. Wait till you see the groups playing cards hassle some lone passanger just because he kept his bag on their regular racks. Same with Kirtan mandals.

The worst thing about the train travel in Mumbai is, you lose your individuality. Atleast in Central railway, the first or second class don't differ much in terms of crowd, only the quality of crowd. You get free massage daily in trains, only you have to have the mindset to accept it. If you are travelling at odd hours, then the trains are surely a better option. But at peak hours (and for central, the peak hour is from 8-11am and 6-10pm), you better start praying!
++++1,

GTO you travelled at the non-peak hour and hence enjoyed your trip. Try taking a Virar/Borivali fast from dadar and get down at Bandra between 1800-2100. (No offence mate). I travel by LOCALS on daily basis and its nothing short of a re-birth every day. No doubt Locals are the fastest mode of transport but are definitely not stree free as some people from other cities feel. I travel by first class and still end up all sweaty by the the time I reach office. Only solace is that Locals take 50 mins whereas car takes 1.45 Hrs to reach office.

Not to mention the regular Groups, their "dadagiri" wrt standing space allocation (let alone sitting space), luggage space etc and the bhajan mandals. Incidently I am also a part of regular Group .

All said and done, trains are the fastest and safest way to commute in Mumbai.
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Old 24th September 2009, 13:20   #40
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Good thread, @GTO. I do resort to your tactic when traffic goes haywire in Hydreabad---did it twice over the past year.

Thanks to Naidu, we have good local trains on a certain route in Hyderabad, and those are called MMTS trains. Last year, I twisted my ankle that made driving a bit difficult for a couple of days. Since the local station was 8 minutes walk away, I took the MMTS till Hitec City station on those days, and the company Qualis to ferry me to the office. Though the total time taken was about 15 minutes more than by car on the onward journey, and the same on the evening return journey, it was relatively stress-free.
It was also pocket-friendly---Rs 3 in either direction (company cab was free), compared to Rs 120 on my car. I started liking it, but abandoned it only for emergencies owing to the following factors:-
  1. Lugging a laptop was tough in a crowded train, moreso in the evenings ----blessed are those who don't have to lug laptops.
  2. With riff-raff getting into the 1st class coach, it was not worth spending Rs 75 for a first class ticket or Rs 540 for a monthly pass.
  3. Chances of getting pick-pocketed are also high.
  4. Waiting in the company cab for co-employees to alight from another train was a tad irritating.
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Old 24th September 2009, 14:25   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Good point in bringing up the bus. Question : Are the buses any quicker than travelling by car? I bet not (even in Bangalore whose traffic I have heard a lot about). B.E.S.T. offers an excellent premium air-con bus service in Mumbai. Yet, it does have to travel on the same roads as the cars do, and because of more frequent stops, is slower. Example : Same evening as my example, a bus would have taken 2 hours at the minimum.
True, buses are not faster than a car. Trains still rule at most times in terms of speed station-to-station.
I have taken one of these AC buses from Dadar to Thane and it took slightly longer than it takes me by car.

The upside? I get almost 1 hour of stress-free relaxation, reading a book, listening to music on the walkman and not taking in half the air pollution that Mumbai has to offer (compared to normal bus) - all in peak hour traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
What about the cost factor? A churchgate - Bandra first class pass costs a mere 300 odd bucks in Mumbai, that's like 5 Euros for unlimited travel in a month! Even with the Metro in Delhi, and when the same is functional in Mumbai, I bet the pricing will be amongst the cheapest in the world.
Yes, the cost factor is the main criteria. In india, an AC service bus/train will most probably not be accepted most commuters. I can see more station/train burning riots if everything is made AC (we are wierd!).
So the existing cheaper class should continue in some guise or the other.

However, the AC class will attract a different segment of commuters - current first class pass-holders & car/bike owners for whom the advantages will be low(er) cost and no commuting hassle

Last edited by gomzi : 24th September 2009 at 14:27.
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Old 24th September 2009, 15:20   #42
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
C'mon, that ancient lift takes up more than 30 seconds.
Hey, it's a Parsi-maintained lift and still works (after a 100 years or so of install ).

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Saturdays are also more amenable for public transport - less crowds generally.
Saturdays are excellent to drive too . Takes me all of 20 minutes for the 14 km drive to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beejay View Post
A majority of the KSRTC Volvo staff are very courteous. All this is going in the right direction.
That's genuinely nice to hear. Not something you can extend to most other public services.

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Originally Posted by arunu View Post
GTO you travelled at the non-peak hour and hence enjoyed your trip. Try taking a Virar/Borivali fast from dadar and get down at Bandra between 1800-2100. (No offence mate).
Umm, no thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gomzi View Post
The upside? I get almost 1 hour of stress-free relaxation, reading a book, listening to music on the walkman and not taking in half the air pollution that Mumbai has to offer (compared to normal bus) - all in peak hour traffic.
Valid perspective.

Quote:
I can see more station/train burning riots if everything is made AC (we are wierd!).
I can't for the life of me figure out why the "public" damages "public property" in protest. The next morning, it is they who use the same trains!

Quote:
However, the AC class will attract a different segment of commuters - current first class pass-holders & car/bike owners for whom the advantages will be low(er) cost and no commuting hassle
An efficient A+ grade public transportation system could do wonders toward decreasing road congestion. Far more than a Bandra Worli sealink (which I welcome, but is more of a short-term quickfix solution).
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Old 24th September 2009, 15:41   #43
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Saturdays are excellent to drive too . Takes me all of 20 minutes for the 14 km drive to work.
Agreed. That is what I mentioned in my post too. May be if all BHPians agree to have one "no driving day" in a week and follow it, we as a sizeable and growing community can save a lot of fuel and reduce pollution. It can be any day of the week, according to the member's choice.
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Old 24th September 2009, 15:44   #44
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GTO have you tried the A1(or something like that) AC BEST bus? I once traveled from Ghatkopar to South Mumbai & it was a pleasant ride, The downside is the frequency.

p.s. I am not sure if it passes through Dadar or not but I think it does.
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Old 24th September 2009, 15:45   #45
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Work has started on the Chennai metro rail project.

There will be an underground station about 5 mins walking distance from my house. And the best part is there would be a station which is 5 mins walking distance from my office! So it would be great if I am in the same work location 3-4 years from now. I am really looking forward to some stress free travel by train.
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