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Old 15th June 2022, 09:52   #16
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Hello Team BHPians,
Posting here after a very long time.
Good to see a review of SRTC service & that too, KSRTC - Their Airavat Club Class & Ambari Dream Class services are just incomparable to most of long runner inter-state SRTC services.
KSRTC has set an amazing benchmark when compared to other state transport corporations in following points :
(1) Vehicle class – Volvo / Scania buses on premium services.
(2) Top notch maintenance – Hardly any buses are seen having breakdowns.
(3) Cleanliness.
(4) Punctuality.
(5) Polite drivers & conductors.
(6) Very easy to use e-ticketing system as well as app.
(7) PNR number / ticket on e-mail within 10-12 seconds of booking.
(8) SMS / e-mail for contact numbers of bus conductor & bus number at least an hour before start of journey.
(9) Call from bus conductor when they are 2 stops away from your pick-up points.
(10) You will be handed over with a clean blanket once you on-board bus.
(11) Announcement system in Airavat / Ambari buses for passengers to know hotel stops as well as alighting points.
(12) Hotels at which KSRTC crew stops buses for snacks-tea & lunch/dinner are fixed AND are very reasonable & clean.
(13) Help from bus conductor to keep luggage in luggage booth by tying luggage tag & putting seat number on bag.
(14) One part of luggage tag will be handed over to you & other will remain on your luggage - You have to hand over your luggage tag to conductor while taking luggage while getting down from bus.
(15) KSRTC’s last stop is at Majestic CBS in Bangalore (Bengaluru) whereas for private operators, it is at Anandrao Circle - Getting BMTC / metro to reach to any part of Bangalore (Bengaluru) is convenient from Majestic instead of Anandrao Circle.


Special note :
(a) 100% of KSRTC staff knows Hindi well; so won’t be any issue if you don’t know Kannada language.
(b) KSRTC’s Mumbai-Bangalore (Bengaluru) service buses comes at Swargate in Pune; so you don’t have to take public transport & go till highway pick-up points as private operators ask you to do.
(c) No overspeeding / no rash driving / no risky overtakes.


As I recently shifted from Pune to Bangalore (Bengaluru) for new job, I travelled only via KSRTC Airavat / Ambari whenever required.
My parents (both aged 60+) never faced any issues when they travelled from Pune to Bangalore (Bengaluru) & Bangalore (Bengaluru) to Mumbai.
Though there are many private operators like VRL, SRS, Sharma, National etc plying between Borivali / Mumbai / Pune to Bangalore (Bengaluru); KSRTC’s service is top notch & class apart in my honest opinion.
Attached Thumbnails
Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true-airavatksrtc.jpeg  

Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true-ambariksrtc.jpeg  


Last edited by dhrishikesh : 15th June 2022 at 10:13.
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Old 15th June 2022, 10:03   #17
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

When I was in Mumbai, I used to frequently travel to Bangalore by bus, though we mostly took SRS travels bus which left goregaon East at 2 pm and reach blr by 8-9 am.

I once counted the available transport options from Mumbai to blr and found around 55 flights, 6 trains and more than a hundred buses traveling everyday. Gives an idea of crazy volumes and the huge market for this route.

We used to prefer buses since you can pick literally any time of day and location for boarding, though a train journey will be more comfortable. Railways should definitely consider adding more trains.
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Old 15th June 2022, 10:08   #18
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Nice review - agree with all your observations. To add - I felt these bus drivers do not overspeed at all even if they have an empty good road, unlike the Neeta/Shivneri buses I had taken years ago on my Pune-Mumbai trips.

We took the Ambaari class Volvo from Chennai to Bangalore over a month ago. For a couple, the double bed seems massive and is extremely comfortable. However, one has to be comfortable with overnight / long bus rides to avail these Volvo sleeper services. My wife (who's extremely comfortable with such overnight bus trips) enjoyed the bus ride and slept like a log, benefiting from the hour's delay the bus had. On the other hand, I had a very poor sleep, thanks to the low AC temperatures - for me, I prefer trains any day over the buses, and despite the better service offered by Ambaari class, that decision did not change.
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Old 15th June 2022, 10:37   #19
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

I have a done a return BLR-BOM-BLRtrip by KSRTC Volvo a few years back. Such long journeys for me are a mix - cant sleep those 18 hours, and sitting cant give enough rest. But I still took a seater. Did sit behind the driver for a considerable distance since the seat was empty for quite a while. Some chit-chat with the driver also helped.
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Old 15th June 2022, 11:37   #20
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Excellent review @vigsom, KSRTC is one of the best government service providers which has been accoladed with numerous awards for its service.

https://www.newindianexpress.com/sta...s-1558953.html
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Old 15th June 2022, 12:18   #21
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Very nice review Vigsom ji. I have done a few trips on the Dream class myself. The first and third being on the inaugural HiTech City Hyderabad to Bangalore, second Bangalore Udupi. In the most recent trip from HiTech City Hyderabad to Bangalore, the bus had accumulated a lot of miles and I had the last row single berth. Had a very good sleep and the bus maintenance was pristine.

Return was on Bangalore Secunderabad Club Class (chosen specially since its a Scania). Smooth driving. Delayed by 2 hours at MGBS Hyderabad due to torrential rains.

Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true-20220605_194430.jpg
My return bus. Bangalore Secunderabad Club Class

Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true-20220605_190937.jpg
Two Scanias Club Class of KSRTC. Bangalore Hyderabad on the left and Bangalore Bidar via Hyderabad departing KBS.

Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true-20220601_214030.jpg
HiTech City Bangalore Dream Class
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Old 15th June 2022, 12:22   #22
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Excellent and well covered review @vigsom. So glad to see the review of a bus journey. Karnataka SRTC is one of the best transport service providers in the country and has won several accolades for the same.
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Old 15th June 2022, 12:30   #23
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Excellent Review, Really like travelling in buses, off late not able to travel in them. Your thread helped to relive them.

One question, When reversing, did you observe the tag axle going in opposite direction to help in easier turns, I had seen it in Benz buses but not in Volvo's. Heard from a bus driver Volvo B9R driver that it doesn't have, not sure about B11R.
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Old 15th June 2022, 12:48   #24
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

KSRTC has knocked it out of the park with this service. I'd imagine they'll have this on their other ultra long routes as well: eg. Bangalore - Shirdi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
• Drinking water not provided (not a dislike, but just calling this out)
There was a time when they offered two bottles of water, and fresh tissues (warm during the monsoon/winter, and cold during summer) on boarding the bus. Happy memories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Rare image of a factory Volvo sleeper and an MG Starz Volvo sleeper next to each other - captured by me 2 days back on an onward journey


Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Some chit-chat with the driver also helped.
I'd look forward to some conversation with the two drivers post the dinner break, when everything had quietened down. I was always told, politely but firmly, that I was to be seated because a) safety, b) they were instructed to not engage with passengers and focus on driving.
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Old 15th June 2022, 12:58   #25
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Great review.
I used to travel regularly during my college days on buses between Chennai and Hyderabad.
It's an overnight journey and by morning you'd be inside the city. Found it easier than catching a flight (with all the cab journey, check-in, security, occasional delay, plus another hour of travel from the airport to my home in exorbitant taxi fare).

Although I've never used KSRTC, I did use TSRTC and Orange Travels. Sleepers really made the journey easy along with wide panoramic windows. My pick is always the single top birth on the right side, anywhere near the front part. Seats in the rear, sleeper or otherwise are extremely bumpy. Also, the 1+1 berths on the left side can become a little weird especially if you are travelling with a stranger. I've also seen sometimes people can get a bit queasy if there are too many twists and turns, that is also something to be considered.

TSRTC only had semi-seater Volvo which is why I shifted to orange for sleepers, also helps that the blankets are always fresh and thoroughly cleaned.
Best to stick to a government RTC or a reputed private travel provider since they do not overspeed and stick to their deadlines (on most days).
All in all, for overnight journeys, sleepers also make a good proposition for themselves.
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Old 15th June 2022, 13:09   #26
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Thank you @vigsom for this wonderful travelogue-cum-review. I 100% endorse your view that KSRTC is a class apart as a service provider and specially so since it is government owned.

Since 2005, I have been a regular traveller on their Volvo and later, Scania services (Bangalore-Mangalore, Bangalore-Hubbali, Bangalore-Hyderabad, Bangalore-Chennai). The drivers are very professional, service is very good and the European buses offer a super comfortable, safe ride - both coach and sleeper. The coach reclining seats are also super comfortable.

My only grouse with them always was the bone chilling AC - at night!

There is news though that these long range buses will be soon fit with bio-toilets, the process got delayed due to the pandemic and resulting financial stress with the Corporation.
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Old 15th June 2022, 14:09   #27
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Wonderful write up @vigsom!

I was a regular user of KSRTC Multi Axel services, when my job needed me to travel.
And I can say you have covered the experience precisely in your article.

I've also travelled on multi axel buses by Private players but have to say its not always a hit, some busses have Weird smell, or ill functioning AC units with high noise levels, mosquitoes, drivers visibly under influence etc. But KSRTC busses are always maintained cleanly and drivers are punctual.

Weird that the water bottles weren't provided, I used to get it on every ride, once the city limits were crossed\nearby, although this was 4-5 years back.
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Old 15th June 2022, 14:48   #28
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Better roads and routes have kept the long route buses relevant which has been brought out by your ride from Mumbai to Bangalore. One is pleasantly surprised that in small towns people still have faith in these buses. States like HP and Uttarakhand are still connected by buses for the normal people. Only problem is that motion sickness in AC buses can be a sore point for many. I have tried taking a peek and getting more info on these sleeper buses but it has not been as detailed as yours. Thanks for clearing the air on long distance sleeper buses. The photos and videos have made me feel live in the whole journey. At Kakinada one can see so many going to Chennai, Bangalore, Tirupati, Hyderabad, Puri etc.

Last edited by sukhbirST : 15th June 2022 at 14:50.
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Old 15th June 2022, 15:54   #29
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

Loved the write up.

I am a huge fan of bus travel, especially luxury buses like Volvo and Scania. The huge windows and low NVH levels are addictive. Some well maintained ones are quieter than cars. I love the peace of mind, and the fact that you are inside the biggest vehicle on the road and no one is going to tailgate you or bully you into giving way.

I share GTO's concern on safety during night and this sort of keeps me awake. When the driver is pushing it too hard, braking suddenly or swerving dangerously, I cannot get enough sleep. I cannot trust the emergency exits of these buses to work when needed, nor the passengers to display any sense during an unfortunate event. However this hasn't deterred me, and I continue to travel by buses whenever it makes sense.

Just 10 days back I returned from Kodaikanal to Bangalore by a non Volvo, AC sleeper bus as our train ticket wasn't confirmed. It was an old bus, freshly painted and spruced up. The AC was uncomfortably chilling (with no controls) and the driver was flooring it most of the time. We arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule! The suspension was terrible and on few occasions my head almost hit the ceiling (we were in the upper deck). Next time I am not taking anything other than Volvo, Scania or Bharat Benz. Government operators like KSRTC, APSRTC or Kadamba are preferred. Rear seats should be avoided in these buses due to engine being placed there. Also the seats directly above the rear axle can get bumpy. Best is to book early and in the front.

I must add that KSRTC is the leader here. Clean buses, punctual and well trained staff.

Last edited by Malyaj : 15th June 2022 at 16:04.
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Old 15th June 2022, 16:11   #30
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Default Re: Review: Mumbai to Bengaluru by Karnataka SRTC Ambaari Dream Class | A long time dream comes true

A very crisp and nicely written review. For the first time, I am reading a detailed review about the KSRTC bus services on this forum (however I am a newbie).

That huge signboard of Jeep on the Mumbai Pune E-way is tempting me to visit Lonavala. Adding fuel to the fire it is raining now in Mumbai.

By the way almost every six months I visit Shirdi from Mumbai in Neeta volvo (2X2 and not sleeper) their drivers have touched the max speed of 108 KMPH (Courtesy GPS Speedometer app on android).
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