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Old 13th July 2018, 15:12   #3946
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
Shivshahi service has AC buses built Indian coach builders on front-engined chassis. Are you sure it was a Volvo? I haven't spotted a Volvo Shivshahi yet.
Oh I have second thoughts about this now, as I think it might be a Leyland. My bad. Did not actually observe the bus from outside as it was raining, but definitely the ride quality and NVH did not feel as good as Volvo / Scania.

All these years I have always preferred Shivneri over anything else, this is the first time I traveled by Shivshahi as I was waiting for Shivneri and instead the Shivshahi came so thought lets give it a try. The experience was not bad I would say, but of course cant really comment on the overall quality of service. All in all, this could be a second best alternate to Shivneri i would say.
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Old 13th July 2018, 17:04   #3947
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Evacay has resumed their services from this week onwards after a brief hiatus. I am seeing brand new Mercedes Benz multi axle bus with KA01AJ registration plates in the Madiwala BP petrol pump. Since the bus is always pointing the other way, could not make out whether it is a SHD.


And the SETC have also begun their services in a new avataar. Airy and buses with big windows, however all the things written are in Tamil only except for the registration plates which I think is a big bummer.

Last edited by unk9ja : 13th July 2018 at 17:06.
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Old 14th July 2018, 09:57   #3948
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by unk9ja View Post
Evacay has resumed their services from this week onwards after a brief hiatus. I am seeing brand new Mercedes Benz multi axle bus with KA01AJ registration plates in the Madiwala BP petrol pump. Since the bus is always pointing the other way, could not make out whether it is a SHD.


And the SETC have also begun their services in a new avataar. Airy and buses with big windows, however all the things written are in Tamil only except for the registration plates which I think is a big bummer.
I travelled in it last night. It was a beauty. AJ 3636. Had a very nice sleep in the bus all through to Poonamallee where the people began getting dropped off.

It's been running for a week now. Very less buses have been introduced I think. Hopefully they'll run the full fleet soon. It is a SHD.


Also there is a SETC AC sleeper between Bangalore and Chennai at 10:30 PM. Priced at 716 for adults, it's a nice alternative to private operators who charge 1200 on the weekends for this route. Hope the users and the management maintain it in top condition for years to come.
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Old 14th July 2018, 16:42   #3949
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Also there is a SETC AC sleeper between Bangalore and Chennai at 10:30 PM.

By any chance is it a white colored one? I saw one today afternoon (around 1510hrs) near the Lakkasandra bus stop. Again everything in Tamil except for the number plates and an A/c sleeper coach sticker at the rear. That is when I realised it as a SETC carriage. How can an inter state carriage run with only Tamil letters on it? Are we still living in an bygone era?
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Old 14th July 2018, 16:58   #3950
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By any chance is it a white colored one? I saw one today afternoon (around 1510hrs) near the Lakkasandra bus stop. Again everything in Tamil except for the number plates and an A/c sleeper coach sticker at the rear. That is when I realised it as a SETC carriage. How can an inter state carriage run with only Tamil letters on it? Are we still living in an bygone era?
Yes. It is a white one with green ribbons or something as design. I think they use LCD visual boards now and surely they'll have the English version of the destination running after that.

I'll confirm soon. BTW the new buses to Salem are worse. The bus itself looks OK like BMTC ones rather than KSRTC but the seat back recline angle would be 90* I think.

Not sure who approved such a design. They must be made to travel in it for a week before taking such decisions.
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Old 17th July 2018, 16:45   #3951
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by unk9ja View Post
Evacay has resumed their services from this week onwards after a brief hiatus.


And the SETC have also begun their services in a new avataar. Airy and buses with big windows, however all the things written are in Tamil only except for the registration plates which I think is a big bummer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchumiFan View Post
It's been running for a week now. Very less buses have been introduced I think. Hopefully they'll run the full fleet soon. .

Also there is a SETC AC sleeper between Bangalore and Chennai at 10:30 PM. Priced at 716 for adults, it's a nice alternative to private operators who charge 1200 on the weekends for this route. Hope the users and the management maintain it in top condition for years to come.
Good to hear that Evacay has resumed. I am eagerly waiting for them to start the Bangalore - CBE route as there are not too many other options. There's either the standard KPN, Hindustan, SRS (average service, reasonable fares) or operators with new buses and good service but exorbitant weekend fares (Eg. Dreamliner which charges 1500 for a 5-5 1/2 hour journey)

Also saw a number of the new TNSTC buses on the highways as I also drove to CBE 2 weeks back and also saw some coverage of this in the papers at Coimbatore, some stats based on what I recollect

- Totally ~500 new buses across the TNSTC fleet with a rough distribution of ~65 to SETC (mix of AC Sleeper and non AC Ultra Deluxe; also includes couple of buses with bio-toilets to ply on the Chennai Dindigul route), some 100+ to TNSTC Salem, 50 or so to CBE etc

- SETC: AC Sleeper buses are on the Chennai - Blr, CBE - Blr, Chennai - Salem, Chennai - Erode kind of routes. Fare for CBE - Blr is 800 which is a steal compared to the airline / Uber-surge like fares of some private operators

- Other divisions to get non AC buses with auto doors, clear large windows etc... In Blue-white color. Again, pleasing to see these buses which are non-claustrophobic compared to most of the current fleet which have fairly small sliding windows that open

- All buses also have a large pic of Amma in front and rear windshield with a much smaller pic of the current CM

However, i am very skeptical of maintenance of these TNSTC buses. One look at their fleet of Ultra Deluxe fleet and a comparison with the Rajahamsas of KaSRTC and one can see the difference. The TNSTC ones are so dirty, ill-maintained with broken glasses, seats etc. Not sure how the AC Seater fleet of TNSTC is being maintained, as I dont them in Bangalore.
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Old 17th July 2018, 23:34   #3952
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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It's been running for a week now. Very less buses have been introduced I think. Hopefully they'll run the full fleet soon. It is a SHD.
Only two buses have come to their fleet. They'll be adding some Volvo B11Rs to their fleet shortly.

Intercity Bus travel reviews-dsc_5821.jpg
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Old 21st July 2018, 19:44   #3953
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Originally Posted by Prafful_Rathod View Post
Traveled by Shivshahi AC bus from Chinchwad (Pune) to Mumbai. Surprisingly ticket fare is almost half of what Shivneri charges - Rs. 270 upto Dadar (compared to Rs. 520 in Shivneri). I was trying to understand what is the difference between the two services, as the Bus was a Volvo as well, took Express highway, and almost took the same time as compared to Shivneri !!.........
Rs. 520 for Mumbai-Pune travel I guess, that is a bit too much.
AC chair car fare in any train like Deccan Queen, Indrayani, Pragati or similar is considerable lesser. And no problem of traffic.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 23rd April 2019 at 09:44. Reason: trimmed quoted post
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Old 21st July 2018, 19:59   #3954
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Only two buses have come to their fleet. They'll be adding some Volvo B11Rs to their fleet shortly.

Attachment 1781991
Thanks for the info. I try looking for Chennai-Palakkad Byapass three times a week and it never returns me an available bus. Got so used to its efficiency breaks my heart to book any other travels now. Would there be an equally efficient travels you recommend in this route?
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Old 23rd July 2018, 11:03   #3955
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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I completely agree with harikrishna.te. The Volvo buses have soft suspensions designed to absorb as many bumps as possible. This makes for an amazingly smooth ride, though even the smallest bump makes the bus rock in all directions.

As harikrishna mentioned, this doesn't agree with all people. However, for me, that's the best part of the Volvo ride. It is for this reason that the other Mercedes Benz/Scania/Hino buses never appealed to me, although they are just as luxurious. Nothing like the bouncy Volvos, according to me
When the Volvo 8400s were first introduced in Chennai, they were a massive hit. They would almost always be full, especially on the Kanchipuram - T Nagar 576 route (on the Bangalore highway) because of student and SIPCOT patronage.

What most people don't know (or don't remember) is these Volvos used to stop at strategic points on the highway for people to retch their guts out. I didn't believe this until I saw such an incident myself! There were many people who were under the impression that the summer was doing this to them rather than the bus itself. It did take some time for these stops to reduce in number. Just when the patronage started to swell, something happened to these buses (or their depots) and they were taken off the roads.

You can still find these plying near Velachery/OMR with their tailgates open.

Have any of you seen drivers stop (especially on intercity routes) for people to 'freshen up'? Is that common across all bus models?
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Old 23rd July 2018, 11:14   #3956
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by Orange GTX View Post
Rs. 520 for Mumbai-Pune travel
I guess, that is a bit too much.
AC chair car fare in any train like Deccan Queen, Indrayani, Pragati or similar is considerable lesser. And no problem of traffic.
Yes definitely, But I had to get down at Chinchwad and that too by 9 AM, and I dont think any of the above trains stop at Chinchwad, so the best option was Shivneri
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Old 23rd July 2018, 13:15   #3957
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by rohitoasis View Post
Thanks for the info. I try looking for Chennai-Palakkad Byapass three times a week and it never returns me an available bus. Got so used to its efficiency breaks my heart to book any other travels now. Would there be an equally efficient travels you recommend in this route?
Will suggest Kerala Lines. They've been doing really well on most of their routes, and has been successful as a replacement to Evacay.
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Old 24th July 2018, 18:06   #3958
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Have been doing a few weekend trips from Bangalore to Coimbatore in the last few weeks and here are my quick reviews from these

Trip 1: Onward KaSRTC Airavat Club Class Special Bus
Bus was supposed to pick me up at St Johns by 1040 PM (Departure from Shanthi Nagar at 1024 PM) and not seeing the bus come by even at 1120, called up the crew only to realize the bus hasnt even left Shanthi Nagar !!! This was not a one-off, I was waiting at the St Johns stop since 10 PM and almost all special buses were delayed by over an hour !! The bus finally came by 1140 PM and was dropped off at CBE by 6 AM. Journey by itself was typical KSRTC, no aggresive driving, some lugging in 5th gear and overall smooth. However, the pathetic punctuality is a different story altogether along with the chaos in locating the bus at St Johns. Regulars would see that the KaSRTC buses stop anywhere in a 200-300 metre stretch starting from the signal and therefore one has to do a fair bit of walking / jogging each time a bunch of buses leave the signal to identify his / her vehicle. KaSRTC doesnt have real time tracking like certain private operators do, and hence one wouldnt know where his / her bus and one has to basically run behind / check the registration number of every single bus of their category that comes into the stop to locate.

Loo-break was at a lousy tea shop near Kumarapalayam with men having to use nature to relieve themselves !!! Women had restrooms though

Another matter of concern, IMO, is that most of these weekend special services, have a single crew (i.e only 1 driver, who also checks the tickets). No 2nd driver or conductor, I consider this a safety issue as there is risk of the driver dozing off / indulging in poor driving / loss of concentration and there's no one to point this out. Normal services (i.e not the special ones) seemed to have driver + conductor

Will I recommend / take this service again: No, unless there is no other option. Fare is considerably lower than private volvos on weekend (Regular bus @ 690; special services @ 790; good private operators charge over 1000). Normal services which have 2 crew seem a good option at the price, if one is prepared to face the chaos in locating the bus


Trip 1: Return SRS Mercedes Benz Multi Axle
While the redbus schedule advertised this as a Mercedes, the bus which did duty was a new Scania. Bus was 10 mins late at Gandhipuram (2340 Vs 2330), however they made time and was dropped off at Silk Board by 5 AM. Clearly the driver has a heavy right foot but there was no sudden braking, rash moves and was able to have a good night's sleep. Bus was clean, new, and blankets appeared clean. AC kept at a good 23 degrees. Real time tracking was also useful in knowing where the bus was. Clean rest-rooms at the place where the bus stopped (near Krishnagiri)

Will I recommend / take this service again: Yes, already booked this service for a future trip in Aug. Weekend fares ~825, which is a steal compared to other private operators


Trip 2: Onward Hindusthan Volvo Multi Axle
Another case of poor punctuality - what was supposed to be a 2300 departure from Madiwala became 2330 as the bus came in only at 2320. Bus was a very old Volvo, with several seats reporting broken push-back mechanisms or leg rests and several curtains torn / not properly stowed as the hooks have come off. Seats were also not the best. Clearly this bus is showing its age. Driving was reasonably aggressive from start and was dropped off at Gandhipuram by 530 AM. Loo-break was at another lousy tea shop beyond Salem, again with men having to relieve themselves in the open !!!

Will I recommend / take this service again: No, despite a fare of ~850 in weekends. Poor overall experience, also doesnt offer flexibility of pick up / drop locations apart from Madiwala and KR Market. KaSRTC is a better option at this price point, atleast their buses are better

Trip 2: Return VHB Travels AC Sleeper
Decided to try this new (new-to-me atleast) operator as their fares on a weekday was around 700, Redbus showed good ratings and showed Tin Factory as a drop location, which worked for me as I live in that area. Their pick up point in CBE is not inside the Omni bus stand, so I called them and a friendly crew member directed me to the place where I should wait. Around 10 mins before bus arrival, another member from the bus called to confirm where I was waiting. Bus came on time and was a clean, new, sleeper bus with clean beds, blankets and pillows. Ac was set at a comfortable 23 deg. Driving didnt seem too aggresive and the Ashok Leyland bus did groan when climbing uphill on the Salem - Thoppur section and between Krishnagiri - Hosur. Weirdly the bus went into Tiruppur town (not sure if this happens everyday, but didnt matter). Was dropped off at KR Puram Station by 545. Overall a very good experience

Will I recommend / take this service again: Yes, however do note they charge over 1250 for weekends which make this an expensive ride !

I have some more trips to do in next few weeks for which i have booked Asian Xpress and KaSRTC, will post their reviews once I complete. I used to be a loyalist with Dreamliner as their buses take the Outer Ring Road in Bangalore and provided boarding / drop off at KR Puram but their fares also now appear to be at-par with their Boeing namesake (1500-1700 for weekends, 900 for weekdays) and hence have decided to try other operators. I am not a fan of spending over 1000 bucks for an overnight journey as short as this, and hence shying away from the exorbitantly priced ones (most of the niche operators with small fleet but very good ratings - Dreamliner, VBH, Asian Xpress, Swamy Ayyappa, Conti, No.1 - all charge north of 1200 for weekend trips !!!)

Any other recommendations welcome, also waiting for Evacay to start Bangalore - CBE

Lastly, was chatting up with a driver of Orange Travels when I was waiting for Hindusthan and he informed me that they are the only operator (after ABT stopped their services) that wash blankets after every journey and these are sealed in covers to prove they have been washed. He did point out to one such lot in the luggage compartment of the Chennai Scania service that he was to drive. How true is this claim?

Last edited by aroonanand : 24th July 2018 at 18:07. Reason: Corrected spelling
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Old 24th July 2018, 19:16   #3959
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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post

Another matter of concern, IMO, is that most of these weekend special services, have a single crew (i.e only 1 driver, who also checks the tickets). No 2nd driver or conductor, I consider this a safety issue as there is risk of the driver dozing off / indulging in poor driving / loss of concentration and there's no one to point this out. Normal services (i.e not the special ones) seemed to have driver + conductor
I've generally seen two crew members on the specials to Kerala.So probably its the short routes with single drivers.


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Originally Posted by aroonanand View Post
Any other recommendations welcome, also waiting for Evacay to start Bangalore - CBE
Parveen travels has listed a Mercedes Benz service on the BLR-CBE Route. Hopefully, they'd be running by August.

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Lastly, was chatting up with a driver of Orange Travels when I was waiting for Hindusthan and he informed me that they are the only operator (after ABT stopped their services) that wash blankets after every journey and these are sealed in covers to prove they have been washed. He did point out to one such lot in the luggage compartment of the Chennai Scania service that he was to drive. How true is this claim?
Yes. Orange does clean their blankets after each ride. Each trip is sent out with double the number of blankets than the seating capacity. Some routes get even more blankets, if the bus gets sectional passengers.
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Old 31st July 2018, 02:09   #3960
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Took the UPSRTC Scania on the Delhi-Lucknow-Delhi route via Yamuna Expressway(YEW) and Agra-Lucknow Expressway(ALE) this weekend.

Delhi to Lucknow (11:30pm Departure - 8:00am Arrival):
  • Neat, clean Multi-axle Scania. The bus was new(looked new), departed Anand Vihar ISBT on time.
  • Did not stop anywhere between the 2 bus terminals in Delhi and Lucknow to pick up passengers. Bus was packed, left the terminal with full seats occupied. Ticket cost: 1,352/-.
  • First halt: Hie Five Dhaba on YEW. Stopped for 20 mins. Very filthy place.
  • Cruised at 80-90 kmph. Very well driven. In the middle lane, no honking, no sudden lane changes, no hard braking. 5/5 to the driver.
  • After the change of driver on the ALE, one of the rear tyres started loosing air. Stopped a couple of times to inspect the tyre. We stopped at an IOCL pump to check air pressure. Soon after exiting the emergency air strip - the driver took the bus on the by-lane. The same tyre which was loosing air was flat. Took 20 mins for the crew to change the tyre. Reached Lucknow an hour late.


Intercity Bus travel reviews-img_3860.jpg

Intercity Bus travel reviews-img_3862.jpg

Intercity Bus travel reviews-img_3863.jpg

Lucknow to Delhi (11:05pm Departure - 6:30am Arrival):
  • Dirty, old Scania (Single axle). Looked like that the bus was purchased from the himachal govt. It was a HP registered HRTC bus.
  • Very rashly driven. Not fast but rash. Sudden lane changes, tailgating, driving too close to the other vehicles.
  • It kept raining heavily for some 250 kms on the ALE. Visibility was poor. The last row had leaking water from the roof. Couple of passengers traveled next to the driver sitting on the floor.
  • No stops! I requested the driver to stop as my MIL wanted to go to the loo. He stopped at the toll on the Agra Link road which has no toilets.
  • Somewhere around 2:30 am I heard the reserve driver shouting "kaha jaraha hai, kaha jarahi hai" (Where are you going, where are you going) the bus was slowly moving towards the partition on the fast lane. I woke up after he swerved bus to the left back on the middle lane. It was violent. The driver had dosed off. He continued driving for the remainder of the journey.
  • Could not sleep at all. No stops taken. I understand that the facilities on the 300 km stretch on the ALE are not fully operational but they should have stopped at one of the three toilets.
  • Ticket costed 1,289/-.

Intercity Bus travel reviews-img_3924.jpg
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