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Old 3rd February 2021, 13:08   #4036
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

This thread has gone quiet and expectedly so, because of the inter state travel restrictions.
Not sure if the South Indian routes have opened up once again or is it only the state transport companies that are currently operating.

Do the experts here have any inside knowledge about how these big companies like KPN, Kallada, VRL, SRS etc are holding up in the face of this sudden drop in business. The first two specifically relied on passenger transport, while VRL had a bigger share of their revenue coming from their cargo operations. SRS must've got a double blow too given their Corporate pick-up drop facilities with IT majors must've also come to a halt. This is a highly capital intensive sector and relying heavily on cash flows to meet their monthly debt servicing.

I hope these companies are able to tide over this difficult time and find a way around to sustain in this field. Or else, we will see new operators coming up in the short term. Anyway, whatever happens, the dynamics of this game have changed in the last year.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 14:32   #4037
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by autotranny View Post
This thread has gone quiet and expectedly so, because of the inter state travel restrictions.
Not sure if the South Indian routes have opened up once again or is it only the state transport companies that are currently operating.

Do the experts here have any inside knowledge about how these big companies like KPN, Kallada, VRL, SRS etc are holding up in the face of this sudden drop in business. The first two specifically relied on passenger transport, while VRL had a bigger share of their revenue coming from their cargo operations. SRS must've got a double blow too given their Corporate pick-up drop facilities with IT majors must've also come to a halt. This is a highly capital intensive sector and relying heavily on cash flows to meet their monthly debt servicing.

I hope these companies are able to tide over this difficult time and find a way around to sustain in this field. Or else, we will see new operators coming up in the short term. Anyway, whatever happens, the dynamics of this game have changed in the last year.
Some private operators have resumed their services. Passenger patronage is really poor, and some operators stopped after restarting. The vehicles do not recover the cost of operations in many circumstances.

Contrary to your post, both Kallada and KPN had substantial revenue from logistics operations. I am not sure of KPN's present status, but Kallada resumed logistics operations soon after lockdown was lifted, and recently restarted bus operations as well.

Transport Industry is in terrible shape due to poor passenger patronage. With more people working from home, the number of passengers in interstate routes came down very heavily - it will take a fairly long time for this industry to return to normalcy.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 16:23   #4038
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Some private operators have resumed their services. Passenger patronage is really poor, and some operators stopped after restarting. The vehicles do not recover the cost of operations in many circumstances.
Popular bus routes originating from Mumbai towards Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa, some parts of Maharashtra are seeing healthy demand. The AC Sleeper services are a hit amongst the travellers, preferred mainly due to enhanced privacy and perceived more social distance norms' adherence vis-a-vis Railways. Renowned Operators like Neeta, SRS, Shreenathji, Eagle Falcon, Patel, Paulo, Hans etc are seeing good occupancy, making brisk business and good money on these sectors.

One trend coming out is a lot many players are now operating Bharat-Benz buses. Many routes which previously had Scanias and Mercedes-Benz's (Mum - Ahmedabad, Mum - Goa, Mum - Udaipur) are being replaced by Bharat Benz buses.

Folks familiar with this - any comments on why are we seeing a sudden increase in Bharat Benz buses?

Quote:
Transport Industry is in terrible shape due to poor passenger patronage. With more people working from home, the number of passengers in interstate routes came down very heavily - it will take a fairly long time for this industry to return to normalcy.
Agreed. Tourism and liesure travel seems to be the only means to get the crippled bus sector back to it's pre-covid levels.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 16:56   #4039
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I too am curious to know about it. I have been following Bangalore-Mangalore-Kundapura route. Almost all the operators are back in the business. But with limited number of buses. The occupancy level is low and pricing also low. I wonder what will happen to all the buses still parked. An how will they service the debt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by autotranny View Post
This thread has gone quiet and expectedly so, because of the inter state travel restrictions.
Not sure if the South Indian routes have opened up once again or is it only the state transport companies that are currently operating.

Do the experts here have any inside knowledge about how these big companies like KPN, Kallada, VRL, SRS etc are holding up in the face of this sudden drop in business. The first two specifically relied on passenger transport, while VRL had a bigger share of their revenue coming from their cargo operations. SRS must've got a double blow too given their Corporate pick-up drop facilities with IT majors must've also come to a halt. This is a highly capital intensive sector and relying heavily on cash flows to meet their monthly debt servicing.

I hope these companies are able to tide over this difficult time and find a way around to sustain in this field. Or else, we will see new operators coming up in the short term. Anyway, whatever happens, the dynamics of this game have changed in the last year.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 17:39   #4040
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by jigar1791@gmail View Post
Popular bus routes originating from Mumbai towards Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa, some parts of Maharashtra are seeing healthy demand. The AC Sleeper services are a hit amongst the travellers, preferred mainly due to enhanced privacy and perceived more social distance norms' adherence vis-a-vis Railways. Renowned Operators like Neeta, SRS, Shreenathji, Eagle Falcon, Patel, Paulo, Hans etc are seeing good occupancy, making brisk business and good money on these sectors.
Occupancy levels in the West and Northern parts of the country seemed to have picked up well. Even intra-state travel in Karnataka seems to be going well. However, interstate routes down south are largely struggling. Many operators came back - but operate only limited number of services.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigar1791@gmail View Post
One trend coming out is a lot many players are now operating Bharat-Benz buses. Many routes which previously had Scanias and Mercedes-Benz's (Mum - Ahmedabad, Mum - Goa, Mum - Udaipur) are being replaced by Bharat Benz buses.

Folks familiar with this - any comments on why are we seeing a sudden increase in Bharat Benz buses?
BharatBenz seems to be having an excellent sales team. The overall ride quality is better - not a fair comparison, since we compare a BB bus with full air suspension, with Leyland/Tata that gets only rear air-suspension (Front gets Waveller suspension). Although Ley/TML also offer full air-suspension, operators usually skip this option.

BharatBenz buses have a special brand value - the "Benz" part of it really sells well. Operators charge a little higher for these buses as compared to Ley/TML buses. Its cheaper to acquire and operate these front engine buses as compared to rear engine options - hence there is a love for these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adithya.kp View Post
I too am curious to know about it. I have been following Bangalore-Mangalore-Kundapura route. Almost all the operators are back in the business. But with limited number of buses. The occupancy level is low and pricing also low. I wonder what will happen to all the buses still parked. An how will they service the debt.
Most of the traditional operators on that route use their buses for 7-8 years before disposing. The older buses would've finished their loan period. So, if they operate limited number of buses - just enough to service debt of the newer vehicles, they'd be able to survive. Probably that is what is happening now.
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Old 4th February 2021, 15:56   #4041
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Amidst the pandemic season, made a couple of intercity trips from Mangalore to Trichur (Kerala) on the Madhavi Travels AC sleeper (route : Kanhangad-Ernakulam).
3 times, got the same bus. The bus was superb (Veera V7 sleeper) also having a unique design where the back of the backrest on berth is scooped inside for extra legspace. Means around 6 feet tall person can fit comfortably (except the last row). They provide bedsheet and pillows (blankets on demand I think)
Bus is maintained in the best condition with really friendly staff and office agents. Driving is sleep friendly (with few rash overtakes)
3 times, reached Trichur before 4am (departure : 8pm Kanhangad). Overall an excellent operator and good bus on the route.
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Old 9th February 2021, 13:02   #4042
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Another reason why are not picking up is because trains are easily available, I did think about Chennai Kochi recently but buses like YBM /Surya Connect were selling at 1.5 K. III A/C @ 1100 was readily available.

Karnataka SRTC seems to have restarted Bangalore Kochi. Tami Nadu to Kerala inter state operations have not started for the government RTCs.
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Old 10th February 2021, 10:59   #4043
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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Another reason why are not picking up is because trains are easily available, I did think about Chennai Kochi recently but buses like YBM /Surya Connect were selling at 1.5 K. III A/C @ 1100 was readily available.
I see Surya Connect BB buses routinely these days - are they a KL based operator ? I see 2 buses of their at Thrissur, one takes the Flyover to Guruvayur Road, possibly towards Calicut and another going towards Palakkad. I also remember some report about one of their buses meeting with an accident last month.
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Old 10th February 2021, 13:15   #4044
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

No idea about Surya Connect. But I regularly see one of the buses pass Aluva between 6 and and 7 AM. Orange (non AC) and YBM , Rahaath are other operators I see.

KSRTC (Karnataka) is operating Volvos both from Bangalore and Mysore to Ernakulam.

I stay near the highway (the old NH 47). So quite a few opportunities to bus spot on my morning walk.
Another regular is Kerala SRTCs Guruvayoor-Chengannur Super Fast of the Guruvayoor depot. Also after their latest rescheduling ,Kerala SRTC has a Kozhikode to Trivandrum JnuRM volvo also passing by at that time of the day

And our Kochi Metro dutifully and very conscientiously continue to burn tax payers money operating virtually empty feeder buses between Aluva Metro station and Kochi airport. The average occupancy appears to be 2 passengers and trips running totally empty is the norm rather than the exception.

Last edited by TKMCE : 10th February 2021 at 13:16.
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Old 10th February 2021, 19:46   #4045
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Another reason why are not picking up is because trains are easily available, I did think about Chennai Kochi recently but buses like YBM /Surya Connect were selling at 1.5 K. III A/C @ 1100 was readily available.

Karnataka SRTC seems to have restarted Bangalore Kochi. Tami Nadu to Kerala inter state operations have not started for the government RTCs.
Occupancy in trains is not great either. The number of passengers is really low, and will continue to be low until the IT companies start calling back their employees to office (which, I think, is a long way off)

Quote:
Originally Posted by autotranny View Post
I see Surya Connect BB buses routinely these days - are they a KL based operator ? I see 2 buses of their at Thrissur, one takes the Flyover to Guruvayur Road, possibly towards Calicut and another going towards Palakkad. I also remember some report about one of their buses meeting with an accident last month.
Yes. It is an Aluva based operator. They do not have regular services to Calicut - That could be a special service, probably. They presently operate only two routes - Ernakulam to Chennai and Ernakulam to Bangalore. They had a Trivandrum-Ooty service, which doesn't seem to be operational now.
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Old 10th February 2021, 20:45   #4046
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Did a recent trip from Hyderabad to Ujire and back.
Onward Journey was by SRS Travels from Hyderabad to Bangalore in the 1130 hours Hyderabad Bangalore Mangalore Manipal service, Bangalore to Ujire by the KSRTC non ac sleeper, Ujire to State Bank (Mangalore) by a limited stop Sarige Service, and finally Mangalore to Hyderabad by KSRTC Ambaari Dream Class service.

SRS Travels journey was relatively comfortable - the bus was full with blue collared worked traveling from Bhopal to Mangalore. They changed buses in Hyderabad, and took this service to Mangalore. Against an advertised arrival time of 2030 hours at Ananda Rao circle, we pulled in an hour late, by 2150. No water bottle and blankets were given in the bus, and thankfully enough no video was also played in the bus.

The next segment from Bangalore to Ujire was a breeze, with plenty of buses at the KSRTC departure terminal, and hardly any takers. I found a non ac sleeper, and the conductor literally welcomed me into the bus, and gave me a whole lower two seat bay to sleep. Apart from me and 5 other pax, and the driver and conductor, not a soul was there in the bus. I had a peaceful sleep and got off at UJIRE by 0530 hours.

After finishing my darshan at the lovely Sadasiva Rudra temple, I came back to UJIRE and took a Dharmasthala - State Bank(Mangalore) KSRTC SARIGE bus, which was pretty full with an ample amount of standees. We started at around 0900 hours and after a couple of hours ride through the lush green Dakshina Kannada environs, I reached Mangalore by 1145 hours.

The last segment was in the AIravat Dream class Service from Mangalore to Hyderabad departing Mangalore by 1500 hours. I had booked the last single lower berth, and had quite a challenge sitting down on the berth, due to reduced head room. Luckily the last two Upper berths were empty, and i shifted there towards night time to get a sound sleep.
It was a pleasing sight to cruise parallel to the Arabian sea in the Marvanthe section and I also noted that the bus did not take the detour to Manipal to pick up Pax, and proceeded directly to Kundapura from Udupi. We stopped enroute before Bhatkal for tea break, and after Ankola at around 2130 hours for dinner.

I had a blissful sleep, and got up at 0500 hours when the bus reached Raichur bus stand. We then rejoined NH44 near Boothpur (there was a lot of tossing and turning thanks to the pathetic section between Raichur and Mehboobnagar). We stopped for morning tea, coffee near Boothpur, and finally pulled into Hyderabad MGBS by around 0930 am, a full hour behind schedule.
To sum it up the Airavat Ambari dream class journey was comfortable, however please refrain from traveling in the last lower berth/upper berth unless you have no other choice.. Space is seriously cramped in the last bay.
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Old 11th February 2021, 10:07   #4047
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To sum it up the Airavat Ambari dream class journey was comfortable, however please refrain from traveling in the last lower berth/upper berth unless you have no other choice.. Space is seriously cramped in the last bay.

The last berth, be it upper or lower, in any Sleeper bus - Volvo/Merc/Scania/Bharat Benz and so on, are never to be preferred unless you have got no other option.

Reason being (as stated by the crew of a Scania Sleeper during my return from Rajkot to Mumbai)- the suspension weighs up firmly at the rear, the engine is situated under-slung at the rear end of the bus (apart from Bharat Benz buses) and the rear axles being placed just below the last couple berths - makes the rear berth more prone to unwanted lateral movements and a stiff ride, plus the Gravity pulls are maximum at the rear (brakes are on the rear axles).
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Old 2nd March 2021, 18:01   #4048
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I am wondering how are these operators surviving nowadays . How this long lull is going to impact the vehicles. How are they meeting the repayment of loans.
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Old 26th May 2021, 18:52   #4049
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One of the stalwarts of the South India Bus industry, KT Rajasekhar (78) founder and managing director of SRS Travels & Logistics, died on Friday (May 21). He came from a humble background, but went onto become one of the largest Bus fleet owners in the country (I believe they had more buses than VRL - though, not sure).

Lot of senior executives from Volvo, Scania, Eicher etc. recount how he was always a calm and composed presence and a thorough gentleman, who loved spending time at his office, adjacent to SRS' yard/booking office in Bangalore. He used to be seen interacting regularly with his drivers, cleaners and other staff, lending a patient ear to everyone.
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Old 10th July 2021, 19:58   #4050
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There are 8 services now from Bangalore to Jodhpur. At about 36-38 hours, it's one insanely long journey. Who is the route aimed at? And is there any particular reason that these ultra long routes are mainly between Bangalore and Rajasthan? Don't find Bangalore to some other states for example.
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