Volvo B9R

deepam

Super User
Interstate bus industry appears to be in a downward spiral. The number of buses are decreasing on most routes and many big name operators are struggling . Even popular bus routes like Bangalore - Chennai , Bangalore Kochi etc is seeing poor occupancy levels these days . Couple of years back on a typical Friday evening there would be no less than 100 buses ( private) to Cochin. Now the number is hardly 60. I think high fuel prices with increased competition is to blame for this situation. Increase in car ownership has also dented the travel industry. 3 - 4 years back most of my friends use to take interstate Volvo buses to their home town but these days they prefer to drive down instead thanks to comfortable cars and good highways. I have started taking trains often these days for my bi weekly hometown(Thrissur) visits. Kochuveli Bangalore express after LHB coach upgrade is a very comfortable option for Kerala Bangalore Journey. For 900 bucks you can get a very comfortable berth in a 3 AC on a Sunday night while a Kesrtc non AC deluxe charges more than 700 rs. Private sleeper buses are upwards of 2k.
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Not only Interstate operators even local stage operators are struggling. They are moving from MCV to LCV chassis to keep floating.
Thanks to Diesel price being high; operators are struggling. When high fares are fixed on peak demand; we shout but we do not understand from operator point of view.
With increased in diesel prices, plus heavy taxation and offcourse toll. How can one survive?
This exam period will usually be slack period and we cannot expect crowd.
In general I am of the opinion that few tax amount on Diesel should be reversible as cash back for Transport [Lorry and Bus] and farmers.
 

moto143

Active Member
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Not only Interstate operators even local stage operators are struggling. They are moving from MCV to LCV chassis to keep floating.
Thanks to Diesel price being high; operators are struggling. When high fares are fixed on peak demand; we shout but we do not understand from operator point of view.
With increased in diesel prices, plus heavy taxation and offcourse toll. How can one survive?
This exam period will usually be slack period and we cannot expect crowd.
In general I am of the opinion that few tax amount on Diesel should be reversible as cash back for Transport [Lorry and Bus] and farmers.
Fuel prices especially diesel prices have become very expensive in last 2 to 3 years while the ticket prices have remained more or less the same. I often wonder how difficult it must be for small time operators to make some profit under the current situation..As you rightly said , even stage carriers are struggling. Some innovative solutions needs to be explored. I think electric vehicles are the future but considering the poor charging infrastructure, it would take another decade or two. I don't think govt will subsidize disesel since most countries are trying to reduce carbon footprint by reducing diesel consumption and I don't see India taking a different approach. Another factor that has hit interstate operators are the rising popularity of sleeper buses. Most customers these days are preferring sleeper buses over the traditional semi sleepers. Operators with multiple SVM semi sleeper buses are the most effected. Personally , I would anyday take a semi sleeper scania/Volvo over a sleeper bus.
 

dozerbull

Well-Known Member
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With increased in diesel prices, plus heavy taxation and offcourse toll. How can one survive?
This exam period will usually be slack period and we cannot expect crowd.
In general I am of the opinion that few tax amount on Diesel should be reversible as cash back for Transport [Lorry and Bus] and farmers.
Fuel prices especially diesel prices have become very expensive in last 2 to 3 years while the ticket prices have remained more or less the same. I often wonder how difficult it must be for small time operators to make some profit under the current situation..As you rightly said , even stage carriers are struggling. Some innovative solutions needs to be explored.
Like you both said the Pain is real for the operators. Being regularly travelled in ASIAN XPRESS the crew always discuss abt mileage. They say something like One driver did the trip with 225 lts while another driver did with 212 lts. I found that MSS, Bharathi Sleepers, Dreamliner Scania do normal speed. Only the brand new buses like Parveen b11r, Evacay b11r do 100+.
 

dozerbull

Well-Known Member
Chennai Bengaluru - Another experimental trip..by "KPN"

Got dropped near Biocon at 0425 hours. This journey turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Wasnt disappointed much as I had expectations set very low. Everything was typical of a "ageing/sinking KPN" the erstwhile trend setter in TN.
Actually KPN started to 'come back' with brand new SCANIA's in Chennai-Bangalore route. By the time they launched Hebron & Evacay Scanias were ruling this route. They operated for a month or two I believe. But the reception was Lukewarm. Though they decided to 'come back' Passengers are not interested to 'go back' to them.
 

deepam

Super User
Like you both said the Pain is real for the operators. Being regularly travelled in ASIAN XPRESS the crew always discuss abt mileage. They say something like One driver did the trip with 225 lts while another driver did with 212 lts. I found that MSS, Bharathi Sleepers, Dreamliner Scania do normal speed. Only the brand new buses like Parveen b11r, Evacay b11r do 100+.
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I remember discussion with KSRTC relatively young driver, according to him if one slots the gear at right rpm and if he maintains speed between 100-105 kmph the mileage will be same as driving at 80-85 kmph in Volvo B9R or B11R. Of course B11R is AMT, nothing driver has to do; but need to give right amount of throttle; which very few understand.
So I guess drivers of Evacay and Parveen B11R might have understood the speed spot to get good mileage.
It is really hats off to Asian Xpress management; they have maintained the buses and crew also should be given credit.
From what I read in these reviews for Chennai - Bangalore sector:
  1. Parveen
  2. Asian Xpress
  3. Evacay
Crew and management is responsible in maintaining the buses well.

Steadily Orange Travels has also increased their foot print in TN. I am not sure how the maintenance and timing of Orange Travels is in TN operated bus.
The next expansion seen is Morning Star Travels.
 

deepam

Super User
Chennai Bengaluru - Another experimental trip..by "KPN"

This trip was meant to be a drive as usual. However, a tiring sunday due to multiple personal commitments made me drop the plan of driving back to bangalore and take a bus. The fact that I cannot get my car out from my apartment for next few days (courtesy - road construction) made my decision easier. So there began the quest for bus tickets - post 1800 hours for night's journey. Not surprisingly, the fares were exorbitant (much higher than my anticipation). Normally, the usual reliable operators have atleast few seats in any of their services. This sunday was strange - majority of the reliable operators were full (KSRTC, SETC AC sleepers -3, Asian, Parveen, Hebron, Keralalines, Orange, Evacay), Second choice operators like National, DLT, VRL(purely my perception) had at the best one seat in the last row or full. I was in no mood to speed 2k to travel by Jabbar/Royal/Ishaa/etc for sharing berth with someone. What took me by surprise was how Hebron had withdrawn all its buses other than two!! Not a good news from one of the reliable operators on this route. I was left between choosing operators with varying degree of unreliability or drive myself. KPN had 42 seats vacant in their Volvo multi axle ( aged run down machine), few berths in their AC sleeper (would have booked had it been their new Prakash Vega or MG) and few in their non AC sleeper. Finally convinced myself to book in their run down volvo (probably the first set of B9Rs). Since most left rows were blocked for ladies, chose the first row left (vacant) and chose to board at their MMDA office. I reached the boarding point well before the schedule departure of 2230 hours. A run down B9R bearing the number KA01AB9997 was parked there and I knew that would be the bus for me. Boarding was announced sometime close to 2230 and about 15 passengers boarded. The ageing of the beast was visible - Stock headlamps changed, odo reading over 12lac kms, Brake failure alarm displayed althrough the journey. Seats were torn, shawl was dirty, AC vent was broken and handrest was broken. Thankfully the recline worked. The driver and attendant both were grumpy. Passengers were asked to carry their luggage inside the bus and were not allowed to leave it in the storage. All these were kind of dejavu!!!. Left for Koyembedu on time (surprised), waded through the traffic and took left for omni bus stand near Rohini complex. There was jam outside the omni bus stand and it took a good 15 minustes to reach KPN office. The boarding was swift - all but one passenger of seat 37 didnt turn up. Crew made frantic calls and waited. The moron turned up at 2325hours and the driver gave him a piece of mind. The attendant had to open the storage belly as the passenger had a huge suitcase with him. As the bus exited the bus stand, there was this errant drunk passenger who came to driver and started quarreling about the new passenger occupying his seat. The crew surprisingly were polite with him, however the drunk moron created ruckus forcing the crew to deboard him from the bus. The drunkard manhandled the crew and abused resulting in provocation and blows by the crew. finally he was left in street lying down and the bus left by 0000 hours. Post this the drive was pretty smooth except for some heavy honking within the city limits. Got dropped near Biocon at 0425 hours. This journey turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Wasnt disappointed much as I had expectations set very low. Everything was typical of a "ageing/sinking KPN" the erstwhile trend setter in TN.
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Do not take me offended; we all say that KPN is operating an old B9R & you experienced driver and attendant were grumpy.
I guess this where I believe difference between KPN and VRL or SRS; be it an aged bus VRL and SRS maintain the bus pretty well. This is my experience in the buses I have traveled so far and I have never traveled in KPN [my opinion is formed by the reviews I have read].
2-3 years back when I had travelled in VRL B9R the bus already had done 13.5 lac km; driver was really happy with the bus and he was maintaining 100 kmph on 2 lane road. Apart from Mechanical; the interiors of VRL were mint fresh. For my wife it was first journey by VRL B9R and she was surprised to see the way interior conditions were fresh!
Driver was saying sir, this bus is old but never has broken on road for them. As they have always reached as schedule. Be it new or old bus; I guess this is very much important factor for the crew.
If the bus breakdowns frequently then it irritates the crew too.
My thought: The general ambiance & mechanical condition of the bus also affects crew's performance & reflects in their behaviour.
 

Haldex

Active Member
Hi Everyone,

I need a suggestion / favor, need a morning service bus from Chennai to Bangalore but drop point is shantinagar (Ksrtc/Bmtc) bus stand. How far is majestic from shantinagar bus stand. Need your valuable suggestions please.
 

binaiks

Well-Known Member
Hi Everyone,

I need a suggestion / favor, need a morning service bus from Chennai to Bangalore but drop point is shantinagar (Ksrtc/Bmtc) bus stand. How far is majestic from shantinagar bus stand. Need your valuable suggestions please.
If you want a guaranteed Shantinagar drop, the only option is KSRTC. If you take a bus via Chittoor, they might drop at Majestic itself.

Majority of the private operators close their trip at Madiwala itself. National goes towards Majestic, for sure.

Shantinagar to Majestic is about 5kms, should take anywhere between 15-45 minutes depending on the time of the day.
 

Haldex

Active Member
If you want a guaranteed Shantinagar drop, the only option is KSRTC. If you take a bus via Chittoor, they might drop at Majestic itself.

Majority of the private operators close their trip at Madiwala itself. National goes towards Majestic, for sure.

Shantinagar to Majestic is about 5kms, should take anywhere between 15-45 minutes depending on the time of the day.

Thanks a ton binaiks Ji.
 
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