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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

VRL Volvo experience

VRL Volvo (click here to book online)

I have travelled on the VRL Volvo quite a few times now
1) Belgaum-Mumbai route
2) Davanagere-Pune route.
3) Bangalore-Mumbai route

The Belgaum-Mumbai route was done way back in May 2007 and I dont remember much. I was travelling with my better half and luckily we managed to get seat No 1 & 2, which meant we could straighten our legs and sleep comfortably. The booking was done at a VRL outlet in Belgaum, and the guy did it online (as compared to other booking agents using the good old telephone system) All along the journey, one of the VRL employee, got down around 4-5 times at the local VRL offices with a register in his hand. May be VRL keeps a track on the timings of the buses crossing the cities. Good thing! This was a semi-sleeper Volvo, which basically means that there is leg support and the seats recline a lot. Overall, a comfortable journey...

The second time was in July 2007 end for Davanagere to Pune (around 560km) I made a booking on the Bangalore-Mumbai Volvo and the ticket cost me Rs 900! Although the ticket for the entire journey is Rs 1000, they charge 900 for Davanagere-Pune, which is like just 560kms or so! I again got seat No1 and so was happy. But what I didnt appreciate was that I had to wait for like 45mins. The bus was running late. The least the office could do was spend 2 bucks to make a call to me and inform me about the delay. If that wasnt enough, the bus made a dinner stop next to the office. So, actually, I had to wait for a good 1.5 hours at the office. This was a big disappointment. The journey was comfortable after this. We left Davanagere at around 11pm, and reached Pune Swargate by 8:30am.

On 14th August, I took a normal Ashok Leyland 2*2 VRL bus from Davanagere to Bangalore. The distance is around 275kms, and the ticket was for Rs 220 (quite expensive for a non A/C Indian bus). I was unfortunate to get the rear most seat. The road till Chitradurga is quite bad and trust me, I had a nightmare that night. We left Davanagere at 11pm, arrived in Bangalore by 5:15am. There is a HUGE difference in the way a passenger feels in a normal Indian bus as compared to a Volvo. Vibrations, noise, slow speed, comfort etc, everything matters.

I also took a Bangalore - Mumbai VRL Volvo in October first week. 1020kms /18hrs in a bus? Yeah, things are different in a Volvo. The long distance VRL buses (or for that matter Sharma Volvos) are 41 seaters / 10rows (the Mumbai-Pune Neetas are 53seats / 13rows). This means one can really stretch the legs and sleep / seat comfortably. We left Bangalore at around 4:15pm, literally flew to Davanagere. Enroute we had a puncture, so the bus arrived at around 9:45pm, instead of the usual 9:00pm. The 260km distance takes less than 6hrs usually (getting out of bangalore along takes an hour!). After a dinner stop at Davanagere, we left at around 10:30pm, reaching Pune by around 7am, and Vashi (new mumbai) by around 10:30am. Nice journey, very comfortable, next to no vibrations and noise. Volvos rock!

You can also log onto for booking the tickets online


ramanan said...

Yes, it is true, in VRL, SHARMA's Long distance VOLVO buses, we have plenty of leg space for comfortable sleep/seating. I had travelled by VRL from Bangalore on 27.1.2008 by 8.30 pm VOLVO bus, boarded near Bangalore station , after coming out of the city it stopped for a dinner at around 1.30 pm and the next stop we had around in a remote small village like hotel. where we had our breakfast and warm-up and after that no stopping, straight to pune around 11.30 am , that also some official matters near their office and left immediately , and reached chembur diamond garden around 2.45pm and I reached my residence at Mulund around 3.30pm by auto from Chembur. VRL services are very puncutal, their staffs are very decent , friendly, neat and clean like SHARMA's. Except these two Bus operators, I don't like any others on this Mumbai-Bangalore-Mumbai route

. said...

U might have stopped at VRL's Kolhapur campus for breakfast at 8. The bus takes around 3 hours to get to Pune from there.

sunil said...

vrl volvo experience

i have travelled in vrl mumbai bangalore route for over 30 times including in non volvo buses... thier services are very gud sometimes are not so gud as i feel they are bit slow when compared to other buses.. one thing i like about them is friendly staff.and ya they dnt pickup passengers in between like other buses when there are few empty seats they fill in passengers who show their hands in higway and make money... but whenver i have travelled they have completed the journey within 18hrs from mumbai to bangalore and viceversa... so i recommend vrl to alll...cheeeeeeeeers