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Friday, December 26, 2008

APSRTC to use Mercedes Benz buses

The recently introduced Mercedes Benz buses will now be used by the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation.

Hyderabad Dec 26 : Passengers can hope to travel long distance in the luxury of Mercedes Benz buses to be introduced by the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) soon. APSRTC officials said that for starters a Mercedes Benz bus would be test-driven for 45 days in the state. Based on its performance, the corporation will place an order for procuring a few MB buses.

During the test period, APSRTC will ply the bus and collect regular ticket fare from passengers. "Except fuel, there is nothing the corporation has to bear during the test period. The 45-seater vehicle will be given to the corporation with insurance," a senior APSRTC official said. Similarly, 17 new luxury buses (10 Luxura and seven Serita vehicles) would be introduced in addition to the existing 100 Garuda buses for high-end passengers. A high-end Tata 1623 will also hit the roads before the second week of January.

"The difference between new buses and the existing Garuda fleet is that the passenger will have more legroom and more space in the aisle. The driver will also have more comfortable place to run the vehicle," the official said. The corporation has formulated plans to run these luxury shuttle services buses between Hyderabad and Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Banglore and Tirupati and from Vijayawada to coastal Andhra.

SOURCE: Tollywoodglitz


Mercedes Benz buses come to India

Mercedes Benz bus crash in India

Monday, December 15, 2008

India Gets First AC Bus Stop!

Bus passengers in Bengaluru can now look forward to a pleasant experience while waiting for buses. Bharti Airtel has launched India’s first ever air-conditioned bus shelter in Bengaluru city in association with BIG Street, a subsidiary of Reliance BIG Entertainment Limited. B.E. Govindaraju, joint commissioner (advertisement and markets), Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), inaugurated the bus shelter.
The Airtel air-conditioned bus shelter is situated on the pavement diagonally opposite to Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium and is adjacent to the pavement near Cubbon Park entrance (Kasturba road). With dimensions of approximately 25x8 ft, it can accommodate 20 people at a time and will be manned by a uniformed guard.

On the occasion, Venkatesh V, CEO, mobile services, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Karnataka, said, "Airtel has always been the first when it comes to offering innovative services to customers - be it path-breaking services like Hello Tunes, BlackBerry or the iPhone. On the communication front, the first-of-its-kind Airtel Rajdhani Express and this Airtel air-conditioned bus shelter, which is India's first ever such bus shelter are two such examples of our innovative initiatives."

“Our endeavour in Big Street is to enrich people’s lives out of home. We undertook the initiative of providing AC bus shelter to the citizens of Bengaluru, and we are delighted to have Airtel partner with us. The launch of this first-of-its kind bus shelter in the country marks the beginning of many other innovative solutions that we will be offering,” quipped Rabe Iyer, head, BIG Street.

Volvo launches signature series B9R

Sunday, December 14, 2008

REDBUS mentions travelbyvolvo!!

It is indeed a great honor for this blog. We have been mentioned by India's leading online website for booking bus tickets,
In their latest newsletter, which was sent to all the operators with which they deal, REDBUS mentioned the poll we have been carrying at our blog (there is a new poll now too - please VOTE)

Here is the newsletter that they sent out..

Volume no#: O11208

redBus - News update – Bus tickets online

Dear Mr. [[Bus operator Name]],

We would like to thank you and [[Travels name]] for being a part of the redBus’ successful growth story. This is a short letter that will tell you the latest news about all that we are doing to increase business.

redBus increases its distribution

[[Travels name]] tickets at Post Offices

India Post, Karnataka, tied up with redBus to sell bus tickets through their e-enabled centers. It is prestigious for us to have a tie-up with such a well-known institution. Now [[Travels name]] bus tickets will be available at India Post offices.

[[Travels name]] tickets on Mobile

There are over 220,000,000 mobile users in India. This tells us how big mobile is as a medium. [[Travels name]] bus tickets are can now be booked over the mobile phone! Customers can simply SMS redBus to 543219 and start the booking process.

redBus customer’s quotes

This is an excellent service with a variety of payment options. Very good customer support and very well organized as well as easy to use portal. What else does a customer require!!! Excellent job people. – (Sameer Sharma, HCL, Gurgaon)

Thanks to It is a very good facility. – (Chittayya Yadav, Eenadu, Hyderabad)

redBus booking is one of the great facility to the public in Bangalore. It’s a very good facility for online booking for buses. redBus internet system is one of the best. Even cancellation is very good. Great job by redBus management. Keep it up.” (Deepesh, Bangalore)

Best site to book online bus tickets. Easy navigation. – (Vijay K, Infosys, Bangalore)

Industry news & research

A website ( conducted a survey to find out how many customers would be willing to travel from Mumbai to Delhi by bus. Below are the results:

We look forward to an excellent travel season ahead.

Yours sincerely,

Phanindra Sama



Please note that the poll has been updated since. Vote what you feel (there are two polls down, scroll down to see the new one).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

KSRTC Volvo: Mangalore to Udipi

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has decided to operate 10 Volvo buses from Mangalore to Manipal.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, Minister for Transport R. Ashok said that the Government would not give into the private bus operators’ lobby in Mangalore and if everything went according to the plan, KSRTC buses would operate between Mangalore and Manipal before the New Year. A team had been deployed to study the number of private buses operating between Mangalore and Manipal. Since there was a stiff competition from private bus operators in the district, the bus fare would be highly competitive, he said.

To end the monopoly of private bus operators, the corporation had prepared a plan to launch city services in Mangalore city limits. Depending on the public response and performance of the buses, a decision would be taken to augment the operations, he said.

He said KSRTC would submit applications to the Regional Transport Authority seeking permits. KSRTC had gained substantial ground on routes such as Mangalore-B.C. Road, Mangalore-Puttur, Mangalore-Uppinangadi and Mangalore-Dharmasthala, which were dominated by private bus operators.

A study by KSRTC had identified some routes on which buses could be introduced, the number of buses required for each route, the number of personnel and the infrastructure required, he said.

Asked about the opposition to the operation of KSRTC buses in Dakshina Kannada, the Minister said that he had consulted his party colleagues and Ministers in the Cabinet. “Let me see the response from the public to our services in Mangalore,” Mr. Ashok said.



Signature series Volvo B9R
Book your Volvo ticket online NOW

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Volvo launches Signature series B9R (9400 6x2) bus

KOCHI: The Volvo on Thursday launched a special edition of the Volvo Ocean Race signature series - Volvo B9R 9400 - at the race village.The special edition bus was launched in connection with the Race. The company is planning to launch 80-100 buses in this series in the coming year.The company is planning to sell a total of 425 Volvo buses by the end of this year.Among this, 40 buses are in the multi-axle series.``The company is planning to sell 450 buses in 2009. Out of these, 80-100 buses will be in the multi-axle series,’’ said Akash Passeey, managing director of the Volvo Buses India Private Limited.He said that in the multiaxle category, 20 buses have already been delivered and the remaining will be out soon. The special edition buses launched in connection with the Race are priced at Rs 85 lakh. Theses buses will be available at the same price for one month in Kerala, he said.The Volvo has given training to 8,000 drivers across the country to handle these buses.The special edition buses have a number of specialties, including 340 hp engine, electronic braking system and added seating capacity. ``The electronic braking system ensures safety for passengers and drivers. There is an onboard computer display providing data for drivers,’’ he said.Answering a question, he said that the company was working out reduction in the cost due to the 4 percent decrease in Excise Duty.``Approximately Rs 50,000 will be reduced with the excise duty reduction. We are still working over it,’’ he said.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Specially designed bus for Maradona has a crack

Kolkata: The West Bengal government’s promise for a four-tier security for Diego Maradona appears to have a serious loophole even before his arrival in the city. The bus that has been specially designed to ferry Maradona from Kolkata airport to the hotel, has got a crack on its windshield. The bus is supposed to have bullet-proof glass all around. So, how come there was a crack in the bullet-proof glass?

The bus was kept at the Kidderpore tram depot where the fault was detected. The organisers tried damage control by putting on multi-colour tapes on the crack and were caught by some TV crews.

Surprisingly, state sports minister Subhas Chakraborty appeared nonchalant when asked about this at a press conference at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club (CSJC) this evening. “It’s nothing serious. Even if a crack is detected it will be repaired properly and the bus will be there at the airport to receive Maradona. The alternative arrangement, a Sedan, will be used only if Maradona refuses to board the bus,” Chakraborty said.

Meanwhile, some of city’s top industrialists like Sanjib Goenka, Harsh Neotia are going to have an opportunity to shake the ‘Hand of God’ at a dinner on Saturday night. The dinner that will be hosted by the events management company Celebrity Management Group (CMG), will see the presence of the Chakraborty and Kolkata mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya as well.

“We have sent invitations to all sports organisations in the city as also to all political parties including the leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Partha Chatterjee,” Chakraborty said.

Asked about the presence of eminent sports personalities like Sourav Ganguly during Maradona’s felicitation at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan (YBK), he said: “We have sent invitations to all of them. But I don’t know who will be present.”

Union external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate Maradona’s felicitation programme at the YBK and the soccer legend will be requested to start off the exhibition match there. Before the match, the players from both teams will be introduced to Maradona. The sports minister said there would 100 additional buses for the spectators from the YBK.



Untrained driver drives the VOLVO

VRL pune to bangalore service

Book your Volvo ticket online NOW

Monday, December 1, 2008

KSRTC's untrained driver drives the Volvo bus!

BY:T L Prasanna Venkatesan

I was to board the KSRTC Meghadoota service on the 27th of November at the Shanthinagar bus stand in Bangalore to Chennai. The bus that was scheduled to start at 10:17 PM, did not arrive at the bus stop till 11:00 PM. The bus that managed to arrive so late from the depot had mechanical problems.

The driver reported that the bus could not pick up speed and possibly not go beyond third gear. Apart from this, the bus also had very bad air conditioning, which added to the frustration and fury of the passengers.

The angry passengers demanded that the conductor give it in writing about the condition of the bus and also regarding the late arrival, so that action could be taken against the concerned through the Consumer Court. The conductor, who was not ready to do so, directed the driver to drive the bus back to Majestic bus stand.

It was 12:00 AM by now, and the passengers were stranded at the main bus stand.

While the depot manager, the only living creature at the Majestic bus stand at that hour, managed to approve the use of a higher class service bus for this journey, but another problem reared its head- the driver had no experience of driving a Volvo bus. Hence the driver had to have a practice session at the bus stand. The driver, who was ecstatic about handling a new Volvo, confidently agreed to drive us to Chennai.

Thus, that day the passengers united for a common cause, and proved that a voice raised by all of us together can jolt the officials into action and force them to provide better services to the public.

Source: Citizen matters

My point here is : Isnt it a policy of Volvo that only Volvo trained drivers can drive a Volvo bus in India? Comments please... In the meantime, click HERE to book your VOLVO tickets online

Thursday, November 27, 2008

VRL Pune to Bangalore Volvo service

I have taken VRL volvo buses on earlier occasions (Read HERE and HERE).
I am taking the 5pm VRL volvo from Pune (the Pune-Bangalore serive, newly started, Rs 945) today in sometime for Bangalore. Seat no is 3, though i would have loved to get seat No 1 (right behind the driver). I will update this post once i reach Bangalore tomm morning..

The VRL bus left sharp at 5pm - on time, from their office near Swargate. We were just 19 passengers (may be it was a weekday, thats why...). We hit the new Katraj bypass at 5:25pm, stopping for a ten minute tea break at 5:55pm. The next stop was somewhere after Satara to pick up three passengers.
We reached outskirts of Kolhapur at the VRL campus at 8:45pm. That is 215km in 3hr 45min including three stops (fuel,snacks,passengers - 20min). 215km in 205min is quite good.

We stopped for dinner before Belgaum for 25min, but the bus entered Belgaum for some reason, thus wasting 15min! After Belgaum, i went to tbe back of the bus to sleep properly, not before using my GPS test device to see how fast the bus was going. The driver kept the bus around the 90km/h mark (true speed, probably around 95 on the speedometer). A high of 108km/h (true speed according to my test device) was achieved on a downhill.

I slept after that, waking up when the bad roads started near Haveri. We reached the outskirts of Bangalore at around 6:45am - the bad roads, i guess construction work going on. I got off at Anand rao circle at 7:45am

So, basically a 830km trip in less than 15hours. If u take out the stops (snacks,fuel,passengers,dinner,belgaum), that will be 830km in 13.5 hours or an avg driving speed of 62km/h. This can surely improve if the roads are repaired in parts of Karnataka.

Today, i take the night VRL non-volvo bus to Davanagere, 265km from here.

Till then, see the new Swaraj Mazda-Isuzu luxury bus HERE
To book your Volvo bus ticket, click HERE

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Swaraj Mazda Isuzu LT 1 Bus


Swaraj showcased their luxury buses at the Auto Expo. The bus, with an Isuzu engine, is now being used by various operators including KSRTC and Sree Kaleshwari travels.

It no where looks as good as the new Volvo B9R, B7R or the Mercedes buses, but still is a value buy. Here are the specification of the bus


Swaraj Mazda Isuzu LT 1 Bus Engine Specifications

Model 6 Hk1-TC EURO-III Compliant Rear Engine
Type Four Cycle, 6 Cylinders, OHC(over head cam) Direct Injection, Water Cooled Turbo Charger with Inter Cooler & EGR
Displacement (cc) 7790
Max. Power 230 PS @ 2500 RPM

Type 24 volts
Battery 2 Nos 12 V, 150 AH
Alternator 24V, 110A

Cushioned Single Plate, Dry, Hydraulically Controlled, Air assisted.
7 Forward 1 Reverse, Synchromesh with overdrive

Front Axle Reverse Elliot”I” Beam Section
Rear Axle Full Floating

Type Power Steering, Re Circulating Ball Type with Hydraulic Booster

Front Air Suspension with 2 Bellows
Rear Air Suspension with 4 Bellows

Service Brakes
Full Air, Dual Circuit, S-Cam Type with Auto Slack Adjuster
Parking Brakes Spring Actuator on Rear Wheels, Failsafe
Exhaust Brakes
Electro-Pneumatic with butterfly Value in Exhaust pipe. Inter Locking Actuator for exhaust Brake & Foot Brake with canceling switch
ABS Provided
Retarder Provided

Wheels 10 Stud Wheel Discs
Nos .of Tyres 7(including 1 Spare Tyre)
Size 11-R22.5-14 P R (BS)

Capacity 280 Ltrs

Max. Speed 115 KM/ HR
Gradeability 34%

No. of Seats 40 + 1
Type Push back, Reclining Comfortable Seats with Padded Arm Rests and Foot Rest

Wheel Base 5700 MM
Turning Radius 9650 MM
Ground Clearance 250 MM
Overall Length 11400 + 50 MM
Overall Width 2500MM
Overall Height 3700 + 50 MM

Front 1980 MM
Rear 1790 MM

Interview with MD of Volvo buses
Mercedes Benz bus crash
Hyundai luxury buses - plan on hold
The new Volvo B9R bus

Picture of the Isuzu bus : India's leading car forum - Team-Bhp

Interview with Akash Passey Managing Director, Volvo Bus India Pvt. Ltd

ZW spent a day out at the Volvo Bus factory near Hosakote, Bengaluru, where he had a chance to catch up with Akash Passey, Managing Director, Volvo Bus India Pvt. Ltd and talk shop as well as get a download on the latest 6x2 multi-axle B9R 9400 inter city bus that Volvo has recently launched.

ZW : How do you see the bus market shaping up in India at the moment?

Passey : The marketplace is definitely changing and I feel it's for the better. Customer demands are going up as you have the aspiring middle class who have some level of global exposure and now want to have such facilities in India. On the other hand there are environmental concerns which revolve around depletion of natural resources as well as the congestion of cities.

All of this is resulting in people opting for high quality products that can offer great mileage as well as provide excellent comfort, yet help in the decongestion of cities.

Having said that, infrastructure is improving, new expressways are being laid everyday and the need for high end buses is what we are witnessing. A completely built bus offered by a global brand like Volvo means that customers get quality, comfort and safety in one single package.

ZW : What about the demand from Northern markets? Volvo has had a delayed entry there and your presence is still not as strong as it is in traditional bus markets like South India.

Passey : The North does not have a strong private player penetration in terms of inter city transport. Furthermore, the North has been an area that we did not consciously enter when we set up shop in the country. With the Southern markets already being ahead on their demands for inter city buses as well as the fact that we ourselves are located down South meant that it would be easier for us to support and cater to these markets.

Let me add that the Northern market might not be as big as the South market is today, but it is growing and we see demand flowing in from tour operators, especially on the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur circuit. Moreover we are gaining orders from state governments who are now opting for Volvo buses for state transport needs.

ZW : What do you have to say about the implementation of the various BRTS systems across the country?

Passey : There is still a need for an ideal BRTS system. By making two centre lanes in a road does not count as a BRTS system. A BRTS is a great system and can do wonders for in-city transport, but it requires a lot more than some bus corridors. There is need to integrate a complete IT based management system that can monitor signals as well as scheduled timings of buses on the route.

Incidentally Volvo has been a part of just about every successful BRTS system in the world and we will be a part of the Indian system as well. It's a challenge and there is much more that needs to be done.

ZW : Coming to Volvo buses in India. The company has been present for 10 years now. Where do you feel you stand?

Passey : Today we have 650 employees and are capable of manufacturing 440 buses a year. This figure is set to reach 1000 buses by 2010. We have grown steadily and have literally lead the market on luxury inter city buses and now are focusing on the in city bus business. Volvo has 38 service centres across the country, offers transport consultancy as well as runs a driver training program which has certified over 8000 drivers till date.

Volvo India literally changed the face of the bus industry in terms of offering a fully built bus, instead of a vehicle built on a truck chassis. Furthermore the concept of having a driver focus and optimizing that space has also been led by us. The ushering of safety and comfort features has also been driven by Volvo buses in India. As a brand we have brought in a sense of aspiration and feel that the possibilities that lie ahead are endless.

ZW : Could you elaborate on the product mix that Volvo has as of now?

Passey : Volvo in India offers two ranges of vehicle. You can either opt for a city bus or an inter city coach. The city bus, namely the BRLE, is a low floor bus that offers easy ingress and egress for passengers, plus it comes fitted with an automatic transmission, which makes it easy for the driver to manage in congested conditions. For inter city travel, Volvo offers the B7R which has dominated the luxury coach class in India till date. Now we have added the 6x2 Multi Axle B9R 9400 which is another step forward in the luxury coach market and just happens to be India's largest and most powerful bus till date.

Till recently we were producing around 90 per cent inter city coaches and 10 per cent city buses, but as of today and thanks to some government push the balance is more at a 50:50 mix of both products.



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Delhi to Manali Volvo bus : How to...

Manali is a favorite hill station with not only Indians but foreigners as well. As the place is in hills, there is no train connectivity. Flying by air turns out to be expensive. The only option is to take a bus. Both Volvos and non A/C Indian buses go to Manali.

Here are some details on the same:

1. Swagatam Tours and Travels
This the latest agent to start Volvo buses to Manali from Delhi. They also run a non-ac India bus.
The Volvo costs Rs 800, and non-ac Rs 400. The Volvo leaves Chandra lok building, Delhi at 6pm, reaching Manali at 8am the next day. As for the non-ac, it leaves Delhi at 4:30pm, reaching Manali at 7am.
For more, visit their website HERE

2. Raj National Express Volvo
Raj is one of the biggest Volvo operators in India. They run a 5:30pm Volvo from Delhi (from Imperial hotel), reaching Manali at 8am. The cost of the Volvo ticket is Rs 900
For more, visit their website HERE

3. Blue World Tourist Volvo
Blue world tourist also runs a 5:30pm Volvo (from Rama Krishna Metro Station) that reaches Manali at 8am. The ticket cost is Rs 750. For more, visit their website HERE

Book your Manali Volvo ticket now!
Volvo B9R bus power, engine
Sharma transports picks up the Volvo B9R
Top speed of Volvo / Kinglong buses

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mercedes Benz Bus crash in India


Mercedes recently launched their inter-city buses in India. Sharma travels was one of the first few operators to pick up the bus. But recently, the Mercedes bus met with a ghastly accident on the Mumbai-Bangalore route.

Here is a picture taken from the famous automotive blog

The website says that one guy, the co-driver, was killed in the accident.

Click on picture to enlarge it!

Also see
KPN Volvo B9R crash
Volvo B9R bus power, engine
Sharma transports picks up the Volvo B9R
Top speed of Volvo / Kinglong buses
Volvo B7R crash enroute Chennai

Friday, October 17, 2008

Delay in Hyundai luxury buses for India

Volvo was already here and so was Kinglong. Mercedes too stepped into the Indian luxury bus segment but it seems Hyundai buses will take time. Here is an article from Economic Times

The UK-based Caparo Group company, Caparo India, is believed to have applied brakes to its luxury bus venture announced with Hyundai Motor Company. Six months after signing a technical pact with the Korean auto giant, the Caparo-Hyundai luxury bus project is yet to take off.

Caparo India had signed a technical agreement with Hyundai Motor Company to mark the former’s foray into the luxury bus segment. Caparo’s assembling plant was to come up on a 20-acre site in South for manufacturing 1,500 buses a year.

Caparo was evaluating locations like Sriperambadur, Oragadam and Nellore, and was hoping to firm up its decision in three months. The venture was slated to start production in the last quarter of 2008-09.

At the time of announcing the venture last year, Caparo India officials said the technical tie-up would help the company make a quantum leap and bring world-class luxury bus to the Indian market. The officials had then said apart from putting both organisations on a common platform, the tie-up was to build an association in manufacturing to assist in entering new areas of common interests. They also said the investment on the project would be running into “several hundred crores”.

But, sources familiar with the development said the project has not much made headway since then. It is learnt Caparo is not pursuing the venture for various reasons. It is also said that other than the investment made on the auto component project at Sriperambadur near Chennai, it has decided to freeze fresh investments.

ET has also learnt that top Caparo India officials have left the company in the last six months. Caparo India country head Sunil Pahilajani has joined Mahindra Navistar as CEO and MD while CFO Dinesh Chabra has quit and joined Bajaj Motor. Another top official Atulya Gupta too has quit and gone abroad.

When contacted, Caparo Project head Yong Won Jang confirmed that Mr Pahilajani had moved out to join Mahindra, but was not willing to offer any comment on the project. When contacted, Mr Pahilajani cited professional reasons for his decision to join Mahindra Navistar six months ago.

He had been with Caparo for seven years. Caparo had recruited 15-plus engineers from Hyundai, VW, Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors. But with the project not kick-starting as originally scheduled, the employees are a worried lot. Attempts to obtain comments from officials of Hyundai Motor, Korea, through email did not receive any response.

ET also tried to reach to Caparo CEO (business growth) Deb Mukherjee (who is apparently in the US) through phone and mail, but he was unavailable.

Book Volvo and Mercedes Benz bus tickets NOW!
The new 9400 6x2 Volvo B9R for India

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Volvo B9R 9400 6x2 picture and power / torque figures

Here is an official picture of the new Volvo 9400 6x2 or the Volvo B9R.

The bus, as told by us, comes with a 9-liter engine that puts out no less than 380 bhp with 1740Nm of torque! To say the least, with this kind of power, the bus will easily be able to cruise at 110-115km/h with a top end of 125-130km/h speedo-indicated. Easily!

Enjoy the picture in the meantime. To book a Volvo B9R ticket, click HERE

Related reading
Sharma Transport picks up first Volvo B9R
Volvo B9R: India's first multi-axle bus
Mercedes launches buses in India

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sharma transports picks up the new Volvo B9R / 9400 6x2 bus

Sharma Transports have picked up the new Volvo B9R or the new Volvo 9400 6x2 bus for its long distance route.

The new Volvo 9400 6x2 is longer than the current B7R and comes with a 9 Litre engine. Read more about this bus by clicking here

See pictures of the Volvo B7R HERE

Sharma Transports' Mercedes Benz bus crash
Book a VOLVO B9R ticket online NOW!

Volvo 9400 6x2 : India's first multi-axle bus in the form of Volvo B9R

Just when I thought Volvo would reply back with something after Mercedes launched there bus in India, i got the news. Volvo today launched India's first multi-axle bus called the Volvo 9400 6x2. It is also called the Volvo B9R

This is 1.7 longer than the B7R or the Volvo 8400 4x2 bus. Moreover, it offers 53 reclining semi-sleeper type seats, as apposed to 45 for the previous bus.

Ofcourse, it comes at a slightly higher price of Rs 85 but Volvo believes that the new B9R is cheaper when it comes to per seat cost.

The new Volvo B9R comes powered by a 9-litre engine, as compared to a 7-litre for the normal B7R

Watch this space for more.

Here is the article from businessstandard

Volvo Buses India Pvt Ltd (VBIPL), a part of Swedish bus maker Volvo Bus Corporation, today launched India’s first luxury AC coach with a multi-axle configuration. With a 9-litre rear engine and a 6x2 configuration, the Volvo 9400 6x2 (B9R) will be fully-manufactured in its Bangalore plant and marketed in the domestic market.

According to Akash Passey, managing director, VBIPL, “With the launch of this model, Volvo now has three standard offerings — 4x2 inter-city bus, city bus and 6x2 inter-city bus — for the Indian market. With this new model’s launch Volvo is broadening its product offering and choices for the customer and the passengers.”

Volvo has already bagged orders for 40 multi-axle buses, of which three were delivered today and another 20 buses will be delivered in the next two weeks, he said. Volvo has priced this bus at Rs 85 lakh (ex-factory). The bus features Electronic Brake System, a technology that ensures the highest safety for passengers and driver along with various safety features like frontal impact safety, roll-over protection among others.

For the year-ending December 2008, Volvo is likely to register 120 per cent jump in sales to 450 units over 2007 and for 2009, it is expecting a growth of 25 per cent. It plans to ramp up its production capacity to touch 1,000 buses by 2010, he said.

Presently, Volvo has a capacity to produce 50 buses per month at its Hoskote plant, which was opened in January this year as a joint venture with the Azad Group of Bangalore.

Passey said the company expects a significant growth in its sales over the next five years from the Bus Rapid Transit System being implemented in over 60 cities in the country. Volvo’s plant in Bangalore will initially cater to the requirements of domestic customers and will start meeting export orders from customers in West Asia and Africa by end of 2009, he said.

Related Reading
Mercedes launches bus in India
Book a Mercedes or a Volvo bus ticket now!

Ahmedabad to Shirdi seater and sleeper bus timing / fare

Here is a list of buses from Ahmebabad to Shirdi

I could not find any Volvo buses from Ahmedabad to Shirdi. Only A/C and non A/c seater and sleeper buses run on this route.

1. Gujarat Travels seater bus (Non/Ac 2x1 seating)
Departure:5:00pm (Paldi Char Rasta), 5:45pm (Jodhpur Char Rasta), 6:30pm (CTM Char Rasta)
Arrival: 6:00am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 450
To book, click HERE

2. Gujarat Travels sleeper bus (Non/Ac 2x1 sleeping)
Departure:5:00pm (Paldi Char Rasta), 5:45pm (Jodhpur Char Rasta), 6:30pm (CTM Char Rasta)
Arrival: 6:00am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 600
To book, click HERE

3. Maitreya Travels seater bus (Non/Ac 2x1 seating)
Departure:5:00pm (Jodhpur Char Rasta), 5:30pm (Opp. Navchetan High School), 6:00pm (CTM Char Rasta)
Arrival: 6:00am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 350
To book, click HERE

4. Maitreya Travels sleeper bus (Non/Ac 2x1 sleeping)
Departure:5:00pm (Jodhpur Char Rasta), 5:30pm (Opp. Navchetan High School), 6:00pm (CTM Char Rasta)
Arrival: 6:00am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 450
To book, click HERE

5. Rajkamal Travels seater bus (Non/Ac 2x2 seater)
Departure:5:30pm (Jodhpur Char Rasta), 6pm (Paldi Char Rasta), 6:30pm (Opp Janpath Restaurant)
Arrival: 6:30am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 400
To book, click HERE

6. Rajkamal Travels sleeping bus (Non/Ac 2x2 sleeping)
Departure:5:30pm (Jodhpur Char Rasta), 6pm (Paldi Char Rasta), 6:30pm (Opp Janpath Restaurant)
Arrival: 6:30am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 500
To book, click HERE

7. Shree Hari Travels A/C seater bus (A/c 2x1 seater)
Departure:6pm (Jodhpur Char Rasta), 6:30pm (Reliance Fresh), 7:00pm (CTM Char Rasta)
Arrival: 7:00am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 450
To book, click HERE

8. Shree Hari Travels A/C sleeping bus (A/c 2x1 sleeper)
Departure:6pm (Jodhpur Char Rasta), 6:30pm (Reliance Fresh), 7:00pm (CTM Char Rasta)
Arrival: 7:00am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 600
To book, click HERE

9. Indani Travels A/C seater bus (A/c 2x2 seater)
Departure:6:30pm (Paldi Char Rasta), 6:45pm (Janpath Restaurant)
Arrival: 7:30am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 400
To book, click HERE

10. Indani Travels A/C sleeper bus (A/c 2x2 sleeper)
Departure:6:30pm (Paldi Char Rasta), 6:45pm (Janpath Restaurant)
Arrival: 7:30am (Near temple)
Ticket cost: Rs 500
To book, click HERE

Related Reading
Top speed of Volvo B7R / Chinese King Long buses
Mercedes Benz Buses come to India
Sharma Volvo review : Pune to Davanagere
The JCBL Kinglong bus (chinese)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Neeta Volvo

Neeta Volvo is a big name in West India. Based in Pune, this Volvo operator has one of the biggest fleet of Volvo B7R buses. Neeta Volvo came to fame with the running of Volvo B7R buses on the Mumbai to Pune and Pune to Mumbai route. Buses from the Mumbai side originate either from Boriveli or Dadar and end at Pune station and vice-versa. The frequency of buses from either end is the best.

However, the condition of buses is pathetic to say the least. Neeta Volvo has also gained a bad name when it comes to customer service including punctuality. For example, the Dadar bus (bound for Pune) doesnt start from Dadar main area (from where the Shivneri Volvo starts). Passengers are taken in a small bus to the main starting point. Then, Neeta Volvo usually has 12 or 13 rows of seats as opposed to say 11 for Shivneri Volvo. Plus, they tend to stop at every possible place to pick passengers. At an average, the time taken by Neeta Volvo from Dadar to Pune station is 4.5 hours, an hour more than Shivneri.

Neeta Volvo also runs on other routes like Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar, Pune to Nashik, Pune to Goa etc. Recently, Neeta became one of the first few Mercedes Benz bus customers in India.

Related Reading
1.Neeta Volvo Experiences
2.Top speed of Volvo B7R buses
3.Mercedes Benz buses come to India

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Top speed of Volvo B7R / 9400 and the JCBL Kinglong bus


Many people have wondered how fast the Volvo B7R or the 9400 series run. Even the Chinese KingLong buses made by JCBL run.

I have travelled numerous times on both the buses now. While on the long distance routes like Mumbai-Bangalore, the Volvo drivers keep the bus around the 100km/h mark for saving fuel, the shorter routes like Mumbai-Pune have these drivers stretching the Volvo to around 110km/h mark to make up time. Neeta travels for example have their old rusty buses running almost full throttle at 110-115mark. I have seen newer Volvo B7Rs of Sharma / VRL keeping 100-105 on long distances, with short bursts of 110-115km/h.

I can safely say that the Volvo B7R / 9400 series can nudge the 120km/h mark and beyond with ease.

Coming to the JCBL KingLong buses, though they are low on power, the taller gearing allows for high speed cruising. At a recent Pune-Mumbai trip, I happened to sit right up front and saw the driver holding 110-115km/h on the expressway with constant bursts of 120-125km/h. Thats bloody fast! The bus was still smooth at 125km/h and i think it would have managed to go past 130km/h as well.

These buses are powerful and fast. I have seen the Volvo B7R do 520km in 7hours. Thats 74km/h avg. Include the toll-booth stops and bad roads and u can imagine how fast these are!


Pune to Delhi on Goa Express

Goa Express? Thats a train right? Whats a train doing on this Volvo blog?
Well, I have been travelling a lot on Volvo : from Pune to Mumbai / Mumbai to Pune to long distance like Bangalore to Mumbai / Pune to Davanagere etc.

I had been wanting to know how it feels on a distance train journey - how good or bad it is. So i took the Goa Express from Pune to Delhi on the morning of 27th September. The train was running a bit late and we left Pune by 4:35am, reaching Delhi (Nizamuddin station) the next day at around 7am. Thats around 27hours for a 1500odd km journey. Yep, Volvo buses are still faster. Anyday

At the end of the journey, here are a few points i noticed.

1. A/C III tier are cheaper than Volvo buses (per km basis)
2. The berths are not comfy to sit on. Buses have better seats - any day
3. Trains can be boring. No TVs you see.
4. Bus trips give you an insight to so many cities as u tend to pass thru them.
5. Getting reservation in trains is difficult. I got mine on a Tatkal (total fare came out to be around 1500odd bucks)
6. Trains have loos all the time!
7. U have the railway staff serving something or the other all the time.

In the end, the only hassels i see with train services are getting tickets / and the hard seats.

Read these related posts as well

1. How to go from Mumbai to Pune and vice versa on Volvo buses
2. The JCBL Kinglong bus
3. Mercedes Buses come to India

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mercedes Benz Buses come to India

Mercedes Benz have finally launched their buses in India. The bodies are being made by Sutlej body builders. We already had the Volvo B7R buses and the Chinese King Long buses and now the Mercedes Benz. Three buses have already been picked up by Sharma Transports, Konduskur and Neeta each.

I will keep you updated on how the bus is from the inside and how it feels over bad roads.

Images :, a leading automotive forum in India


Monday, August 4, 2008

Sharma Volvo : Pune to Davanagere

I took a Sharma Volvo from Pune to Davangere on 2nd August 2008.
This is the Mumbai to Bangalore Sharma Volvo that leaves Boriveli at 10am.
It reaches Vashi, the outskirts of Mumbai by around 12:30pm and the schedule is to reach Pune (Swargate, natraj hotel) by 3:30pm.

I reached the pick up point of natraj hotel, Swargate by 3:15pm. The bus reached only at 4:10pm, leaving at 4:45pm. Not a good thing - I, along with others had to wait for a good 1 and a half hours. The least Sharma Transports could do was spend Rs2 to make a call to the passengers (from pune) about the delay.

The bus left at 4:45pm. We had a non-stop journey till we stopped for fuel around 10-15mins after crossing Kolhapur. Kolhapur, 231km from Pune was crossed in 3.5hrs. Not bad, considering we took 20min to leave Pune city. This bus was Mark III, ie, the CRDI engine one (290bhp). I had seat no 29, and was disappointed with the engine noise. Have travelled in other Volvo B7Rs sitting behind but this time, there was too much engine sound

We stopped for dinner just 5mins after the fuel stop. From there on, it was again a non-stop journey til Davanagere. Davangere is 570km from Pune and i was dropped at 2:05am. That means 570km were done in just 9hours 20min which equates to an avg speed of 59km/h. The bus generally cruised at around 95-100km/h, which is more or less what other operators also do.

The ticket cost was Rs 800 (they charge full Pune-Bangalore rate). VRL was 1020 so it was out of question. KSRTC was 800, except on the 3pm Pune-Mysore Volvo which was Rs 700. But KSRTC has 11 rows whereas as Sharma and VRL have 10 rows hence more leg space.

In one hour, i am taking Sharma Volvo back to Pune. Shall update tomm!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The JCBL Kinglong Bus


Here is a big image of the Chinese KingLong bus. This particular is the Shivneri one, operated by MSRTC from Pune to Thane and back.

Kinglong is a Chinese based company. JCBL is importing the chassis and engine and making the bodies locally here in India.

Read more about the Kinglong HERE

Here are two more pictures, thanks to Binai.k.sankar

(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Volvo B7R pictures

Here are some more pictures of the latest Volvo B7R CRDI pictures (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

How to travel from Mumbai to Pune in a Volvo


Across websites and forums, I have come across this common query of how to travel between Mumbai and Pune / Pune and Mumbai, on a Volvo B7R bus.

Here is a lowdown.
1. Mumbai to Pune
Experience says that the best bet is to take a Shivneri Volvo, run by MSRTC. These start from Dadar. Just ask the cab driver to drop you at the Asiad bus stand. The Shivneri Volvos (they also have Cerita buses, which are based on Kinglong buses from China) run from 5:30am to 11:30pm at night. The frequency is generally 30min.
You will have to stand in a small queue to book the ticket for current buses. You can also fill a small form and book you ticket in advance. The fare is Rs 220 and usually you get a small mineral water bottle along with a newspaper too.
The fare might be 20-40 bucks more than other buses like Neeta and Metro Link, but the money spent is worth it. Stops are fewer, buses are better maintained and you usually reach Pune station in less than 4 hours, sometimes even 3.5 hours - this is one to one and a half hours less than other Volvo operators.
Buses generally run full from Dadar itself. So, if you stay in Chembur / New Mumbai areas, then you have no option but to take Neeta / Metro Link ones. But, if you can reach the Vashi Volvo bus point, then in evenings, if you are lucky, you can get a seat in one of the long distance Volvos which run to Bangalore / Hyderabad. They have some reservations from Pune and hence the seats are empty. These include operators like Sharma / KSRTC / VRL etc

2. Pune to Mumbai
Again the best bet is to hit the bus stand next to Pune station and take a Shivneri. Stay away from Neeta / Metro Link services. But if you stay in places like Aundh / Wakad / Kothrud, then you have no option but to take the private operators. All the best!!

Related Reading:
Metro Link Experience
Neeta Experience


KSRTC Volvo experience

I have used KSRTC volvo service lot of times, mostly between Pune and Davanagere and back. The latest one was around a week back from Davanagere to Pune.

A week back, rates of other (VRL Volvo Read, Read, SHARMA Volvo
Read) travel opeators were very high. My ticket was booked from the Davanagere KSRTC bus stand on the 1900BNGPNQ (leaves Bangalore at 7pm). First of all, on the ticket it was mentioned the bus would reach Davangere by 11:30pm. I have traveled between Bangalore and Davanager and knew the bus would not reach before 12pm at any cost. So I reached the bus stand at midnight, just to wait for a full one hour before it turned up.

I had paid a full fare of Bangalore-Pune, but luckily got the seat behind the driver. The journey was good, but I alteast expected a complimentary water bottle. It seemed that other passengers who got on from Bangalore did get a bottle. We left Davanagere at 1am, and reached Pune by 10:30am. Had a morning break at around 7am, but the thing that bothered me was that when the bus stopped, the staff said it would be a 10min break. It turned out to be a 30min for no reason. The staff took all the time in the world to get back to the bus.

I have read such instances online - KSRTC is getting a bad name due to its staff!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Volvo B7R pics

Here are some pictures of different Volvo B7R buses being used by different bus operators.


Look closely and you will notice that the Swami and Neeta's second Volvo are the first generation B7Rs (see the front wheel - they are running on drum brakes as compared to disc in the other buses)

Also, none of these are the latest CRDi version B7Rs which were launched Jan last year!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hyundai Travels : Pune to Udaipur / Udaipur to Pune

While searching for more long distance buses from Pune, I happened to know about this. Hyundai travels operates a Non Volvo service from Pune to Nathdwara via Mumbai and Udaipur.

This bus leaves Pune (D.P road) at 3pm and reaches Udaipur the next day by around 11am or so. They dont claim the bus to be airconditioned, but the bus does have an A/C. What they say is that sometimes it doesnt work and hence they dont promise A/C services. The fare for sleeper is around Rs 900, and for the seater is around Rs 700.

The bus is also said to have a toilet on board! It has a mix of seating as well as sleeping (all 2*1)
The bus bypasses Mumbai and goes via Ghatkopar and hence is able to reach Udaipur by around 11amish.

Contact Details
Pune : Karan travels - 020-26121244
Udaipur : 09352524253

Monday, February 18, 2008

VRL Volvo bus trip : Pune - Bangalore - Pune

I will be leaving for Bangalore very shortly from Pune today, ie, 4pm bus on 19th Feb and returning back tomm, ie, 8:30pm bus on 20th Feb.

I have on earlier occasions travelled on VRL bus lot of times. Read the reviews here - VRL Reviews.
I shall update this post once Im back from the 1700km return trip.
I was about to book the tickets online, but then went to the VRL Office for the same. Have booked Seat No1 (behind driver) for both the journeys. Watch out for this post..

Here is the review of my Pune - Bangalore - Pune trip.

1. While going... The bus was to come at 4pm, and it did.
4.10pm - We left the Swargate office of VRL at heading towards Katraj, to take the old Katraj hill road onto the NH4.
4.40pm - Traffic wasnt much and we hit the NH4 highway after the Katraj hills at 4:40pm
5:00pm - Stopped somewhere for snacks
5:20pm - Started again
8:00pm - We reached the VRL campus on the outskirts of Kohlapur, Shiroli. Stopped for 15mins here. This place is approx 230km from Pune. So, with a 20min break (at 5pm), the bus covered 230km in 3hr 50min. Taking out the break, thats avg speed of 65km/h. Not bad, considering that after Kambhatki ghats, the bus stopped for 10min to get some courier luggage
8:20pm - started from Shiroli
9:50pm - Arrived in Belgaum. Approx 101km in 90min. Avg speed : 67k/h
10:45pm - Finally left Belgaum. After this, I sat upright to see the speeds. The driver constantly kept around 100 on the speedometer, with bursts of 110-115km/h too. We hit a max of 120km/h on a downhill section. Otherwise, on straights, he kept it at around 100-105km/h.
4:15am - We reached the VRL Campus at Chitradurga. We wasted 10min at a railway crossing, and between Haveri and Chitradurga, the roads are still very bad. The bus filled up fuel on the way, thats another 10min. From Belgaum, we covered 277km in 5hr 30min. Avg speed : 50km/h.
4:30am - Departed from Chitradurga.
7:10am - Entered Bangalore limits. Distance from Chitradurga, 210km in 2hr 40min. Avg speed : 78km/h. But it took another 30min to reach Anand Rao Circle.

Overall impression : Good, very good. Butter smooth trip. But i guess, VRL can reduce the overall time by increasing the cruising speed by 5km/h, spending less time during dinner stops (we spent 50min in Belgaum), stop wasting time while picking cargo on the way (in this case after Kambhatki) etc.


Libra Travels Volvo bus service

Libra Travel now operators Volvo buses on quite a number of routes in North India.

Their Volvo buses run on the Delhi - Katra ( passing thru Jammu as well ) route. There are two buses

1. The first bus leaves Cannaught Place, Shivaji Stadium, at 5:30pm, picking up more passengers from Azad Hind Market, Red Fort at 6:30pm. It arrives at Jammu at 7pm, and Katra at 8pm. The fare is Rs 700

2. The second Volvo bus leaves Shivaji Stadium at 7pm, arriving at Jammu at 7:30pm and Katra by 8:30pm. The fare for this bus is Rs 850.

For more, you may contact their office at LIBRA