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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sharma Volvo B9R : Bangalore to Mumbai route experience

After taking the VRL volvo to Davangere on the 5th (READ HERE), I took the Sharma B9R back to Pune on the 8th November. Again the seat was booked online and though yet again Redbus mentioned boarding time at 8pm, the bus arrived in Davanagere at 9:15pm. I had pre-called the Sharma agent in Davanagere and he had confirmed the time as 9:30pm. Fair enough. But to my dismay, the bus ended up taking a 45min dinner break in Davangere at left only at 10:15pm. But this was just the starting. After crossing Haveri, at the first toll naka, the bus waited for a good 20min for another Sharma Volvo coming from Mumbai side to give that bus a spare tyre. We were already running well behind schedule. After Hubli though, the driver did try making up for the lost time as my GPS showed true speeds to be around 95km/h (100+ on the speedo) with short bursts to 105km/h or so .

The bus' condition was very good - smooth and silent. I was lapping the bus' speed : till the time we stopped for breakfast at Natraj (shivpuri), the bus covered 235km in 174mins : avg speed of 80km/h! Brilliant. However, the breakfast break turned out to be a 45min break. Two KSRTC Volvos which came after us, left before us! I was finally dropped off at Katraj bypass at8pm : thats a journey time of almost 10hrs as compared to 8.5hrs the VRL volvo took 3 days back. This is really not encourgaing and i might just stop using Sharma Volvo from next time onwards.

Click HERE to book tickets on this bus now

VRL Volvo : Mumbai to Bangalore route experience

Date of journey : 5th November 2009
Bus route : Mumbai to Bangalore
My route : Boarding at Pune, dropping at Davanagere.

I took the 7pm Pune VRL bus. I had booked the ticket via and though the site mentioned the pickup point as Laxmi Narayan Theatre, the actual boarding point was Katraj. The bus came 15min late but the worse part was that the bus left at 7:45pm. The reason being that VRL guys were busy loading parcel (courier bags) in the belly of the bus. Unlike other operators like KSRTC / Sharma, VRL is still using the old Volvo B7Rs and not the new 9400 series one. The bus did seem old - lot of suspension and engine noise. I had seat no 2 and used my GPS speedometer (in the phone) to the max. The driver was fast, keeping around 105-110 on the speedo (my GPS showed around 95-98 most of the times).
We had dinner after Satara (45min break) after which it was a nonstop drive to Davanagere. Surprisingly, we reached Davangere bypass at 4:15am - 565km in 8.5 hrs including a dinner break. This has to be one of the fastest Volvo journeys till date for me.

I paid Rs 950 for the journey. Overall good but VRL should pull up its socks with better boarding time and also newer buses.

Click HERE to book tickets on this bus now

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why Volvo is offering adjustable air suspension on the new buses

There is a reason why Volvo is now offering adjustable air suspension on the newer 9400 series B7R and B9R. I saw this feature first hand recently on the Mumbai-Bangalore KSRTC B7R. The lane leading into the pick-up point in Pune (camp) is very tricky : the dirt road is 6-8 inches lower than the main road. The driver made full use of the air-suspension, lifted the whole bus by a few inches and had no trouble whatsoever negotiating this obstacle. It looks pretty cool as well!

Here is another example. Recently one of KSRTC's old Volvo B7R had a tough time negotiation a small lane in Mangalore's 'Chilimbi' area.

The blocked bus also resulted in a traffic jam!

The repaired underbelly

The main highway was blocked and hence the bus was forced to use a narrow lane which had a very inclined join-up with the main highway. As a result, the bus' underbelly touched down and the mamooth B7R was literally resting on its chassis! A tow-truck had to be used to lift the rear of the bus.

Pics and info from -

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sharma Transports' Volvo Bangalore-Mumbai B9R experience

Pic: jkv from

While I took the KSRTC Volvo to Davangere from Pune (READ), on the way back, i booked myself on the Bangalore-Mumbai Sharma Volvo. The one that leaves Bangalore by 3-3:30pm is the new Multi-axle B9R Volvo. It reaches Davanagere from Bangalore by around 9pm but then also halts in the city for Dinner. My seat no was 1 - directly behind the driver. The front row also means that you can lift ur legs and keep it on the support in front of you.
We left Davanagere city by 10pm and it was a non-stop journey till the outskirts of Pune. The road has lot of bad patches / diversions till Haveri after which is very good. The driver kept the bus around the 90-95km/h mark again - it seems on this long route (between Mumbai - Bangalore), most Volvos are run at these speeds, mainly to save on fuel costs.
The B9R runs a touch more smoothly better than the B7R. Though Volvo supplies the B9R in a 53 seater config, Sharma's B9R volvo has 49 seats, thus improving leg space a lot.

We halted for breakfast around 30min before Pune at around 6:15am. This is very irritating for Pune passengers. Sharma guys should reach Pune directly, drop Pune passengers and then stop for breakfast for the rest of the Mumbai guys.

Apart from this, the journey was very very comfortable.

Pune to Bangalore KSRTC Volvo experience

Left to Right: My Shirdi-Bangalore KSRTC, Mumbai-Bangalore Vishal volvo, Mumbai-Mangalore KSRTC Volvo

For past experiences, you the LABELS features in the right column on this page.

On 16th October, I took the Shirdi to Bangalore KSRTC Volvo for my Pune - Davanagere trip. My seat no was 26. This bus leaves Shirdi at 1pm and reporting time at the Pune camp office is 6pm. The bus was a little late and due to peak season, it seemed there was some overbooking by agents which led to a commotion and hence we could only leave by 6:40pm.

It took around 20 mins to hit the Katraj bypass after which it was smooth sailing till the dinner stop. According to my GPS enabled speedometer in the phone, the bus was doing around 85-90km/h (true speed or around 90-95 on the speedometer) constantly. Dinner was somewhere after Satara where other - KSRTC, Vishal and Canara Pinto Volvos, joined us. After a 40min, it was a non-stop drive to Davanagere. The driver it seemed was keeping the bus around the 95km/h mark constantly.

I was dropped off at Davanagere bypass, around 580km from the starting point at 3:45am. The journey took 9hrs including a dinner break. Being a peak season, i had to shell out the whole Pune - Bangalore fare of Rs 1100 (off season Bangalore fare is 900 and Davanagere fare is 800 from Pune). It was an ok ride experience. the problem with KSRTC buses is that they have 11 rows of seats as compared to 10 rows for most long distance operators and hence it becomes difficult for tall people like me to travel long distances.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Flying vs taking a Volvo : tempting cheap air tickets doing the trick

Although Volvo buses have really revolutionized the way we looked at bus travel in India but the fact is cheaper air tickets in the recent past has helped a lot of travelers. If booked in advance, you can almost fly to your destination in under two hours than take an 18 hour Volvo bus ride, that too at less than twice the amount!!

Here is an example. If you book a flight from Mumbai to Bangalore around 12-14 days in advance, you will get a ticket for around Rs 2100 only - source-! Whereas, the fare on a Mumbai to Bangalore Volvo is around Rs 1100 to Rs 1150 nowadays - and this is an 18 hour journey mind you!

So, if you are planning to visit Delhi from Jammu, or Ahmedabad from Pune, or Mangalore from Mumbai, just visit ANY AIR TICKET SITE.

There are good ticketing websites like YATRA, that can really help you arrange your travel in a faster way...


Fatal KPN Volvo B9R crash : the first in India


Here are a few accidents involving Volvo B7R and Mercedes buses that we have shared with you on this blog.

On 5th October, another horrific fatal crash involving the new multi-axle Volvo B9R happened in south India near Dharmapuri.

Picture : : one of the better automotive blogs in India

According to reports, five persons were killed in the collision involving the KPN Volvo and a lorry. The accident took place near Kundalpatti on National Highway 7. The KPN Volvo B9R was on its way to Madurai from Bangalore. The lorry was proceeding to Krishnagiri from Sangagiri.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Update : Katraj accident involving private bus

Sorry for the delay in updating. The accident that happened last night outside Pune on the Katraj ghats did not involve a Volvo bus. A semi-luxury private bus operating between Kolhapur and Pune veered off the Katraj road, hit a tree, and rolled down the valley.

The bus was carrying over forty passengers - of these around 30 were injured while one lost his life.

More details :


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breaking news: Volvo accident : falls from Katraj ghat

I just received some news about a horrible accident involving a Volvo bus on the outskirts of Pune. It is believed that the bus was coming from Kolhapur and has fallen off from the Katraj ghats.

I am trying to get more dope on this. In the past, we have been seeing a lot of accident involving high end buses. Here are some of them

1. Infosys KSRTC Volvo crash
2. Another KSRTC Crash in Karnataka
3. Mercedes Bus crash in India

Monday, July 27, 2009

Nakoda Isuzu LT1 bus review : Pune to Bangalore

We first told you more about the new Swaraj Mazda Isuzu LT1 bus last year - READ
Last week, I decided to take the bus, operated by Nakoda travels, to Davanagere. For this, I had to take the Pune-Bangalore bus.
I booked a ticket online at and got seat no A, or basically the first seat behind the conductor / co-driver.
The bus had to leave at 5:45pm but the guys at the office told me 6pm. Fair enough. However, it only turned up at 6:30pm.
Normally, a Volvo takes around 9.5 hours to Davanagere including a dinner break. I had no clue that our bus would stop at two places on the highway to pick up more passengers, and then enter Kolhapur to pick up more! All this meant we wasted 30-45mins. With a 30min dinner stop outside Kolhapur, and then another 30min stop to lend a spare tyre to the other Isuzu bus coming from Bangalore side, we still made it to the Davanagere bypass by 4:30am!!

Thats like 10 hours! Had the bus not taken diversions to other cities including Kolhapur and then 30min wastage to lend the spare tyre, the Pune-Davanagere distance would have been dispatched in just 9hours.
The reason for this the high speeds the driver was doing. I being on the first seat could see him going beyond 110km/h on various occasions easily. The Swaraj Mazda Isuzu bus has a 7 speed gearbox (yes, seven!) that lets the engine spin at lower revs at high speeds. Though this does mean that the bus can cruise at 110+ and sip less fuel, the downside is that due to a smaller engine as compared to the Volvo and Mercedes buses, inclines give a tuff time to the bus.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

KSRTC flags off dedicated Airavat Volvo bus between Bangalore and Davanagere

Davanagere or Davangere, around 265km from Bangalore always had a lack of a direct Volvo bus service. This city is known for its medical college as well as textile business. There is happy news for frequent travelers as KSRTC has now started a dedicated Airavat Volvo bus service between Davanagere and Bangalore.

The bus will leave at 6am from Davanager, reaching Bangalore by around 11am including a breakfast stop. On return, the bus will leave Bangalore at 5:45pm, arriving in Davangere by around 11:30pm including a dinner stop.

The fare for this bus is around Rs 345 (including taxes)

Also see:
1. Volvo bus video (Neeta Volvo)
2. KSRTC VOLVO crash

Monday, June 15, 2009

Capturing a Neeta Volvo B7R down the Mahabaleshwar ghats

I have been uploading lot of videos lately and have got a good response from readers.
Here is another video of a Neeta Volvo B7R going down Mahabaleshwar ghats : the bus seemed to be quite old.

You can watch all the videos here -

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mumbai to Chennai in a Volvo : Possible

There are three ways to get to Chennai from Mumbai (via Public transport). First option is flying but a one way ticket usually costs around more than Rs 4200 if booked around 3-4 days in advance. Second option are the trains, but u have to book well in advance. A 3-tier journey is for Rs 1050-1100 and takes around 23 to 29 hours,depending on which train u get.

However, if a plan comes up to go from Mumbai to Chennai urgently, here is the best way to reach using Volvo buses.

You can try taking the 3pm KSRTC Volvo that starts from Mumbai Central. This bus takes more passengers from Pune and is out by 7:30pm, reaching Bangalore the next day by around 9:30am at the Majestic stand. At the same bus stand, there are rest rooms with loos available on hourly basis where u can rest for an hour, before taking the 11:15am KSRTC Volvo to Chennai, which reaches there before 7pm.

This way, the total journey takes around 28 hours and costs around Rs 1600. Not bad considering the next best option is flying : Rs 4200 - 4500!

Same way, u can even go back from Chennai to Mumbai :)


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chasing the MSRTC Shivneri Kinglong bus

I have been posting videos frequently now. In the past, these have been
1. Volvo B7R caught speeding
2. Metrolink Kinglong bus caught speeding
3. MSRTC Shivneri cruising at 100km/h

Recently, i took a video of the MSRTC Shivneri Kinglong bus heading to Mumbai on the Mumbai - Pune expressway. The driver keeps overtaking the traffic and finally moves to the left to let me pass. At this moment, he is doing around 104-105km/h.

KSRTC Volvo's experience on Pune - Bangalore route bus

Recently we told you about the new 9400 series Volvo B7Rs being purchased by KSRTC (READ IT HERE). Last week, I got a chance to experience one of their new buses.
I had to travel to Davanagere, around 575km from Pune. As i had booked the tickets just a couple of days before my travel, i was unfortunate to get the last row seat on the onward journey. This was on the Mumbai - Bangalore bus that leaves Pune at 5pm.

As seen in the picture, the bus looks a little different from the older B7R. Here is a quick summary of the trip
4:30pm : I reached the pick up point before time but the bus from Mumbai had already reached there
5:15pm : We left the Pune Camp pick-up point
5:45pm : Hit the Pune - Bangalore highway
The bus took a 15min halt at Hotel Natraj, which is around 35km from Pune. We took another 30min break for dinner just a few km before Kolhapur. By around 10pm, we resumed our journey.
Davanagere was around 355km more from here. I though we would take around 5 hours. However, by 2:30am, ie, after around 4.5 hours, the conductor was kind enough to wake me up for getting off.
On the way, i was taking a note of the kilometer markers on the highway, which the bus was continously covering in around 40-41 seconds, translating into a true speed of around 90-91km/h, or around 95-96 on the speedometer. The bus didnt take a fuel stop too, which KSRTC buses usually take at Nipani.

In all, we covered 575km from Pune to Davanagere in around 9hrs 15min including two stops. I paid Rs 850 for the ticket (For the whole Pune - Bangalore section, the ticket however is for Rs 1000)

My return trip was two days later and this time i had a second last row. The bus was an older generation B7R (Mark III) with around 3.5lakh km on the odometer. The suspension felt soggy, and the aircon sound intruded into the cabin a lot. This was a 3pm Bangalore-Mumbai bus and it reached Davangere from Bangalore at 8:10pm (265km in 5hrs 10min). Our dinner stop was at 9:15pm and lasted 30min. Heavy rains lasted around an hour and the driver, even when the roads dried up, was covering the km markers in around 43-44sec, ie, he was keeping around 90km/h on the speedometer. Still, we managed to reach Pune Swargate at sharpy 6am. The return trip of 575km was done in 9hrs 50min.

I feel that if the drivers keep the speeds at around 100-105km/h (which is no big deal for the Volvos), the time can by cut down by around 30min or so. Currently, the Volvos are covering the 830km trip between Bangalore and Pune in around 14 to 14.5 hours.



Friday, May 22, 2009

Infosys KSRTC Volvo accident : Full details


Here are the full details about KSRTC's second fatal VOLVO crash this month (See first crash)
There 43 youngsters on board, all ready to join Infosys Technologies full time after completing their training at Mysore. At around 6am, when the bus was near Nippani ghats, the accident happened. It is learnt that the bus was at high speed an couldnt negotiate the tight curve, due to which it overturned, not once but twice or even thrice.
Our condolences to the ones who passed away - Agnivesh from Bihar, Ankita from Delhi, Tushar Agarwal and Rakshit Mehrotra from Noida while one of the deceased is yet to be identified.

Infosys employees in Bengaluru observed a two-minute silence to mourn the death of their colleagues.


4. Volvo B7R crash enroute Chennai


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another fatal KSRTC Airavat Volvo accident

Some days back, we told you about the KSRTC Airavat Volvo accident in Karnataka (CLICK HERE). Today, we got some more news on a similar accident.
A KSRTC Airavat Volvo operating between Mysore and Pune overturned near Sankeshwar when the driver tried to negotiate a sharp curve. In the mishap, five Infosys employees lost their lives!
Let me also add that our readers shouldnt infer from these accidents that the Volvo B7R bus is dangerous in general. Everyday tens of other accidents involving TATA / Leyland buses go unheard of.
Even the driver can be at fault, or other road users (like the stranded truck in the other case)

Picture source : allaboutbelgaum

Also see:
1. MSRTC Volvo doing almost 120km/h caught on cam
2. Kinglong Cerita bus doing 110km/h caught on cam

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Volvo B7R top speed caught on video : ALMOST 120!

I had started a topic on top speed of Volvo B7R buses in India (CLICK HERE)
Recently, while going to Mumbai from Pune on the expressway, I managed to notice a MSRTC Shivneri Volvo B7R doing crazy speeds. Watch the video for more. Be careful at the 2min 25sec mark, when you can see that the bus is doing around 117-118km/h!! Thats a lot for a bus in India. Feel free to comment on the video


Metrol Link Kinglong Cerita bus caught speeding

I keep traveling on the Mumbai - Pune expressway and recently managed to take a video of Chinese Kinglong Cerita bus. The bus is owned by Metrolink, which also operators Volvo buses on the Pune - Mumbai - Pune route.
As seen in this video, the bus is doing around 105-110km/h on the expressway. I have myself seen the driver do around 120km/h while sitting in a Shivneri Kinglong bus last year.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

KSRTC revamps its Volvo Airavat range


KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) has one of the largest fleet of Volvo buses. These buses run on one of the longest routes in India like the 1020km Mumbai - Bangalore route.
Recently, it seems, KSRTC has purchased brand new 9400 series buses from Volvo. I recently spotted this bus (seen above) on the Mumbai - Pune expressway. This bus is operating on Bangalore - Mumbai - Bangalore route. What is interesting here is the never before seen emergency exit on the left side. I have yet to sit in one of these to comment on how it operates though.


Monday, May 18, 2009

KSRTC's Volvo's major accident

Five people were killed, including three from Bangalore, and 14 others

injured when a KSRTC Volvo-Airavat crashed into a
timber-laden lorry parked by the
road at Udane on Bangalore-Mangalore NH 48 in the early hours of Monday.

The bus, on its way to Mangalore from Bangalore, rammed into the lorry while trying to avoid an oncoming truck. A log that entered the bus on impact caused the casualties.

The deceased are Satish Chandra, 55, a motor vehicle inspector from Yelahanka; Girisha, 33, from Madhavanagar; Santhosh, 33, from Viveknagar; Prabha Hegde, 50, from Puttur and Varaprasada, 27, from Vishakapatnam.

The bus was carrying 40 passengers. Transport minister R Ashok announced a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh each to the dependents of the victims, Rs 15,000 of which will be paid immediately and the rest within a week. He said: "We use our best drivers on the Airavat as the emphasis is on accident-free journeys."

This is the second major accident involving a KSRTC-Airavat this year. The previous one was near Tirupati four months ago.



VOLVO B7R crash enroute Chennai

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar Volvo / sleeper buses

Summers are here. And its time to head to the hills. Most of us would want to skip Lonavala and instead head to the highs of Mahabaleshwar. There are lots of options on this route - Volvo, non A/C seater and A/C sleeper

1. Neeta Volvo to Mahabaleshwar

Neeta operates three Volvo / Mercedes Benz services. The buses start at 5:30am / 9:25pm / 9:30pm from Boriveli, picking up passengers as it moves out of Mumbai.
The fare for this Neeta Volvo to Mahabaleshwar is around Rs 500 to 550

2. Swami Volvo to Mahabaleshwar

Swami has a Volvo that starts at 8:30pm from Boriveli, picking up passengers as it goes through Mumbai. The bus ticket is for Rs 500

There are Volvo services from other operators like 'K S R N A' and 'Yash Yatra' too


Friday, April 17, 2009

Delhi to Jaipur Volvo bus

UPDATE : More options now available starting at Rs 500. Click HERE

Only RSRTC (Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation) has Volvo buses on the Delhi to Jaipur route. Here is the time table of the buses

Cost of the ticket is Rs 500.

The Delhi to Jaipur Volvo buses pick up passengers from the following locations
1. ISBT Kashmiri Gate
2. Bikaner House
3. Sarai Kale Khan
4. Dhaula Kuan

For more info, log onto


Monday, April 13, 2009

Volvo operators raise prices

Get ready to shell out as much as Rs 1500 for Mumbai to Bangalore in a volvo now

The season has started they say, and the prices have gone up again.
On a typical Mumbai to Bangalore Volvo route, the prices for a one way ticket are now anywhere between Rs 1150 to 1500! This variation is a lot and makes no sense. We dont know the reason for the same too!

Sharma is charging around 1200, whereas VRL is charging 1400! National for its late evening Volvo is charging 1500 bucks. An year back, prices were as low as Rs 1100 only for all the operators.

The heat (of summer) is showing its effect it seems

Also read:
Mumbai to Pune Shivneri volvo video

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Delhi to Manali by Himachal Tourism Volvo


Apart from the Swagatam Volvo option i posted (click HERE), one can also visit Manali from Delhi by Himachal Tourism's Volvo bus service.

The tickets can be booked at the Himachal Tourism's office at Chandralok building, Janpath, Delhi. The Volvo bus leaves from here at 7:30pm and reaches Manali the next day at approx 9:30pm.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Delhi to Manali : Swagatam Volvo bus

Swagatam holidays operatos one of the better Volvo B7R buses on the Delhi - Manali route. These buses are the latest 9400 series with a newer front end.
The bus leaves Delhi at around 5:00pm and reaches Manali by 7:30 the next day. The cost of ticket is Rs 840.

For more, you may see their website at

Also have a look at their video from youtube


Friday, April 3, 2009

Mumbai to Pune MSRTC Shivneri volvo video

I keep traveling between Mumbai and Pune often and this time decided to shoot the MSRTC Shivneri Volvo bus, the best option to travel between these two cities.

Enjoy the video

Top speed of Volvo buses
Neeta Volvo experience

Delhi to Chandigarh by Volvo bus

Volvo buses are still new to North Indians. The routes where Volvo buses are currently playing are:
1. Delhi - Manali
2. Delhi - Jammu / Katra
3. Delhi - Dharamshala
4. Delhi - Jaipur
5. Delhi - Shimla
6. Delhi - Lucknow
7. Delhi - Chandigarh

I was arriving in Delhi in the evening and had to get to Chandigarh asap. The timings for the Haryana Roadways Delhi-Chandigarg Saarthi Volvo bus are given wrong on Haryana Roadways website. Luckily, i was in ISBT Kashmiri Gate by 7 and managed to get the 7:15pm Volvo. The ticket price was quite steep - Rs 410 for a 250km journey. In contrast, the 160km Pune - Mumbai trip costs Rs 250.
The bus surprisingly had just 41 seats instead of the usual 45. Neeta Volvo for example has 49 seats on the Mumbai - Pune route!
The bus left at 7:15pm sharp but it took us around an hour to hit the bypass due to evening traffic.
There were two LCD screens (movie played - Hungama) and we were given a mineral water bottle free.
With a 30min break at Karnala lake resort, we reached Chandigarh at 12:15am. Thats five hours including break and messy Delhi traffic. On the highway, i was timing the kilometer marks and the bus was covering each kilometer in around 38-39 seconds which translates into a true speed of around 95 or around 100km/h on the speedometer.

In all it was a good experience. On the way back, we took the 1:10pm Volvo from Chandigarh after a few days and i got off at the Delhi bypass at 5:45pm.

Here are 2 videos of two Haryana Roadways Saarthi Volvo buses at the Karnal stop

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mumbai / Pune to Mangalore Volvo bus

Volvo operators like Canara Pinto / Mahabaleshwara and Shiva Volvo operate Volvo buses from Mumbai as well as Pune to Mangalore.

Here is a picture of the Shiva Volvo.

(click to enlarge)

This Volvo leaves Mumbai at 1pm, picks up passengers from Pune at 5pm, and reaches Mangalore at 9am the next day. The ticket price is Rs 1000.

Monday, March 9, 2009

TATA Hispano luxury buses : APSRTC starts using them

APSRTC has started using the new TATA Hispano inter-city luxury buses. The main reason for this is the lower cost of the bus, which is around Rs 50, a good Rs 25 lakh less than the likes of the Volvo B7R.

Reach more HERE
Pic :

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pune to Kolhapur Volvo

click to enlarge

Kolhapur is around 245km from Pune and a business hub as well.
Everyday, hundreds of people travel between these two cities. The most famous operator on this route is Konduskar Volvo. Apart from this, Neeta Volvo and other operators also run their buses on this route.
Here are the details on the Pune - Kolhapur Konduskar Volvo service:

1. There are four buses. Each leaves Pune at 7am , 2:30pm, 5:00pm and 11:30pm. These four buses arrive at Kolhapur at 11:45am, 7:15pm, 10:15pm and 4:00am respectively.
The price of the ticket is Rs 290 each.

Pune to Mysore by KSRTC Volvo
Mumbai to Pune by Volvo

Pune to Mysore by Volvo : How to

(click to enlarge) This is the 3pm Pune-Mysore KSRTC Volvo bus

KSRTC had last year started plying its Volvo service on the Pune - Mysore route.
The bus starts from Pune (camp office) at 3pm, picking up passengers from Swargate, hitting the Katraj bypass by around 3:45pm.
The bus reaches Bangalore at around 6:00am in the morning, reaching Mysore by 8:30am. The price of the ticket is Rs 1150.

The Corona Ambari A/c Bus
Akash's passey's interview with us
Mercedes Benz buses come to India

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Temsa Global to enter the India bus segment

What Volvo started with the B7R changed the way we Indians looked at bus travel. Today we have players like Mercedes Benz, Cerita Motors, Swaraj Mazda Isuzu, Corona etc in the luxury bus segment. And now Turkish commercial vehicle maker, Temsa Global is looking to enter the Indian bus market too. The firm has undertaken a feasibility study on the commercial potential to set-up an integrated bus making facility in India. It has been eyeing India as the manufacturing base for Asian markets besides developing a sourcing base for automotive components for its global manufacturing operations.

Temsa is looking to introduce its long-distance inter-city coaches under the Safari brand for the urban markets. Such coaches dominate the 50,000 units-a-year Indian bus market. Currently Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are the top players in the product segment.

The Turkish firm is looking at high local content in its buses and its officials have met more than 30 Indian component suppliers to develop a vendor base in the country. It is scouting local vendors for major components like gears, engines, seats, glass, axles and metal parts.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Volvo B9R wins the NDTV Car India award

Volvo 9400 6x2 multi-axle inter-city bus also known as the B9R was announced as the Automotive Technology of the Year at the NDTV profit Car & Bike awards 2009.
Volvo Buses has been bestowed upon this award based on the critical assessment by a panel of judges, comprising of leading experts in the Auto field. The award winning Volvo 9400 6x2, the market’s first coach with a multi-axle configuration was launched in India in October 2008. Since its inception, the Volvo multi-axle bus has succeeded in taking the inter-city luxury AC coach segment to its next level.

With a 9-liter rear engine and a 6x2 configuration, the Volvo 9400 6x2 helps achieve enhanced transport economy through higher occupancy levels and better fuel consumption per passenger km. The 8 additional seats in the standard layout offer greater revenue opportunities and the two axles in the rear provide a much higher ride comfort than before. Additionally, this new model brings in a host of new safety and technological features. This new model will cater to the long-distance, high occupancy routes and is already in service with many customers in the country.

Features present on the new model, like electronic braking and electronic suspension are a first in the country. With this model, the Indian Bus industry has now graduated to a new level and the company has already got excellent feedback from our customers on all aspects of the bus.



Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Corona Ambari A/C bus

Some months back, the Pune based manufacturer rolled out its Corona sleeper buses. With a 160bhp rear engine, the bus has 32 comfortable sleeper berths. The company also rolled out its A/C seater for long distance routes now being used by various operators including KSRTC

Body and frame:
Corona bus is an all steel integral monocoque construction and has two important structural members:
a) Spines to carry load carrying member and
Exterior cage which is integrated with spine to have a unique single piece monocoque structure.
The entire structure is made up of rectangular steel tubes. The structure has comparatively high impact strength.

The bus is fitted with 160 Horse power Cummins engine at the rear end so as to reduce noise pollution inside the bus saloon. The rear engine ensures reduced transmission loss. Larger flaps are fitted at rear end and at sides for better accessibility and maintenance of the engine.The bus can easily maintain speeds of 95-100km/h on the highways and returns around 4km to a litre of diesel.

Air suspension:
Fully independent front Air suspension are provided which carries double link wish bone at both left and right independently supported to the structure by silent bearings. The rear end is provided with an independent single wish bone structure which is pivoted to the body structural spines with rubber mountings for comfortable travel. The Air suspension provides bump free travel to the passenger

Passenger saloon:
The passenger saloon is provided with ultra modern interiors, ‘Happich’ imported hatracks to carry light luggage, comfortable reclining hi-tech passenger seats, imported floor carpeting, high mounted TV to have better viewing pleasure for passengers.

Air conditioner:
This bus is provided with good branded “carrier” make air-conditioner with excellent cooling effect to make the journey comfortable & cool.

Front show and wind shield:
The bus is provided with improved front show and wind shield to have better aero dynamics and fuel efficiency. Better visibility and safety. Single piece front cowl gives better insulation and avoids dust entry into the cabin and also help in reduction in noise pollution.

Luggage space:
The bus is provided with excellent under slung luggage space (approximately 11 cubic mtrs) to carry more luggages of passengers and also better road holding with lowered centre of gravity. Loading and unloading of luggage is very easy as the luggage space is much nearer to the ground.

The Braking system provides safe and reliable braking with dual circuit full air brakes. Condenser cum water separator is provided in addition to the air dryer to enhance life and performance of brake system. Automatic slack adjuster are provided to enhance the braking efficiency.

Seats Configuration:
Fitted with 44 passenger seats with 2x2 seating configuration. The seats are comfortable with reclining mechanism.

The bus is provided with all aluminum doors and stretched galvanized panels. The panels are painted with polyurethane based premier high solid 2k paints with colorful graphics.

The end rate for the Corona Ambari A/C bus is Rs. 36,81,563.00.12.

Brand Name:
The Bus is named as “AMBAARI” – means comfortable & luxurious journey on the top of an Elephant.


Royal Cruiser stops Volvo bus operations on Kolkata-Siliguri route

Akash Passey's exclusive interview for us

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Royal Cruiser Volvo to stop operations on Kolkata-Siliguri route

Royal Cruiser, one of the biggest Volvo operators in East India will soon stop its daily Siliguri - Kolkata / Kolkata- Siliguri Volvo service due the poor road conditions. Due to the bad roads, the Volvo bus takes around 12-14 hours, whereas the same distance on other Indian routes takes seven to eight only!

There are very bad stretches between Dalkhola and Siliguri and Barasat and Dalkhola which damanges the suspension of the bike badly. A Volvo B7R has four air bellows, each of which is replaced every 2,00,000km in normal usage. But on this route, the operators have had to change two of the bellows in less than 10,000km!

The state govt and NHAI have not repaired these stretches for ages now. Infact, when I took the same Royal Cruiser Volvo from Siliguri to Kolkata in Dec 2006, i too could feel the bad stretch, with our bus having touched its underbelly on numerous occasions.
It is a shame that the Volvo will no longer run on the route!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Akash Passey's exclusive interview for us!

We recently had an exclusive interview with Mr Akash Passey, the Managing Director for Volvo Buses India Pvt Ltd. Volvo buses have completely changed the way we Indians looked at bus travel in India. Here is the interview...

1. How has the response to the new B9R been?
The response to the Volvo B9R, which we now term Volvo 9400 6x2 has been very good. We have been getting continuous feedback from our customers and our team. The feedback around the key aspects of comfort, long-distance drive, fuel efficiency and other aspects related to transport economy and passenger feedback is promising.

2. Have you thought about introducing a cheaper variant of the B9R with the same B7R engine?
The current choice of using the 9 litre engine was a considered decision when we weighed the product profile and its application. This includes various aspects – drivability, fuel, longevity, after-sales, our product strategies etc. Following its introduction we have no reason yet to consider changing this product profile. Also, the price, while important, is only one component in the entire Life Cycle Cost and we think we have a good solution for our customers here.

3. Volvo hasn’t penetrated the northern and eastern markets much. Any particular reasons for this?
Volvo Buses commenced its operations in India with a ‘step-by-step’ approach, starting in the South first, expanding to West and thereon moving our presence into the East and North regions of India. So, South and West did get a higher exposure to begin with. Private Operators in the North largely operate in the private tourism segment which is not as large as the inter-city coach segment that operators cater to in South and West. The inter-city segment in North is today mainly catered to by local state corporations who are relatively more focused on general segments rather than the AC segment, for now In East, the road network is a hindrance to development

4. Volvo’s policy of training drivers for running the buses has been positive. But are operators sticking to it?
At an overall level, yes. Driver training is one important support to protect their investment and customers realize that. A driver could account for 15 % of the fuel efficiency and any mature operator sees it in his own benefit to use a Volvo trained driver.

Also, the drivers operate within a motivating environment – a driver-friendly environment and with a driveline that is responsive. Everyone likes to give their best and these circumstances make the drivers want to do even better. With every bus we sell, we train 3 or more customer drivers and we now also have refresher training programs.

The aim is to make good drivers even better. And this aim is not a one-off effort. The culture of defensive, economic and safe driving will get deeper and wide- spread as we continue take these steps. We are aware that just as we seek to change the way people behave we must also work to change the circumstances they operate in. This of course, involves more stakeholders than only us. We will surely see the importance, status and value of a good driver increase in time to come.
5. On some routes, we have seen that operators aren’t taking care of the buses. For example, Neeta’s Mumbai-Pune B7Rs are in poor condition. Water leaks in monsoons, the buses smoke and interiors are in shambles. Shouldn’t Volvo take notice of this as it gives a bad name to the brand
We do our best to influence this through various means – service agreements, our support network and various other support solutions. This year we have also started with new offers on refurbishment of old buses and hope to attract more and more customers. On the other hand, starting this year, we established a new company – Volvo Buses India Private Limited, which is now the firstcompany singularly focused on bus transport solutions. Furthermore, we are now unique in India, building both the chassis and body within Volvo, and not outsourcing the body. In January, we inaugurated the Volvo Bus Body plant. As a complete bus company in India this also means new standards in terms of the total transport solution we offer and the quality standards we set in the industry. With one stop shop concept being reinforced now, we feel the general maintenance level on the body will improve even further now

These are efforts which will allow us be closer to our customers & influence the market. Of course, the more the customer and market demands the more we can & will deliver.

6. How has your stand been against non-Volvo operators using the Volvo logo to lure customers
We do not accept such practises. Especially where the use of Volvo logo or name is directed at misleading passengers. Our legal department is active in following up on these cases. We have successfully managed to stop many but are aware that this may continue. We will continue to pursue our efforts to protect the Volvo brand and our trademark to the fullest.

7. Do we see any new launches this year?
Unfortunately, we never will comment on forward looking figures and introductions. But Volvo has a wide global product program and we have a big role to playwith most successful city bus transportation systems around the world. So, you can expect us to continue to create, influence and respond to our customer demands and keep taking our next steps forward. But its not possible to say ‘what, when, how and if or if not’!

8. (this question is purely for enthusiast readers of our blog). The B7R’s company claimed top speed is 103. However we have seen these buses run at much higher speeds. How much can they actually do on the speedometer? And what about the B9R?
The speeds vary from country to country depending on local regulations.
Depending on the country the product can of course touch much higher speeds. In India we very much encourage operators to restrict speed as it adds to the fuel efficiency for the operator and most importantly adds to safety risks on the road

With the only company to introduce electronic engines in the bus segment in India , we are able to adjust speed limits on operators request at a short notice

9. What is the average fuel consumption for both the B7R and B9R on open highways (devoid of hills)
The average fuel consumption is a very difficult figure to define in a commercial vehicle in this case. One can witness figures around 3kmpl and you can hear of figures higher than this too. On the other hand if one picked up specific drivers, fleet managers and terrain you can witness some fantastic figures, either way. So, we will never give a specific figure yet but can only indicate so. With our customers, where we understand their specific circumstances, we would share this data, but rarely speak about it in general!

10. Websites like have transformed the way we can book bus tickets. What is your take on these?
Eventually, the total solution to passengers and those affected by transportation lies in the hand of all stakeholders – manufacturers, authorities, customers, service companies, passengers etc. It’s very important that we see good quality initiatives and high degree of collaboration across the board. Initiatives like these are very good and most welcome.

11. Do you support new individuals with a passion for Volvo buses and would want to be a Volvo bus operator?
Passon is a very key component in anything one does and so does it apply to the transport business. But we would leave it to the individuals to gauge the viability and implementation of their business models in the market. It’s something which a fleet operator or the enterpeneur can estimate best. As advisors we of course, are always there to put together the pieces related to the application of our buses.

12. What have been the latest routes that Volvo buses have explored? What about the longest one. Is the Paulo’s Ahmedabad-Panaji route?
Volvo buses now run across all popular routes in India, the latest addition has been up North in Uttar Pradesh where Lucknow is connected to various destinations within and outside the state, through Volvo buses

There are many one of routes which are long enough but a well known stable route with a high population of Volvo buses is the Mumbai-Bangalore route in which operators cover over 1000 kms per day

13. Lastly, what is the base price for both the B7R and B9R (ex-factory)
At the present moment 9400 6x2 has an introductory price of 85.0 lacs ex factory and 9400 4x2 has a price of 72 lacs. These prices are based ex factory on our standard specification

A Rs 75 lakh bus goes up in flame

Monday, January 5, 2009

Villagers torch up a 75 lakh rupee Volvo

A new Volvo B7R costs Rs 75 lakh and so.. gone up in flames... (seen here is Libra Volvo)

After a Punjab Roadways Volvo ran over a villager on the Chandigarh-Delhi route, an angry mob set on fire the bus.
This is the full news taken from Indianexpress

The death of a youth in a road accident triggered a massive protest in Bhankerpur village located on the Chandigarh-Delhi National Highway-22 on Friday.

The accident occurred around 7 pm when Jasveer Singh, a resident of Bhankerpur village, was run over by a Punjab Roadways Volvo bus, which was on its way from Chandigarh to Delhi. Within minutes, hundreds of villagers assembled on the highway and surrounded the bus.

Sensing trouble, the driver and the conductor of the bus fled the spot, while over 50 passengers were stranded midway.

Finding the bus crew missing, the angry villagers torched the bus and squatted in the middle of the highway, blocking the heavy vehicular traffic on the four-lane road.

While none of the passengers were inured as they had alighted before it was set on fire, most of them lost their luggage in the blaze.

As the irate villagers, numbering over 200, laid a siege to the expressway, the fire tenders from Dera Bassi, too, got stuck in the jam and could not reach in time.

Around 8 pm, a police team led by Mohali Superintendent of Police (Detective) R K Bakshi arrived at the spot and tried to persuade the protestors to lift the blockade.

When their repeated requests fell on deaf ears, the police resorted to the use of force to disperse the mob and clear the busy highway, which was by then clogged with long rows of vehicles stranded on either side.

It took a heavy police force to control the frayed tempers as traffic was restored around 8.15 pm.

Jasveer’s father Karam Singh said the failure of the authorities concerned to build a flyover on the expressway, which was recently made a four-lane stretch, at Bhankerpur resulted in the death of his son.

Jasveer, who worked with a private company in Dera Bassi, is survived by his wife whom he married six months ago.

Neena, who had boarded the bus for Delhi, was seen running for cover, leaving her belongings in the bus. “I want to save my life first,” she said.

Another passenger, Ankur, who had to reach the Delhi airport to receive a cousin coming from the US, lost his laptop and a bag containing important documents.

The bus passengers faced a tough time making alternate arrangements to continue their journey, that too braving the biting cold and after losing all their belongings.

By the time two fire tenders could douse the flames, a major part of the bus had been reduced to ashes.


Eagle introduces Mercedes Benz buses for travel

Eagle Corporate, a very popular bus operator in Gujrat recently introduced Mercedes Benz buses for inter-city travel. The buses would run on the Ahmedabad-Rajkot route, taking just three hours to cover 210km as compared to more than 3.5hours taken by the Volvo buses. Eagle claims that the Merc buses are far more powerful and hence are able to run at higher speeds!

The operator is known for its long distance Volvo and non-Volvo buses and now joins the race for Mercedes Benz buses.

Here is the news from

A leading travel agency of Western India, Eagle travel agency introduced Mercedes Benz bus for public transportation.
Annoucing the launch of the Rs 84 lakh luxury bus last night, Gujarat Finance Minister, Vajubhai Vala, said this will set new standards in passenger transport in the country.

The private public transport operation claimed to be the first operator to offer customers entertainment through projectors in the bus and to launch sleeper coach for long journey, Jayendra Bavaria, Managing Director of the travel agency said.

The travel agency has introduced the imported bus"Volvo"in Gujarat and also introduce first in the country an inbuilt washroom in the bus, Bavaria said and added the agency was also first in the state to introduce non-stop fleet with in-bus services.

"We also offers E-ticket facilities where the commuters can buy their tickets from anywhere, anytime through their website," Bavariya said.

On the occasion, city mayor, Sandhya Vyas, Mercedes Benz senior official, Ashok Bhardwaj were also present.