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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.