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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

KSRTC gets the Volvo 9400PX 14.5m bus for testing

First shown to the Indian public early this year, Volvo has finally commenced trials of India’s longest and first14.5 Luxury Coach – the Volvo 9400PX bus. KSRTC or Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation is using the Volvo 9400PX multi-axle bus on the Bangalore - Mysore route. This bus comes with features like:
1. First bus in India with a steerable tag-axle for better manoeuvrability
2. Comes equipped with the Volvo I-shift automated transmission as standard
3. The Volvo 9400PX is built on the new light-weight Volvo PX platform, which provides even better grade ability and acceleration as well as enhanced stability larger luggage space.
4. The new coach also offers a much higher performance like never before with the new Volvo 11-litre engine that offers 370hp.
5. The Volvo 9400PX’s spacious interiors offer a range of opportunities for customers to incorporate a variety of passenger conveniences from pantry, toilet, VOD and a range of other features – for smooth long-distance travel.

Volvo not only started the concept of luxury buses in India but also rules the segment with its single axle and multi-axle B7R and B9R buses covering the length and breadth of India every day and night! Expect the new 9400PX to rule long distance routes in the coming few months as well! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Manali to Leh Volvo bus service : all details

No, there is no such service between Manali and Leh of Volvo or Mercedes luxury buses! 

It goes without saying that new age luxury buses like Volvo and Mercedes have changed the way we looked at bus travel in India. Infact, in North India, the Volvo B7R bus ply upto the 6500 feet high hill-station of Manali which gets a fair amount of snow between Jan and March and yet, the buses have no issues at all.
However, come summers, and people start searching for the Manali to Leh buses, without even understand the real terrain on this route. A big answer to the question is NO - A Volvo or a Mercedes bus can simply not ply on the Manali - Leh route. Why?
1. The ground clearance is too low for bad section around Rohtang and later at Sarchu / Pang and the various passes. Even with the adjustable suspension, the craters and bad roads are bad enough to stop a Volvo or a Merc bus!
2. The windows are sealed - AMS or acute mountain sickness always hits you pretty bad due to elevation and hence, sealer windows means you cant puke out!
3. Their length : most private and public buses (normal, non-AC) on this route are smaller in length (9 m or less) but the Volvo and Merc ones are 12m in length. You simply cant image the kind of roads (narrow, steep turns, tight corners) on this route. A 12m long bus can simply not make it to Leh from Manali!

Reader Feedback: Neeta Mangalore - Mumbai Volvo multi-axle review

Name: Rudolf
Operator: Neeta
Route: Mangalore to Mumbai

I traveled in a Neeta Volvo multiaxle bus from Mangalore to Mumbai on 28th April 2012. Having traveled earlier by Neeta on the same route, I felt the service is deteriorating. The driver who was driving the first section was very rude and abusive, hurling choicest abuses in Kannada and Tulu language which many could not understand to all those who went to talk to him. There was a Gujarati family with a small kid who were desperately wanting a halt for their baby, but after much cajoling did the driver agree to halt but was mumbling some abusive jargon in Tulu because he had to halt. As usual the bus halted in Ankola for dinner. There I pointed out to the same driver that the destination board displayed was Mangalore and should be Mumbai for which he just said "woh mera kaam nahin hai"! From here the drivers seat was taken over by a bearded UP guy (I know this coz I have spoken with him on several occasions before while travelling in Neeta! He is an expert driver as experienced by me. But he has developed this habit of stopping any and everywhere to passengers wanting to get to Mumbai. In this particular trip, he halted for a group of 7 clumsily dressed men after Hubli-Dharwad who wanted to get to Mumbai and made a deal with them (400bucks each) and got them inside even though there were no vacant seats. These men occupied all available space in the drivers cabin and spread to the gangway. The bus was completely dark with no lights on. As usual the night reading lamps are never on in Neeta buses!! But there were quite a few young girls and families in the bus!! In between the bus halted at a RTO checking station where I (seated in the third row on the left) made a desperate attempt to get down for relieving myself, but could not due to the extra passengers sleeping in the gangway and drivers cabin as they were deep in slumber!!! Then again, this driver took new passengers from Pune at 4AM!!

Overall a very bad experience with Neeta and their goonda type drivers!! I would suggest Neeta only when one is left with no option!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Delhi to Jaipur Volvo : now cheaper @ Rs 600

Till now, the RSRTC or the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation had the monopoly on the Delhi to Jaipur route with both single axle and multi-axle Volvo (and some Mercedes units) buses. They had a good routine run but charged a bomb for this 265km journey. The prices are:
1. Single Axle Volvo :Rs 685
2. Multi axle Volvo B9R : Rs 735. 
3. Multi axle Volvo B9R with LCD screens (individual) : Rs 785
This makes the RSRTC Volvos the most expensive on per km basis in India. However, now, thankfully, they have got stiff competition from one of the strongest bus tour operators in West India - Shrinath jee travels. The company has recently started awesome services on the Delhi - Jaipur and Jaipur - Delhi Volvo route.
The main pointers are
1. Only multi-axle buses - Volvo B9R only
2. Delhi - Jaipur frequency : 6am, 6:30am, 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm (2 buses), 7pm, 8pm, 8:30pm, 10pm, 11:55pm
3. Delhi - Jaipur Volvo ticket cost: Rs 600
4. Jaipur - Delhi frequency: 7am, 10am, 12:30pm, 4pm, 10pm, 11:55pm.
5. Jaipur - Delhi Volvo ticket: Rs 500 only (now thats Rs 235 cheaper than RSRTC)

For booking these new Volvo buses on the Jaipur - Delhi or Delhi - Jaipur route, use the ticket booking box on the top of this website and get upto Rs 100 cashback

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another KSRTC Volvo fatal accident - at Kunigal

Another Volvo bus accident and this time involves KSRTC. Remember, in the past too, KSRTC has had several major fatal accident. See HERE
The latest one again comes from the Mangalore - Bangalore route where a KSRTC single axle Volvo B7R was involved in a fatal accident last night. It is learnt that the Volvo bus was overtaking a slow moving truck and the high speed direction change led to the driver losing control near Kunigal and rolled over.
In this accident, Dr Rajwin Fernandes, aged 43, passed away. Dr Rajwin was travelling along with his father Roque Fernandes to Bangalore when the Volvo bus in which he was travelling met with an accident near Kunigal and rolled over. Rajwin died on the spot as a result of severe head injuries. The body was taken to Magadi hospital for post mortem. Four others injured have been admitted to the same hospital for treatment. He was an Ophthalmologist and he had a clinic, ' Trinity Eye Centre' at Valencia.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Volvo bus accident on 9th March 2012 : Kurnool district

Three persons were killed and 14 injured in two different road accidents in Andhra Pradesh today. Police said one passenger was killed and ten injured when a private Volvo bus in which they were travelling turned-turtle at Varvakallu in Kurnool district. The mishap occurred when the bus was proceeding to Kadapa from here. The injured were admitted to a local government hospital, police added. In another accident, two persons were killed and four sustained injuries when a autorickshaw in which they were travelling hit a parked tipper at Rachapalli in Prathipadu Mandal in East Godavari District.

MSRTC Shivneri Volvo accident on 15th March : Dadar - Pune service

On the 15th Of March 2012, a MSRTC Shivneri Volvo bus service, operating between Dadar and Pune, met with an accident near Belapur highway stretch. It is said that the driver was overtaking a trailer and moved towards the right when, due to darkness, he failed to see a divider ahead - divider of a flyover that was starting off in a few metres ahead.
The bus ended up climbing a part of the divider and major damages to its front part. The bus had seven passengers at that time and thankfully, no one was injured.
Bus number : MH-04 G 6905
Driver name : Avinash Ashok More

Olivea Volvo Bus review : fare and timings

Olivea did something that was bound to happen in the world of high end luxury Volvo buses in India. They rolled out an unique and new concept in this segment and choose to have the Volvo multi-axle buses as the best product for the new project.
Olivea Volvo buses can be considered as the best, most high-end and most luxurious way of traveling by buses in India, something that can easily match up to high end luxury cars and much better than flying, at a fraction of a cost.

Here are a few pointers on how the Olivea Volvo buses are different - a review of Olivea from our end
1. To start with, there are only 7 rows of seats in 2+1 configuration : this means extra knee and shoulder room
2. The buses are safe and secured with GPS enabled tracking system
3. The seats have 165 degree reclining with calf and lumbar support
4. Gourmet meals are offered in the bus. Also if the scheduled arrival in a city is early morning, you are given a small breakfast pack
5. There is wi-fi connectivity on board
6. The bus has individual 10 inch Plasma screens with pre loaded movies and LIVE channels
7. Olivea also offers check-in facility with lounge at 5 star hotels!
8. There is a washroom on board as well.
9. You are greeted with trained airline kind of hostess on board
10. You are simply pampered to the core.
11. There are no extra city or en-route stops which means the travel time is reduced considerably.

Olivea does charge a bomb for the services if you compare them with the conventional Volvo or Mercedes bus operators but a single glance on the 11 points above means they are well worth the extra dough!

Delhi to Manali Volvo bus : rate, timings, names

Manali is one of the most happening hill stations in North India and no wonder, it sees thousands of tourists coming in each weekend. Volvo buses have been operating on this route for several years and now, close to a dozen Volvo / Isuzu high end buses leave Delhi for Manali every day.

Here is a list of all the Volvo buses, their seat cost and timings
These are (sorted price wise)
  1. Himachal Volvo Tour bus : Rs 875.
    Departs at 5pm
  2. Dev Travel Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 5pm
  3. Manali Mail Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 5pm
  4. Royal Travels Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 5:15pm
  5. New Himachal Holiday Tour Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 5:15pm
  6. Royal Travels Isuzu bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 5:30pm
  7. Heera Himachal Holidays Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 5:30pm
  8. Raj Himachal Holidays Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 6pm
  9. Himachal Holiday India Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 6pm
  10. Himalaya Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 6pm
  11. Heera Himachal Holidays Volvo bus 2 : Rs 875
    Departs at 6pm
  12. Rana Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 6:30pm
  13. Apsara Holidays tours Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 6:30pm
  14. Blue World travels Volvo bus : Rs 875
    Departs at 6:45pm
  15. Zimindara Travels Volvo bus : Rs 925
    Departs at 5pm
  16. JBG Tour and travels Volvo bus : Rs 1050 and 1099
    Departs at 5:15pm and 5:30pm
  17. Swagatam Travels Volvo bus : Rs 1050 and Rs 1150
    Departs at 5:40pm and 5pm
  18. Continental Travels Volvo bus : Rs 1050
    Departs at 6pm
  19. City Land travels Volvo bus : Rs 1050
    Departs at 6:30pm and 7pm
  20. Laxmi Holiday Volvo bus : Rs 1050
    Departs at 6:30pm