Monday, July 18, 2011

My First Travel Experience in Private AC bus

It was 5th of June, 2010. I was doing my Summer Internships then, with HCL Infosystems at Chennai. I was all set for my first overnight journey in an AC bus.

Actually, during the mid of may, when my brother's marriage date in Tirunelvely was confirmed, i was determined to travel in an AC bus. I was confused a lot as i was left with lot of choices, while booking the tickets.  I got the following options after a brief search over the internet and

  1. SETC AC Coach bus: Fare Rs 560. 
  2. ABTX Travels AC bus: Fare Rs 605. 
  3. SRM Travels Volvo: Rs 890. 

I omitted SRM Travels as the cost was too high. I also omitted SETC AC Coach as, i found the travel time too high for an AC bus, in a stretch which is 100% 4 lane road. I was thinking of booking in TNSTC AC Coach bus, but TNSTC AC bus was full. So, i was left with the last option of ABT Travels. It was an Ashok Leyland 12m Chaises. I booked the ticket. The departure point was Koyambedu Private bus stand, at 6 PM. I went there at 5:30 PM and took the boarding pass immediately and he asked me to wait in the AC Waiting hall, where there were other passengers bound to Tirunelvely and Nagercoil. The bus came from Guindy, where ABT has it's own depot. It came at 6:05 PM and departed at 6:15 PM after all the passengers came. The bus was almost 75% full. He took the Maduravoyal by-pass route and had Perungalathur as the third boarding point. This was the last point from where he boarded the passengers.

After this, he was flying like a rocket, in his maximum speed. SRM Volvo was the only bus that overtook us. He, stopped for dinner at 8:40 PM somewhere between Tindivanam and Villlupuram. I remember, it was around 9:10, when he by-passed Villupuram. After that, i felt asleep and in between I used to wake up and see where was the bus moving. It was 11:40, when he was by-passing Tiruchirapalli. After that, i felt deeply asleep and it was around 1:30, when he stopped for break near Kovilpatti. After he started from there, i was never feeling sleepy. The drivers got exchanged and the new driver (who was the original driver, dressed up in White and White uniform) started driving and he was driving very slow. Even, normal Express buses from TNSTC and SETC overtook this bus during the short 1 hour trip. Finally, he reached Tirunvely Junction Bus stand at sharply 3 AM, from where i boarded an auto to a lodge near Vannarpettai. When enquired about the timing of the bus with the auto wala, he told that this bus came half-an-hour earlier today.

I was really surprised and got impressed with the travel as he was faster than some of the trains that run in this route. Earlier, Chennai - Tirunelvely, used to take 14 hours in the single 2 lane road. 


Allen Mc En Roy said...

ABT is usually known for keeping up their time and safety. They are not like KPN and other useless private buses which are keen in making more money and carrying lot of parcel than passengers in the bus.They are very professional and all of their buses have GPS tracking systems they never stop unnecessarily.. When I was at India I usually take it from Chennai to Coimbatore. They usually take not more than 9 hours to reach cbe, the fastest time I have traveled is 7.30hrs which is as fast as any train from cbe to chennai. They are reliable and never make mess with the passengers.

midnightcoder said...

I have travelled in almost all private buses running from Chennai to tirunelveli.I suggest and prefer SRM and ARC. Difference is in ABTX the bus has 40 seats where ARC and SRM coaches have 36 seats means the leg room and the push back is less in ABTX when compared to other coaches. Am not sure why the other person has complained about KPN. In my experience i have been travelling with KPN for last 15 years and thats the best service i have ever seen. even if your bus gets breakdown they make sure you reach your place.

Santosh said...

@Both: Thanks for sharing your views..

@ Allen: That is very true..
Nowadays KPN is going worse, with lot of bed bug complaints and failure in punctuality of their services.

Hai Baji said...
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snigdha G said...
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Tinu Anzz said...

I have travelled in most popular private buses. I suggest you book your bus tickets in SRM Travels and Kallada Travels. The facilities and services are very good. You can able to book tickets with coupon codes and promotional offers.