Chitradurga to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

As I noted in my earlier post on the outbound journey, picking up KSRTC was a no-brainer for this short journey. I wanted a bus that departed after 1700hrs, and one that gets me to Bengaluru before 2200hrs - this was the 'if' and 'but' clauses I had set. I wanted to travel by a Volvo B7R (they are counting their last days in KSRTC) - but there weren't any in the time band that I wanted to travel in. There were four Airavat Club Classes in the time band that I wanted to travel in - at 1700, 1705, 1730 and 1815hrs - I opted for the one departing at 1730hrs, for the reason that this was operated by Shivamogga depot, and I hadn't traveled in their buses yet.

June 25, 2019:
I had completed my examination work by 1600hrs - I delayed the final paperwork a little bit so that I get to the bus station only by 1630~1645hrs. I got to the bus station a little before 1700hrs. Chitradurga bus station is a small place - with place for about 10 buses to park at any point of time, but with a large circulating area for buses. The waiting shelter was a little too crowded, and I preferred staying away from the shelter. Although I would've preferred having a quick snack - I had no options around, except the run-of-the-mill packed snacks! The earlier buses came perfectly on time, and departed fairly on time as well.

I had received the SMS containing details of my bus at around 1530hrs - and I was traveling by a fairly new Volvo B11R again! My bus came in at 1737hours - about 7 minutes behind schedule. The bus had to wait for a while to get a platform - I got in to the bus in the meantime. I badly wanted to charge my phone, and I desperately searched for a charging point - my seat had them, but wouldn't work. I searched a couple of seats more, and the situation was same! Meanwhile, the bus moved to the platform, and the driver got off the bus.
The bus: KA-14-F-0036 of Shivamogga depot

The conductor updated that we'd depart only at 1800hrs, and stayed outside the bus trying to get more passengers. True to his word, the bus departed exactly at 1800hrs. The driver was swift - he quickly exited the city and got to the highway. The driver was fairly fast - but not very fast. I was hungry - and it was getting worse. We passed the usual break spot, and continued forward. The bus stopped a dim-lot hotel near Hiriyur (Parijatha Hotel) at around 1843hrs - the crew announced a 15 minute break and got off - I rushed to the restaurant to grab something to eat.

The break was longer than announced - we got moving from the hotel at 1909hrs, after a 26 minute break. In the meantime, another bus to Bengaluru (operated by Davanagere depot) had joined in. The run after the dinner halt was largely eventless - both the buses competed with each other and made for some time-pass. I got off at Parle toll (Nagasandra) at 2125hrs - fairly behind schedule!

Remarks: The bus, KA-14-F-0036 homed at Shivamogga (Shimoga) depot, had clocked about 1.81 Lakh kilometres. The bus was fairly well maintained - the interiors were clean, but amenities like charging points weren't working. Both the crew members were great - very soft spoken and well behaved. The driving style was the usual 'go-slow-be-stable' kinda driving. The driver didn't lug the engine - all thanks to the Volvo iShift system. Overall a good journey!

Amenities:
Blanket: No
Water: Yes
Snacks: No
Charging Point: Available, Did not work.
Entertainment: Available, Not used

Ratings:
Maintenance: 5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 4.5/5

Overall: 4.75/5

Pros: Value for money, punctual
Cons: Nothing really


Will I take this service again? Absolutely!

Comments

rahulvijayev said…
1. What is the number of B7Rs owned by KSRTC? (roughly)
2. How long can be expect the current KSRTC B7Rs to be in service?
3. What is their replacement plan?

Just curious to know if they would be replacing the ones to Kerala too (especially Kannur)!
Binai K Sankar said…
@Rahul..

1. I'd guess they have around 50-60 Volvo B7Rs now. Could be even lesser than 50 as well.
2. It being KSRTC, nobody could even guess how long they'd be around. Easily another couple of years for sure.
3. Fifteen (15) new Volvo B8Rs are expected this year to replace some B7Rs. Except on routes where only the B7R can go, the others would get upgraded to Multi-axle buses.

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