July 02, 2019:
The bus to Hubli departs from Majestic at 2300hrs - it comes in from Chennai, and I was sure there would be some delay. I left home around 2125hrs, and took a metro to Majestic (I didn't want to wait on the road side at Yeshwantpur for the bus to come). I was at Majestic by around 2230hrs. The platform was crowded - buses to every part of north Karnataka were lined up there. Most of the buses had very few passengers - reservation status of my bus updated that our situation was no better. As crew tried to find more passengers, buses remained in their bays for longer time, and this caused a lot of backlog and traffic inside the bus station.
|My bus, waiting to get a platform at Majestic..|
A little past 2300hrs, I notice a fairly new Volvo B11R with NWKRTC markings waiting in line to enter the platform. That was surely my bus - I went there to check and confirm if it was, and it indeed was. KA-63-F-0105 of Hubballi Mofussil-3 depot would be taking me to Hubli that night. The bus came to the bay only by 2307hrs - seven minutes past the scheduled departure time! There were hardly 15 passengers on board (including those boarding from Bengaluru) - the crew tried getting a few more passengers - I think they managed to get a few more. We started off from Majestic bus station by around 2316hrs - stopped for a few more minutes near the exit, and finally started off at 2318hrs - 18 minutes behind schedule.
The driver took the route via Navrang circle (most buses go via Malleswaram instead these days), and got to Govardhan (Yeshwantpur) by 2337hrs - a couple of passengers more joined in, and we continued. The bus didn't take the elevated highway - it went below the flyover, and managed to get a passenger from 8th mile (2347hrs) as well. The driver let the beast loose after we passed the toll gate - the driver managed some great overtakes as well. Interestingly, the bus even had a musical horn - which wasn't used past midnight.
|The bus after dropping me at Hubli Old CBS|
I slept very well past midnight - the driving style was absolutely sleep friendly. I slept so well that I woke up only when the AC was turned off the next morning - the bus was already parked in Hubli Old bus station then (0637hrs)! A little over 6 hours of undisturbed sleep - I was still half asleep when I was jolted awake (by turning off the AC) - I had a bit of hangover as I walked out of the bus. Had to wade the auto drivers to get to the waiting area. It took me a couple of minutes before I was back to senses. After a while, I got into the BRTS bus to head to Dharwad - an amazing journey taking 27 minutes from Hubballi Old CBS to Dharwad Court Circle! (I intend to write on that seperately some other day)
Remarks: The bus, KA-63-F-0105, had about 3.8 Lakh kilometres on the odo. The bus was maintained in really good shape. The interiors were absolutely clean - fresh blankets were given as the bus departed from Bengaluru, as well. I must appreciate the crew members - very well behaved, and amazing driving skills. At 7 hours and 19 minutes, the run time also seemed good. I enjoyed the ride really well. They are comparatively expensive, when compared to private operators. They are cheaper on weekends though.
Charging Point: Available, Did not Use.
Entertainment: Available, Not used.
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Pros: Great Crew, fairly punctual
Cons: Nothing really
Will I take this service again? Would love to when traveling next time