Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

I have nothing to say - I didn't even look at options. I headed straight to the KSRTC website as the date of my journey was confirmed, booked a window seat on my favorite service - 2130PGTBNG. The KSRTC website allows payments using UPI, which is a very big convenience!

September 16, 2019:
It was one tempestuous day - we ended up missing our lunch that day, and had to do with whatever we could manage. The long day winded up with light dinner, and I got into an autorickshaw to get to the bus stop. I got a bus soon later, and got to Palakkad by around 2040hrs. I was at the KSRTC bus station by around 2050hrs - much earlier than the departure time of my bus. My first attempt was to search for my bus - I couldn't find any Airavat Club Class bus parked at the normal parking area - I was a little confused about this. I returned to the bus station, and found one Airavat Club Class Scania bus parked behind a few KSRTC buses. There were no specials from Palakkad on this day - so this had to be my bus.

I had tried tracking the bus operating my service the previous night, and had found a Volvo bus listed for the schedule. So where did that bus go? The same tracking link showed that bus returning to Bengaluru on the day of my journey - it reached back there by evening, as well. The bus at the Palakkad bus station seemed to be have been parked since some time - there was no crew around it either. Sometime past 2110hrs, a Karnataka SRTC staffer came, turned on the bus and shifted it to the usual departure bay. Soon later, I received an SMS with the details of the bus - the registration number mentioned was exactly the same on the bus.
The bus: KA-57-F-1713

Boarding commenced soon later, and the bus was filled in no time. Some passengers seemed confused since the digital display on the bus read 'Thrissur-Bengaluru', and passengers were on the lookout for a Palakkad - Bengaluru bus. Finally, the driver called up most of them and got them on board. I had a quick work with the driver, and found that he was the sole crew (there was no conductor that day), and the bus had a break down the previous night and was stuck there since. Boarding was completed soon - a couple of seats were sold to walk-in passengers as well. We started at 2138hrs - 8 minutes behind schedule.

The driver was slow from the word go - and lugged the bus quite often. The AC blower speed was set at the lowest setting - although it was getting cool, it was not quite comfortable. I slept soon later - after we passed over to Tamilnadu. The sleep was not continuous, but still good. I vaguely remember the bus stopped somewhere - not sure if it was break, or if the bus had stopped on somebody's request. I woke up only as the crew called out of passengers alighting at Electronic City - we stopped at the Toll gate, at 0409hrs - quickly dropped passengers and got moving by 0411hrs. We took the elevated highway, and got to Silk Board by 0422hrs. City roads were still deserted - we moved forward soon enough, getting to St. Johns by 0428, and Shantinagar bus station by 0436hrs. We finally got to Majestic by 0443hrs (57 minutes early!)

Remarks: The bus, KA-57-F-1713, was homed at Bengaluru-4. I couldn't check the odometer reading of the bus - since the driver had set it to the trip mode. The bus was in fairly good shape - this was an unexpected journey by a Scania. I find the rear suspension in KaSRTC's Scanias on the harder side. The driver was friendly and soft-spoken. I did not really like the way he drove - not that it was rash, but the lack of proper gearing meant a lot of vibrations. The drive was really sleep friendly, and I managed to sleep through this journey as well!

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

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

Overall: 4.90/5

Pros: Great Service, Excellent crew.
Cons: Drivers are a little too unpredictable in their driving style

Will I take this service again? This question doesn't arise! It is the best option on the route!


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