A Chennai Quickie: RKK Volvo B9R!

There was this urgent need to head to Chennai - it was a quick 30 minute job that I had to finish, but I wasn't sure if it would finish in 30 minutes. I wanted a bus that drops me in Porur - so my options were down to RKK and asianXpress. I had booked on asianXpress last time - but the bus was cancelled and rebooked on an earlier departure. I didn't wan't a re-run this time, and opted to try RKK instead. RKK had this departure at 0445hrs from Madiwala, which would drop me in Porur a little before 1000hrs. The timings were perfect for my purpose. I booked a seat without much thoughts - the bus was quite empty when I booked. My experience with RKK last time was really good, and I didn't have much doubts about the operator when I made this booking.

November 25, 2019:
The bus was to depart at 0445hrs - the pickup point was about 30 minutes from where I was put up that day. A lake breached the previous evening, and the entire neighborhood was inundated the previous evening, the roads were blocked and all forms of public transit were closed. With all this in mind, I decided to wake up much earlier than required and search for cabs much earlier - I was up at 0230hrs in the morning. As I fired up the online cab hailing apps, I found that roads were back to normal, and there were plenty of cabs around. I decided to go slow, and booked a cab only a little before 0400hrs. The cab turned up about a minute after 0400hrs, and we set off towards Madiwala, the pick-up point.

Although I had received a link to track my bus, and the bus was quite far away then. A little after I got in to the cab, I received a call from the travel operator confirming that the bus was running on time, and requested that I be there well before 0445hrs - I confirmed. The cab driver took a different route (as compared to the usual route) - but he was following the route suggested by GMaps. He dropped me at Madiwala by around 0435hrs - a bus owned by RKK was parked there, but the number did not match the one I received on the tracking link. I remained a little away the bus, until I received a call from the crew. They confirmed that the bus standing there, indeed was my bus. I got into the bus a little later.
The bus: KA-01-AF-3100

A warm tone light was used - green curtains, and a maroon-shade seat cover welcomed me. The interiors were clean - well kept and fresh! I took my seat and waited for the bus to move. The crew were quickly following up passengers and we managed to get moving by 0450hrs - about 5 minutes behind schedule. We quickly picked passengers from Madiwala Police station (0453hrs) and rushed towards Chennai. We made another stop at Silk Board, and got moving by 0457hrs. The bus took the elevated highway, and rushed towards Hosur. The next pick-up was at Electronic City toll gate - we started off from there at 0511hrs (we had a 5 minute halt here, waiting for people to turn up). We had a two minute halt after Attibele (I think the crew picked up some tea from there - no passengers joined), started off at 0526hrs.

I dozed off for a while - woke up just as the passenger occupied the aisle seat next to me. We were at Hosur - started from there at 0534hrs. I dozed off for a while more, waking up just as we pulled over at Krishnagiri for another passenger pick-up - starting off from there at 0615hrs. I had another round of sleep - this time quite deep. I woke up only when the attendent came around announcing a break - the bus was backing into the parking at Hotel Aanandhas, near Pallikonda (0731hrs). I was a little hungry - used this break to have my breakfast and a coffee to go along. The break was a little long - we started off only at 0750hrs.  I was a little concerned now if we'd end up being late, especially considering Monday morning traffic in Chennai. We dropped a passenger at Vellore, and continued towards Chennai (0803hrs).

Sleeplessness of the previous night forced me to sleep for a while more. I woke up as the passenger in the seat next to me got off the seat - he alighted at Sriperumbudur (0920hrs). The driver was maintaining serious pace. We got to Poonamallee bypass by 0943hrs - at this point the attendant announced that the bus wouldn't go towards Koyambedu. We stopped next at Saveetha Dental College - all passengers to Maduravoyal and Koyambedu were dropped here, and we continued towards Porur (0950hrs). I was optimistic of being on time now - there was a bit of traffic around Iyyappanthangal. I moved to the cabin by now - the attendant was busy calling out passengers alighting at Ramachandra by now. I finally got off outside the Ramachandra campus, at 0959hrs, one minute before the scheduled time!

Remarks: The bus, KA-01-AF-3100, had clocked about 6 lakh kilometres (I did not notice the exact figure) - it was kept in mint shape. It was in excellent shape inside out. The interiors were fresh and really well kept. The crew were great - the driving style was excellent. He did maintain great pace - but did not give a feeling of that inside. Lane changes were well calculated and stable, and did very minimal honking. The ride took 05h09m, including a 19 minutes break! So thats just 04h50m for the ride! This was the fastest, perhaps, I've had on this route. I loved every part of this ride - and will certainly love to travel with RKK again!

Amenities:
Blanket: Yes
Water: Yes
Snacks: No
Charging Point: Available, worked
Entertainment: Available, not used

Ratings:
Maintenance: 5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 5/5 [Left 10 minutes late, reached a minute early!]

Overall: 5/5

Pros: Comfortable, Quick, VFM
Cons: Can't really think of any!

Will I take this service again? Absolutely!

Comments

Arun said…
RKK seems to be filling the void created by the likes of Hebron and Evavay. Their earlier days weren't great - had few bad experiences with them in the beginning, then became a hit or miss. Off late has hit the consistency that will keep them a preferred operator. I love their early morning departures from either ends.
Unknown said…
Try parveen in this route next time. They have bio toilets, pantry etc in this route
Binai K Sankar said…
@Unknown, not taking Parveen due to the same reason. I prefer buses with a break - prefer stretching out and using the restroom. Not a fan of the concept of non-stop rides.
Darshan Hegde said…
Hi Binai K Sankar, I am regular reader of your blog about busfanning. Inspired by your posts, I too started a blog. Please visit https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/my156.travel.blog/3.

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