I had two untested operators in the Chennai-Bangalore route - Parveen and Hebron. I had once "tried to try" Parveen, but ended up having to cancel my ticket and choose another operator - but that was over three years ago. Parveen had recently replaced their buses on that route with brand new Scania Metrolink coaches. Hebron is the route leader with multiple services throughout the day using different coaches. I opted for Parveen this time - I must say, my aversion for rash driving and fares played a role in this decision.
March 07, 2016:
I spent the entire day roaming around with my good friend, and fellow rail/bus fan Jayasankar. We did an up and down trip to Alandur from Koyambedu on the Metro as well. After some bus spotting at CMBT, Jay headed back to his room. I was a bit too tired to walk all the way to the new Parveen travels boarding point. I decided to hire an auto instead - Autos are very expensive in Chennai, and this was no different either. I reached the boarding point at around 1630hrs - the bus was already parked there, and door was open. The crew were inside doing some last minute preparations. I went to the office - the guy there, said I could get into the bus. I was the first passenger to get on board the bus.
|The bus - KA-01-AF-5299, before departure. Notice the uniformed attendant.|
The bus, KA-01-AF-5299, looked well maintained. It was clean and fresh inside. The seats had a red colour upholstery. The curtains were the standard blue coloured ones. The seat layout was exactly opposite of what was mentioned on their website. I took to my seat (#17), which was on the left side of the bus (the website mentioned right side). A small pillow, with a nice red cover was kept on the seat. The seat map mentioned the bus had 48 seats - the last row did have seats, but was reserved for the crew. Blankets were also piled up on the last row. The first thing I noticed on sitting down was the oddly placed AC vents, no this bus too! The AC vent was placed right above ones' head, with air being blown from behind.
|Interiors of the bus|
The loads weren't great at the beginning. The bus backed out of their bus station at 1643hrs - two minutes before time. The bus directly went towards the Omni bus terminus, took a U turn and return back towards the Parveen New Bus Station. Some more passengers were picked up from opposite their office and we continued our journey. We left Koyambedu sometime around 1655hrs. Soon after the bus left Koyambedu, the attendant came around with 500-ml water bottles, and a serving of Britannia Cake. I was quite hungry already, and did not wait for long to savour it. The poorly placed AC vents made for an uncomfortable ride already.
|The serving of Cake, kept on the pillow provided in the bus|
The TVs were switched on, and a welcome video was placed. Details about emergency exit and how to use them were demonstrated on video as well. Soon after this a movie was played. Touring Talkies was used in the bus - an option for using WiFi based personal entertainment was also available (although it didn't work for me). I badly wanted to charge my phone - I was quite shocked to see the charging point was actually under my seat! I somehow plugged the charger into the socket - and did not bother removing it till we stopped for break.
We had pick-ups at Maduravoyal, Ponnamalle bypass and Sriperumbudur. I watched the movie on the TV for sometime - the same movie was played on my trip in KPN as well! The driver maintained constant pace once on the highway - speeds were in the range of 95kmph throughout. The last pick-up was at Ambur, at 1950hrs. I spent the rest of the time watching the movie. We had a short break after the toll gate along Tirupattur bypass, and then continued. The small pillow was a great addition. I had pushed back my seat a little bit, so that I could get the cold air from the airvents. We pulled in to Hotel Mangalam, just after Krishnagiri for a break at 2056hrs.
The attendant requested all passengers to get off, and locked the bus. The hotel wasn't very crowded when we stopped - but a little later, two more buses came in and the place got crowded. The other two buses were of Kallada, both heading to Hyderabad. I had my dinner at the hotel - I was already very hungry. We started off from there at 2122hrs. I dozed off for sometime after dinner. We stopped at Hosur to drop a few passengers, at 2154hrs. Traffic after Hosur was very light - thankfully. We reached Electronic City at 2218hrs. The bus took BETL and rushed towards Silk Board. I got down at silk board, at 2226hrs.
|Poorly placed AC vents.|
The bus, KA-01-AF-5299, had covered about 45K kms. The bus had a Malayasian body - evident by the quality of curtains and the brand of LCD screens used inside. The crew were properly uniformed - both drivers and the attendant. All of them spoke very politely to passengers and behaved properly. The bus was clean inside out, and felt very fresh inside. The driving style was amazing - constant speed maintained, with absolutely on rashness. The bus arrived at Silk Board well before time. The AC vent placement was absolutely horrendous, so was the placement of the charging points. The design of the AC vents is also very poor - there is very limited range of movement, making matters even bad. The driving was amazing, and I enjoyed it a lot. Parveen claims to contribute a percentage of the fare towards planting saplings as a part of their Go Green venture - appreciate that little help to the earth.
Blanket: Made available on request
Water: Yes, 500-ml bottles
Snacks: Yes, a piece of cake
Charging Point: Available, remained On throughout.
Entertainment: Available, couple of movies played.
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Overall: 5/5 [Awesome service]
Will I take this service again? Absolutely!