SRS Travels Volvo Multi Axle Bus Review: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai Service
April 2012: My travel to Mumbai was a kind of planned holiday, hence was looking deciding on which bus to travel. I had already traveled in Sharma Transport and VRL Buses which were providing good service in Bangalore - Mumbai route. So this time wanted to try out something new, soon I decided to take the SRS Travels Volvo Multi Axle service. I was confident of SRS travels service since I had already travelled in their buses in Bangalore - Mangalore and Bangalore - Shimoga route. SRS Travels Volvo Multi Axle service was something which I had not tried earlier. Hence immediatley opened the link to their website which is there in my blog. There were 3 daily services to Mumbai, 2 to Borivili and 1 to VT. I booked the bus which was leaving at 6 PM, I decided to board the bus from Jalahalli since it was convenient for me to reach there from my house. The first row was full so took a window seat in the second row.
I had booked the bus for Friday evening after office hours. The timings was convenient and it would save a lot of time. The Luxury Multi Axle Buses in Bangalore - Mumbai route on a average take 15 to 17 hours to cover the 1000 odd KMS, where as the train would take around 24 hours, almost around 8 to 9 hours more. And getting a train ticket is next to impossible in season. And Train and flights have always been my last option.
Have travelled 3 times earlier in the Bangalore - Mumbai route in buses, and all the times it has been a pleasure travelling. All I can say it is one of the best roads to travel in India. Free of potholes and the entire lane is 4 lane from Bangalore to Pune and 6 Lane express way from Pune to Mumbai.
Currently there are more than 50 Luxury buses plying in this route and all the buses run full during season time. So book your tickets at-least ten days in advance. The booking starts usually one month in advance.
The big day had come and I was there at the SRS Travels pick up point in Jalahalli almost 40 mins before the departure time. In Bangalore it is better to reach the pick up point early, else there are more chances of missing the bus due to traffic delays.
SRS Travels office in Jalahalli was quite spacious and had enough seat for travellers for waiting. Checked with the office assistant about the likely time of arrival of the bus. And due to traffic the buses usually come around 20 to 30 mins late. He said they will make up the delay in night and it would take around 16 hours.
I was all excited and was waiting for the bus. The bus came 30 mins late at 7.30 PM in the Peak hour traffic of Bangalore. I kept my travel bag in the huge luggage area of the Volvo Multi Axle. The bus crossed the First Toll Plaza near Parle factory on the Bangalore outskirts and immediately picked up speed. By 8.30 PM the bus reached Kamat hotel on the Tumkur highway for Dinner. The hotel was spacious and had washrooms, food was average like any other Kamat hotels. It was a short 20 Mins dinner break and the staff were very prompt in maintaining the time.
The bus started after the dinner break and a Hindi comedy movie was playing. There were two LCD screens and the AC vents were adjustable. Outside it was raining heavily and the bus maintained decent speed.
Coming to the interior of the bus. Like all SRS Travels buses, the bus was very clean and neat. As per my experience SRS Travels tops on maintaining its large fleet. They have currently more than 300 buses . SRS Travels had fresh blankets and white seat covers for every passenger.
The bus was full and the comedy movie kept all the passengers entertained. Like any Volvo Multi Axle, the seats were comfortable and suspension was very good. The temperature inside the bus was cool. And I too had a good sleep. This bus was Ex- Southern Tourist Volvo Multi Axle, the bus had 44 seats and also had driver sleeping berths.
By early morning the bus had reached Natraj Hotel near Satara for breakfast. Natraj hotel is one of the oldest hotels in the Pune highway. Food was good , but washrooms was not well maintained. But there are no other good hotels in this stretch, so it was something better than nothing. Most of the buses stop at this place only.
A KSRTC Multi axle and a VRL Multi axle also were there.
I did aquick breakfast and was out with my camera taking some close up pics of the bus. The bus left Natraj hotel after a 20 Mins break. The bus then went inside Pune city and dropped few passengers. The drivers did not waste anytime and we were soon out of Pune city.
SRS Travels had fitted speed governors and hence the bus was not crossing 100 KMS speed even in the Mumbai - Pune Express way. The drivers were well experienced and had uniforms. The staff was decent and were cooperative with the passengers.
From Pune to Mumbai they played another movie, by the time the movie ended. The bus was in Mumbai. The bus entered Mumbai at 10.30 AM, that's just in 15 Hours. Unlike many other bus operators who keep wasting time, SRS Travels is very prompt in time management and I must appreciate the staff for keeping up the time.
Overall I can say, had a wonderful comfortable journey from Bangalore to Mumbai .