Saturday, November 18, 2017

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My cousin had come for a holiday from the USA to Bengaluru and what better opportunity I had but to plan a quick backpack trip for a day from Bangalore to Jog Falls near Talguppa and Sagara (total of 399km approx). As a usual planner my go to destination for bus ticket bookings was RedBus.

My brother took up the bus booking and I managed the hotel booking, just to split the responsibility. This is where he suggested that we travel by the tried and tested KSRTC Airavat buses. Since a long time KSRTC has been providing transport to many states around Karnataka with their reliable Volvo and Scania buses.


Let us look at the top reasons for you to choose KSRTC over other private players for your travel specifically around Karnataka.

Timeliness


KSRTC buses mostly start from Majestic bus station at different times of the day. Many buses generally start near to midnight at or around 10:30 pm or so when the traffic within the city is a bit low so as to help them negotiate the exit from Bangalore. We had booked a ticket to Sagara in Karnataka and the bus departed exactly at 10:30 pm sharp.

Arrival time is also on the mark and they generally arrive at destinations on or earlier to the said time most of the times barring those times when there is some serious blockage on the roads which is beyond their control.

Online booking and cancellation facility


Though until sometime the online booking experience was not that great, these days the whole process is flawless. You can book tickets on the government portal of KSRTC. You can also use the KSRTC PNR enquiry system to view your PNR status of the booked tickets. While returning from our trip, since we got a train ticket with IRCTC tatkal booking, we needed to cancel the bus ticket. We could do that using the KSRTC ticket cancellation online by just using our PNR number and transaction password printed on the ticket.


You can easily pick source and destination and it shows all the buses available, including a seat map with seats specifically reserved for ladies for safety purposes.

If you are frequent traveler you can create your own login at the KSRTC login online booking link. Here you can save your details and easily book tickets as and when you like without much fuss.

On the topic of refunds, you can check the KSRTC refund status at the same source you booked the ticket with (like your bank account, or credit card, etc)

Reliability



There has always been one feather in the cap for KSRTC buses. And that is the reliability of the transport system. They undertake thousands of trips a year to different destinations and the drivers are familiar with the route and drive safely and within prescribed speed limits. They are careful on the road and one can hardly feel any discomfort while on their buses. The Volvo and Scania buses are comfortable and have decent amount of seat recline and space.

Facilities in the bus



You can get one or more water bottles depending on your use, they have a seat recline system which is decent and almost horizontal. There is also a blanket for you in case you feel cold. The airconditioning system has vents that are easy to close and open and you can precisely set an air flow pattern that you desire. Just to let you know about the comfort, we were sitting on the last two seats of the bus and rarely felt any jerk for the whole journey.

Compared to the Scania the Volvo buses are slightly more comfortable since the Scania buses sometimes lets in the road bumps filter into the cabin, but having said this - there is nothing seriously wrong with either variety of transport

Cleanliness




The buses look modern and clean, and you do not get a feeling you are getting into a rickety old bus at any point in time. Buses are neat, seats look new and well kept and the water, blankets are all well arranged.

Cost of Travel


The cost of travel is pretty reasonable compared to private players. Depending on the class of travel - normal, airavat or diamond class - the cost for our trip from Bangalore to Sagar varied between Rs.340/- to Rs.580/- which is in my opinion very effective for that distance.

If you are a senior citizen KSRTC has a special discount for you as well, you can see the rules on this link(section IV & V).

So what are you waiting for? Decide your destination, hop on to a KSRTC Airavat and sleep like a baby !

Saturday, November 4, 2017

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(image for representational purpose only)

I bought myself a swanky two wheeler and was thrilled to take it out for a ride. It was a normal day for me and I was full of energy and positivity to make my day at office productive. I prayed that my ride was smooth like any other day.

I started driving out to the office and while I was on the road there was an auto which took a sudden u-turn without warning from my left lane to the extreme right lane on the side of oncoming traffic. There was hardly any moment for me to react and I wished and prayed that nothing drastic happened. My two wheeler crashed into the auto and both the vehicles were badly dented.

Upon mutual discussion I gathered that the auto driver did not have valid vehicle insurance which I could use to settle the claim. Since I had my own valid two wheeler insurance, I could log a claim and complaint and get the vehicle repaired soon.

These days driving a two wheeler around Bangalore is a nightmare. The traffic is a chaos and bigger vehicles do not spare a thought about smaller ones or give way to them. There is another extreme set of drivers who keep changing lanes without warning incoveniencing two wheelers. These people exhibit a complete lack of discipline and do not care about anyone else on the road.

Some of us don’t wear helmets, some of us carry more than two passengers, some of us hold kids in precarious positions and some of us get wet in the rain and continue driving at night without proper road lighting.

I have even seen buses constantly honk by driving very close to two wheelers from behind them scaring them out of their wits. Just one touch is enough to send the two wheeler driver flying onto the road. Also in general lots of people flout rules for their convenience such as talking on the mobile or using a shortcut one way road etc.

There are lots of us who offer prayers to the lord before we leave for work each day. We even get very concerned if bad omens occur such as cats crossing on the road or if we sneeze before leaving somewhere. Some people have lemon and chillis hanging in their vehicles to ward off bad incidents. Similarly we feel good if bird poops on our vehicles, or hear bells as these are considered as good omens.

Bharti Axa has put up an ad that reflects the reality of how we believe more in superstitions than take up a rather concrete resolution of having something as important as insurance which would matter more in emergency circumstances.




While these things can alter your state of mind, the reality is that you need to be very careful while driving in this crazy traffic that is getting worse day by day.

In the worst case that you did have an accident with your two wheeler god forbid, having a comprehensive bike insurance will save you a lot of hassles. Arguably getting an insurance for your vehicle can be pretty cumbersome as you need to go around town in search for the same wasting your time. But the good news is that most insurance companies now offer you online two wheeler insurance.

You can visit their websites, punch in a few personal details and information regarding your vehicle using which you can decide on your insurance amount almost then and there. For some rare cases the vehicle needs to be inspected in case the insurance may have expired. Having online bike insurance is a boon for people who are busy at their offices as its a pretty seamless application process. Also the more expensive the bike is, all the more important it is to have proper bike insurance.

There are different types of insurance available from basic to comprehensive and sometimes even pedestrian coverage. It is always prudential to have a good insurance cover for yourself and your vehicle rather than get into a police case mess during accidents. Not having insurance will attract additional penalties as well as you are flouting the rules while driving. It will also increase costs of repair for your vehicle.

Given that every day of our life is precious for us and our families it is important not to let down the people dependent on us. We do not know what surprises are in store for us on the road, but it would be a good feeling to know that we are secured if we have comprehensive motorcycle insurance. Being insured is always a safe feeling and this is one of the reason for you to ensure to insure yourself !

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About Me
Srikanth Eswaran
Bengloor Huduga

Srikanth is a blogger, reader, photographer, butter dosa eater, an urban car racer & an apple fanboy. He loves music, playing table tennis and traveling. Most times he would like to be solitary to introspect on what life has thrown to him and the bigger purpose of life.