Saturday, August 11, 2012
The phenomenal success of the BMTCs airconditioned bus service have not made it smug. It continues to innovate and push boundaries. However, one of its recent experiments, I am afraid is not great. Not for the user atleast.
BMTC currently has two tiers of airconditioned service – which is an amazing feat come to think of it. Most cities barely survive with one, here BMTC plays around with two. One, the premium Volvo services (not counting the Airport ones) and two the Marco Polo service. The differencebetween the two is obvious. The Marco Polo are underpowered buses, really and the AC works, but not really as much as a Volvo and on any given road the Volvo will beat the Marco Polo by a mile.You can see the Marco Polos struggling up a flyover while the Volvos cruise over them.
Now what BMTC has done is introduce yet another bus – the Corona into this. However, they have missed a trick when they priced the Corona in the same bracket as the Volvo. There is no comparison.
The Coronas are marginally better than the Marco Polos, but are still beaten to pulp by the Volvos. One may not realize it in the city roads, but on the ring roads where the buses race past each other, the Volvo is a clear winner. And after my first few experiences losing precious time after boarding a Corona, I refuse to take it – since the Volvo following it, almost certainly overtakes it. it is not just speed – in my many travels, the airconditioning of the Corona has always been substandard as compared to the Volvo. Sorry BMTC, at this price, the Corona gets a thumbs down - and I use your service practically 7 days a week.
I am no motoring geek, but the Volvo carries labels of B7R (the old one) and 8400 (the newer ones). Simple googling tells me that the buses are powered by engines that deliver about 290HP. The Corona engine on the other hand delivers about160HP. Go figure which works better for passengers comfort.
So, BMTC, can you please reduce the fares on the Corona?