Chennai to Bangalore in a Scania bus: Reliving a lost experience

Barring the two stops, it was a great silent ride. For a 12 lakh km done vehicle, its condition was astoundingly good!

BHPian vigsom recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

This is a review cum travel experience on my favourite seater bus – a Scania Metrolink. What made the experience special was riding one after over five years.

How did this ride happen?

I was in Chennai on a super short visit and was surprised to see no room on any train on my target date of departure; the evening Shatabdi Exp to Bengaluru wasn’t plying that day and I had to return to continue on an official trip the next day. Although I’ve done KSRTC Airavat Volvo once earlier this year, the not-so-great seats and the infamous road condition on the Chennai – Vellore sector made me re-think a road ride. I had to return, so decided to look for tickets in KSRTC.

There was this Ambaari Utsav at 12:45 hrs but I was in no mood for a sleeper journey in the day. Next was this 1505hrs Airavat Club Class in which only two seats were available; as soon as I saw that there was one seat in the front row, I grabbed it without any further delay. Even if this was going to be a bad seat, I was willing to take the hit for the involved virtual driving experience sitting in the front row.

Riding to the boarding point on a rainy day

A martial arts expert dropped me off at Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) on a rather rainy day and here I was – entering this massive bus terminal after over 5 and a half years. The huge hall there makes its way to the various platforms, but what I didn’t see was adequate signage right at the entry to point to the right platforms/destinations. I’ve never boarded a bus from here to Bengaluru ever, but guessed that the platform would be the one at the extreme exit end, and my guess was right. Although not really well kept, the terminal was in good shape for a 20-year-old one. When this terminal was brand new, I’d come here for a bus to south TN in January 2003. As I walked my way towards the end of the platform (I think it was #6), I saw how big the terminal was, and when I got closer to the bay, my most pleasant surprise unfolded – a Scania Metrolink that was going to take me to my destination!

Some information about the Scania Metrolink

The bus that I was about to board was a 13.7-metre 6×2 variant. More details about the various Scania Metrolink options can be found here (Scania launches Metrolink – New coach range for India) courtesy BHPian @Ashley2. The Scania Metrolink has a host of controls, but the more critical ones are housed in the stalk to the right of the steering wheel –

Looks a little complicated but I guess drivers would get/ have gotten used to this.

My rides on board Scanias this far

This was going to be my fourth ride on board Scania Metrolinks – the earlier ones being in 2017 and 2018 by the now hibernating SRM Transports. In all my rides, and coincidentally all being in the first or second rows, I was pleasantly surprised at the in-cabin silence and the plush ride, which made me a huge fan of this offering. I value the Volvo too, but have a soft corner for the Scania.

First Impressions of the KSRTC Scania


  • Looked good for a 2015 registered, 12 lakh km example
  • Great seat comfort
  • Better leg room than what I’ve seen on the Volvo B11Rs – in the B11R, my foot on the aisle side would be dangling while here, there was enough room to place both feet comfortably
  • The cockpit (including the steering wheel, and instrument console) looks way more modern than even what is seen on Volvos


  • The calf support (Ottoman) isn’t that effective

Few shortcomings as pointed out in an earlier interaction with a pilot from SRM Transports

I was fortunate to have a reserve pilot of SRM Transports riding alongside me sometime in 2017-18. He opined that although the Scania was a good ride for passengers, as a pilot he voted for the Volvo B11R. I asked him why and he said that the Scania was a more difficult vehicle to drive compared to the Volvo, plus the Scania scored poor on the FE front.

First-row legroom – please don’t mind the dirt brought in by footwear via wet muddy surfaces.

Continue reading BHPian vigsom’s Scania experience for more insights and information.

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