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Bus travel On path To Normalcy; Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam are showing higher levels of demand for inter-city travel

Bengaluru, NFAPost: redBus, India’s largest online bus ticketing platform, recorded over 3 lakh seat reservations across the country over the 2nd October long weekend, in the latest sign of the industry returning to normalcy.

States such as Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are currently showing high demand for bus travel, surpassing pre-lockdown levels, partly due to limited availability of trains on key routes, making buses the most preferred means of travel.

Over the long weekend, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal recorded maximum demand for travel in the country, while the top destinations preferred by the passengers were Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Inflection point

Speaking on the upbeat near-term outlook for the industry, redBus CEO Prakash Sangam said the current phase is an important inflection point with a steady rise in demand for bus travel across the country, brought about by the gradual resumption of activities across all spheres, making travel a necessity.

“We expect this trend to continue with increase in economic activity, further relaxation in locked down activities, the upcoming festive season and also when colleges/universities reopen. On many routes, we have also seen a substitution of demand moving from Trains to Buses,” said redBus CEO Prakash Sangam.

The top 5 routes in the country for which redBus is witnessing significant bookings at present are, Bengaluru – Hyderabad, Delhi – Chandigarh, Hyderabad – Vijayawada, Asansol – Kolkata and Gorakhpur-Delhi.

Safety of passengers

Safety of passengers and the bus crew continues to be the top priority for redBus and the platform had earlier launched its Safety+ program, a certification for its partner bus operators who meet the highest standards of excellence in safety and sanitization. Safety+ certified operators follow strict safety protocols to address the concerns around safety due to Covid-19.

The redBus ticketing platform indicates bus operators with this self-certification, with a Safety+ tag next to the bus listing, enabling passengers to opt for such operators or buses.

While Safety+ ensures that the partner bus operators enforce a slew of strict safety measures to keep the passengers safe, redBus has also listed out a set of passenger guidelines encouraging them to travel responsibly for a safe journey.

Online booking

A behavioral shift that has been evident post-Covid-19 is the preference for online bus booking going up. This has gained traction lately due to the safety and convenience aspects associated with it, compared to offline modes of ticket purchase. redBus has seen a rise in first-time customers, with the percentage of the transactions undertaken by new customers nearly doubling from 11% (Pre-COVID) to 21% (Post-COVID).

Another interesting trend being witnessed is the willingness among people in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns to travel, resulting in them contributing around 67% of the current bookings, as they look to return back to their workplaces (this was 56% earlier in the pre-COVID period).

Some of the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities with high demand for bus travel at present are Jaipur, Gorakhpur, Indore, VisakhapatnamKalaburagiRajkot, Maldaand Guwahati.

Ticketing platform

redBus was founded in 2006 in India and today is the world’s largest online bus ticketing platform. After having solved complex problems of bus customers in India, redBus also launched operations in Singapore and Malaysia in 2015 and acquired a majority stake in Peru based bus ticketing platform Busportal (now redBus.Pe) in the subsequent year. With this acquisition, redBus successfully launched operations in Latin America markets, Peru & shortly thereafter, Colombia.

redBus has globally sold more than 180 million bus tickets till date and has a customer base of around 20 million users. redBus is now part of the MakeMyTrip group (Nasdaq, MMYT) which is the largest travel aggregator in India with offerings across categories such as Flights, Hotels, Holiday Packages, etc.

The business owns three products – redBus™, redBus Plus™ and redBus Partner™, which come together to serve and address the fragmented bus industry across geographies.

Travel brand

·redBus™ is the popular consumer-facing travel brand enabling customers to buy bus tickets online. Consumers, depending on where they live, can access redBus on the web (redbus.in, redbus.my, redbus.sg, redbus.id, redbus.pe, and redbus.co). 

They can also download the high rated redBus mobile app from Google Play Store and Apple App Store. We enable a customer to search for bus services on a route of his/her choice, reserve a seat and make a payment to confirm the booking, thus bringing the seller and buyer on a single platform to facilitate easy bus booking.

·redProWin™ is a cloud-based solution built for bus operators. Approximately 2500+ bus operators in India, SEA and Latin America use this platform for their day to day operations. The revolutionary inventory management software ensures seat realization and resource utilisation, thus improving revenue and profitability for bus operators.

Over the years, through the use of engineering & data analytics, redBus has offered features such as LIVE bus tracking, dynamic pricing, customer relationship management, etc., which have helped bus operators improve operational efficiency as well as service quality.

·redBus Partner™ is a GDS for bus inventory distribution and is used by more than 20,000 retail agents and 200+ OTAs to sell bus tickets to their customers.

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