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redBus goes Uber way, starts on-demand ticketing for buses

redBus Now users can book last minute tickets on buses already in transit for boarding points closer to them

Alnoor Peermohamed & Bibhu Ranjan Mishra  |  Bengaluru 

redBus goes Uber starts on-demand ticketing for buses

Goibibo-owned online bus ticketing platform redBus, has adopted the on-demand model pioneered by Uber for hailing cabs, and has applied it to booking inter-city bus tickets.

With its new service — redBus Now — the company is expanding this capability to on-demand ticketing. It would enable users to book last minute tickets on buses which are already in transit to boarding points nearer to them.



Riding on the wave of growing mobile app users, it has already geo-tagged boarding points and outfitted GPS units across 35 per cent of the private bus inventory it aggregates. So far, this has allowed users to track buses in real-time and use maps to navigate to such points.

“You can replicate the desktop experience of booking a ticket on mobile, but that is utilising only 20 per cent of the capabilities of the mobile. We’ve reimagined the mobile to be a travel companion and not just a platform for bus ticketing,” said Prakash Sangam, chief execuitve officer of redBus.

While most people pre-book bus tickets, there are sometimes cases of immediate ticket bookings, especially on short-haul trips such as Bengaluru to Mysuru or Mumbai to Pune.

The new service will show all buses in transit to the user’s destination along with the corresponding boarding points near to them, allowing users to book tickets on the go.

redBus goes Uber way, starts on-demand ticketing for buses
The app would show users their estimated time of arrival (ETA) to the boarding point, while also showing them the ETA of the bus to the same location. This would allow them to book a ticket instantly, paying the regular fare for a seat. The on-demand tickets would not be priced differently.

“It’s a bit like how Uber and Ola work for cabs, but for buses,” added Sangam. “Basically for consumers it offers convenience and for bus operators, it’s a good thing because it enables absolute last minute booking even after the bus has departed, thus enabling them to make money on unsold capacity.”

redBus, which got acquired by Naspers-backed goibiboGroup in mid 2013 for nearly Rs 900 crore, is looking to harness the power of smartphones to grow its services.

More than 50 per cent of its users now come from mobiles as compared to just five per cent when the company got acquired, commented Sangam.

Late last month, Naspers infused another $250 million (nearly Rs 1,700 crore) in goibiboGroup, which the company intends to use in expanding its core hotel room booking business and also to support redBus in its expansion plans.

After making its first overseas foray mid last year, starting with Singapore and Malaysia, redBus is now looking at expanding into more international markets, even outside Asia.

Further, it is also looking to partner with other local firms to enable last mile connectivity, meals on buses and providing new means of in-bus entertainment to its users.

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redBus goes Uber way, starts on-demand ticketing for buses

redBus Now users can book last minute tickets on buses already in transit for boarding points closer to them

redBus Now users can book last minute tickets on buses already in transit for boarding points closer to them Goibibo-owned online bus ticketing platform redBus, has adopted the on-demand model pioneered by Uber for hailing cabs, and has applied it to booking inter-city bus tickets.

With its new service — redBus Now — the company is expanding this capability to on-demand ticketing. It would enable users to book last minute tickets on buses which are already in transit to boarding points nearer to them.

Riding on the wave of growing mobile app users, it has already geo-tagged boarding points and outfitted GPS units across 35 per cent of the private bus inventory it aggregates. So far, this has allowed users to track buses in real-time and use maps to navigate to such points.

“You can replicate the desktop experience of booking a ticket on mobile, but that is utilising only 20 per cent of the capabilities of the mobile. We’ve reimagined the mobile to be a travel companion and not just a platform for bus ticketing,” said Prakash Sangam, chief execuitve officer of redBus.

While most people pre-book bus tickets, there are sometimes cases of immediate ticket bookings, especially on short-haul trips such as Bengaluru to Mysuru or Mumbai to Pune.

The new service will show all buses in transit to the user’s destination along with the corresponding boarding points near to them, allowing users to book tickets on the go.

redBus goes Uber way, starts on-demand ticketing for buses
The app would show users their estimated time of arrival (ETA) to the boarding point, while also showing them the ETA of the bus to the same location. This would allow them to book a ticket instantly, paying the regular fare for a seat. The on-demand tickets would not be priced differently.

“It’s a bit like how Uber and Ola work for cabs, but for buses,” added Sangam. “Basically for consumers it offers convenience and for bus operators, it’s a good thing because it enables absolute last minute booking even after the bus has departed, thus enabling them to make money on unsold capacity.”

redBus, which got acquired by Naspers-backed goibiboGroup in mid 2013 for nearly Rs 900 crore, is looking to harness the power of smartphones to grow its services.

More than 50 per cent of its users now come from mobiles as compared to just five per cent when the company got acquired, commented Sangam.

Late last month, Naspers infused another $250 million (nearly Rs 1,700 crore) in goibiboGroup, which the company intends to use in expanding its core hotel room booking business and also to support redBus in its expansion plans.

After making its first overseas foray mid last year, starting with Singapore and Malaysia, redBus is now looking at expanding into more international markets, even outside Asia.

Further, it is also looking to partner with other local firms to enable last mile connectivity, meals on buses and providing new means of in-bus entertainment to its users.
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Business Standard
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redBus goes Uber way, starts on-demand ticketing for buses

redBus Now users can book last minute tickets on buses already in transit for boarding points closer to them

Goibibo-owned online bus ticketing platform redBus, has adopted the on-demand model pioneered by Uber for hailing cabs, and has applied it to booking inter-city bus tickets.

With its new service — redBus Now — the company is expanding this capability to on-demand ticketing. It would enable users to book last minute tickets on buses which are already in transit to boarding points nearer to them.

Riding on the wave of growing mobile app users, it has already geo-tagged boarding points and outfitted GPS units across 35 per cent of the private bus inventory it aggregates. So far, this has allowed users to track buses in real-time and use maps to navigate to such points.

“You can replicate the desktop experience of booking a ticket on mobile, but that is utilising only 20 per cent of the capabilities of the mobile. We’ve reimagined the mobile to be a travel companion and not just a platform for bus ticketing,” said Prakash Sangam, chief execuitve officer of redBus.

While most people pre-book bus tickets, there are sometimes cases of immediate ticket bookings, especially on short-haul trips such as Bengaluru to Mysuru or Mumbai to Pune.

The new service will show all buses in transit to the user’s destination along with the corresponding boarding points near to them, allowing users to book tickets on the go.

redBus goes Uber way, starts on-demand ticketing for buses
The app would show users their estimated time of arrival (ETA) to the boarding point, while also showing them the ETA of the bus to the same location. This would allow them to book a ticket instantly, paying the regular fare for a seat. The on-demand tickets would not be priced differently.

“It’s a bit like how Uber and Ola work for cabs, but for buses,” added Sangam. “Basically for consumers it offers convenience and for bus operators, it’s a good thing because it enables absolute last minute booking even after the bus has departed, thus enabling them to make money on unsold capacity.”

redBus, which got acquired by Naspers-backed goibiboGroup in mid 2013 for nearly Rs 900 crore, is looking to harness the power of smartphones to grow its services.

More than 50 per cent of its users now come from mobiles as compared to just five per cent when the company got acquired, commented Sangam.

Late last month, Naspers infused another $250 million (nearly Rs 1,700 crore) in goibiboGroup, which the company intends to use in expanding its core hotel room booking business and also to support redBus in its expansion plans.

After making its first overseas foray mid last year, starting with Singapore and Malaysia, redBus is now looking at expanding into more international markets, even outside Asia.

Further, it is also looking to partner with other local firms to enable last mile connectivity, meals on buses and providing new means of in-bus entertainment to its users.

image
Business Standard
177 22