Online Bus Travel in Top Gear

Amid increased use of technology, urbanisation, improving connectivity, new players in e-commerce segment to help this segment post 40 per cent growth in next two years

The online bus ticketing facility, using internet and mobile app, is revolutionising the bus travel market in the country. So the next time when you step into a humble bus, just realise that you are contributing to a business segment that is on top gear. The inter-city bus ticketing market in the organised sector is a Rs 20,000 crore market comprising both State Transport Undertakings (STUs) and private bus operators transporting about 15 lakh people every day. The e-ticketing

(m-ticket) contributes only 15 per cent at the moment. South India contributes as much as 60-70 per cent of the total market. This is expected to increase to 40 per cent in the next two years. The tale of bus not ends here. Now with the increasing interests of companies like Ola, Paytm, Flipkart, Snapdeal to offer online bus ticket the sector is bound for a giant leap sooner than later. Experts are of the view that Ola’s entry into the bus transport category is aimed at expanding its user base and boosting revenue, as it looks to attract more investors to fund its aggressive growth plans.

The total bus travel market in the country (both organised and unorganised) is estimated at over Rs 61,000 crore. The private bus travel market is estimated at Rs 17,000 crore with less than10%online penetration and is expected to grow by 40% by 2018. The state-run bus travel market is estimated at Rs 44,000 crore with less than 5% online penetration and is expected to grow by 20% by 2018.

“The bus travel market is poised to grow faster than the GDP growth and the key contributing factors are higher urbanisation (migration to urban areas) for jobs and higher studies and investment in road and highway infrastructure that is improving connectivity, thus reducing time and increasing comfort and speed of travel,” redBus CEO Prakash Sangam told Sunday Express.

“The innovations in this field are in the quality and type of buses. Scania, Mercedes Benz and Volvo are launching newer models that increase the safety and comfort while bus operators are investing in amenities such as WiFi and personalized entertainment systems. Technology is changing the way bus tickets are being booked. With GPS devices on board, customers are given the option of tracking the bus in real-time basis and sharing the bus location information with friends and family through the mobile app,” Sangam adds.

India’s online travel market is currently over $23 billion (around Rs 1.58 lakh crore), accounting for nearly 70% of the Indian e-commerce market. Online travel includes ticket booking- for  air, train and bus, besides hotel reservations, car rental and tour packages.

“The bus travel market is a fast growing and emerging market with huge opportunities for players. Improved road infrastructure, connectivity, better quality of buses, favourable demographics, growing urbanisation, growing mobile internet users, availability and growing acceptability of secure online payment mechanisms are some of the key growth drivers for the online bus ticketing industry in India,” said Sudhakar Reddy, CEO and Founder,, an online bus ticketing company.


OLA is preparing to offer shuttle bus services by aggregating tourist and chartered buses on its platform. It expects to launch the bus service in the next two months with the Ola Bus feature integrated into the company’s app

IBIBO-owned online bus ticketing website has launched in Singapore and Malaysia. Users in these countries will be able to book bus tickets between Singapore and Malaysia

TRAVELKHANA, an online food ordering service firm for train passengers, is planning to start a meal booking for bus travellers

FLIPKART is likely to launch the online ticket booking services in September this year in partnership with Make My Trip. Bus ticketing may happen in future

PAYTM has entered the online bus booking sector recently and claims to be doing around 20,000 bus bookings daily on the platform

ABHIBUS, a Hyderabad-based online bus ticketing company, expects to close FY16 GMVs at around Rs 450 crore compared to Rs 250 crore last year

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The New Indian Express