BENGALURU: Commuters will soon be able to book tickets of any state-run corporation bus through a single website. Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASTRU), which represents 62 public sector bus transport organisations, will soon launch an integrated website called Indusbus and a mobile application on the lines of private travel portals like MakeMyTrip and Goibibo.
Speaking to Express on the sidelines of a seminar here on Monday, ASRTU executive director P S Ananda Rao said that the website will be launched in two weeks’ time and will facilitate bus and train bookings apart from taxi services and hotels.
“The idea is to bring all State Transport Undertakings (STUs) in the country under a single window. We are also in talks with IRCTC to facilitate train reservation booking through the website. The option to book private buses will not be available on this website,” said Ananda Rao.
At present, commuters have to skim through websites of different STUs to book tickets. ASTRU’s website is expected to offer stiff competition to private travel portals.
Many commuters have welcomed the move. “Most private portals do not show availability of seats in buses operated by STUs. Also, booking sites of some STUs are not user-friendly and the process is cumbersome. We want ASTRU to come up with an advanced website,” said K Lakshmi, a regular commuter. She said ASTRU should also give incentives to passengers who book tickets through its website.
“Many private travel booking sites impose additional charges for each booking. People will start using ASTRU’s website if it provides good service,” she said.
Ananda Rao said, “We will give a cash back of `100 for every booking worth `1,000. The website will re-direct a user to other STUs if a transport corporation is not operating on a particular route in the country.” ASRTU came into existence in 1965. It operates 1.5 lakh buses and carries 70 million passengers a day.
Ananda Rao said the country needs at least one million government buses to meet the growing demand. “At 1.1 buses per 1,000 people, the number of buses in the country is less compared to other countries. In contrast, China has 6 buses for every 1,000 people. We need to increase the number of buses to at least 3 buses for 1,000 people.”
He added that advanced technologies including Intelligent Transport System will help STUs to improve their efficiency.