Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has announced the launch of an intercity bus ticketing service on its platform in association with redBus. Users can choose from a collection of more than 2,600 private bus operators and approximately 24,000 daily buses on its platform provided by redBus across the country. IRCTC says in its release that this integration will help them host 12 lakh bus seats daily included sleeper/non-sleeper, AC/non-AC buses.
IRCTC Rail Connect app will soon feature the integration as well. Users will be able to access features such as amenities available on the bus, the ability to choose boarding and dropping points. Also, they will have the option to choose buses that come under the redBus Safety+ program that helps passengers choose the safest bus available on the route of their destination. They will be provided with details like bus number and contact information of the bus staff before departure.
There has been a rise in online bus booking since the relaxation of lockdown in September 2020 as travellers preferred to book tickets online, instead of buying them from the counter to avoid the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, according to redBus. The statistics show that there has been a surge in online bookings from tier 2 and 3 cities which has contributed to 62 per cent of current bookings on redBus. There has been a six per cent rise compared to the bookings in the pre-Covid period.
“redBus is delighted to partner with IRCTC to offer travellers a convenient and secure means to book bus tickets. IRCTC is the most preferred platform for millions of travellers to book their train tickets, and now with redBus’ integration within IRCTC website and app, customers of IRCTC get access to the widest range of bus options to complete their travel. Online booking of bus tickets has witnessed a huge spike in demand during the course of the pandemic, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities and towns and this association acts as a catalyst to further fuel growth in the sector,” Prakash Sangam, redBus CEO said in a press statement.
Bus booking service was already made available on IRCTC earlier this year on their website. However, they will reach a larger audience with redBus integration.