New Delhi: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the nation’s leading platform for train ticketing, and redBus, India’s leading online bus ticketing platform, have associated to offer bus ticketing facility on IRCTC’s online platforms. The association marked IRCTC’s foray into bus ticketing, apart from train, flight, and holiday booking. IRCTC caters to about 9 million train tickets every day.
Users of the IRCTC website will now be able to book intercity bus tickets on the platform, from a collection of 2600+ private bus operators and around 24000 daily bus services across the country, provided by redBus. With this integration, IRCTC will host about 1.2 million bus seats daily across Sleeper/Non-sleeper and AC/Non-AC buses.
Users of IRCTC will also get access to features such as information on amenities available in the bus, choice onboarding and dropping points, and also choosing buses covered under the redBus Safety+ program that guides travelers on choosing the best and safest bus option available on their route.
Passengers will also be able to access details like bus number and contact information of the bus staff prior to departure. Bus ticket booking will also be available on the IRCTC Rail Connect app soon.
A behavioral shift has been evident since the easing of lockdown in September 2020, where preference for online bus booking has witnessed a rise. This is primarily due to the safety and convenience aspects associated with online booking, compared to offline modes of ticket purchase. There has also been a surge in travel from Tier 2 and 3 cities and towns since September 2020, resulting in them contributing about 62% of the current bookings (up from 56% during the pre-COVID period) for redBus.
Speaking on the association, Prakash Sangam, CEO, redBus, said, “redBus is delighted to partner with IRCTC to offer travelers a convenient and secure means to book bus tickets. IRCTC is the most preferred platform for millions of travelers 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. We are happy to provide to our bus operator partners another significant channel to distribute and liquidate their inventory. 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.”