National: In a first for the bus transport sector, redBus, India’s largest online bus ticketing platform, announces the launch of vaccinated bus services across 600+ major routes in the country. This new arrangement guarantees that passengers of an intercity bus get to travel with vaccinated co-passengers and crew. Booking a ticket on this service requires the travellers to have received at least the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine and they must submit proof of the same at the time of boarding.
Vaccinated Bus is being introduced in collaboration with private partner bus operators that have a customer rating of more than four stars out of five on the platform. Presently vaccinated bus services have begun operating across 600+ routes on redBus, with the crew and passengers having had at least the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
redBus already implements various safety measures under its ‘Safety+’ program, which is a unique certification given to partner bus operators who meet the highest standards of safety and sanitization. These include deep cleaning of buses after each trip, compulsory masking, hand sanitization and thermal screening of both passengers and the crew.
In order to ensure proper execution of this new system, boarding for passengers who book their tickets on vaccinated buses will only be allowed once they produce their ID proof and vaccination certificate at the time of boarding. The travellers will also be informed of these requirements before the journey through e-mail and SMS. The partner bus operator staff will physically verify the vaccination certificates/ ID proofs for all adult passengers before boarding, with the exception of passengers aged below 18. Passengers who fail to provide the necessary proof will be denied boarding.
Speaking on the service, Prakash Sangam, CEO, redBus, stated, “According to a survey that we recently undertook with our customers, 89% of the respondents said that they prefer to travel in a bus which had all the bus staff and co-passengers vaccinated with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is therefore evident that a vaccinated bus rids passengers of their anxiety to a large extent and restores their confidence to undertake travel, which they are all so eagerly looking forward to. It is also extremely encouraging to witness our partner bus operators stepping up efforts to support us in this undertaking. At the moment, these services are spread across 600+ routes in the country and we will look at further scaling this initiative based on the response to it.”