67% of online bus ticket bookings in India come from non-metros: redBus report – ET Auto


The report will be published every quarter and available for free on the redBus platform for those interested in knowing and understanding the intercity bus transport sector in India.

New Delhi: In a first for the bus transport sector in India, redBus, the world’s largest online bus ticketing platform, has launched India BusTrack, a data-based report on the Indian intercity bus industry.

The inaugural report covers key parameters reflecting the overall health and trends of the Indian bus industry in November and December 2023. All following editions of the report will provide insights on the previous quarter. The majority of the data offers a panoramic view of the entire bus ecosystem in the country and some portions of the data pertain specifically to in-depth insights from redBus, which enjoys a leadership position in online intercity bus bookings.

The first data-based report from redBus offers a comprehensive interpretation of the intercity bus sector which caters to 51% of the nation’s inland travel by public transport. It addresses the current lack of an all-inclusive data-based document on the bus transport sector, which would allow all stakeholders, such as private bus operators, state-owned bus operators, the government, and the general public, to understand the nuances, benefits and other modalities that help in developing the sector further.

As such, India BusTrack covers aspects of demand, supply, geographic disposition, travel trends, gender ratios and more, making it an information hub that gets updated quarterly, for the benefit of the reader. The majority of the report reflects data for the whole bus market and not just sales on redBus platforms. This report pertains only to the organised private buses which are digitally connected to redBus.

The report will be published every quarter and available for free on the redBus platform for those interested in knowing and understanding the intercity bus transport sector in India. The insights garnered from November – December 2023 not only reflect the current pulse of the industry but also serve as a guiding beacon for the future.

Key Trends

Market size and activity: Gross ticketing value of INR 36.37 Bn in November-December 2023, there are 4468 active private bus operators, and 36.06 Mn passengers travelled during the period.

Network and reach: There are 3,63,918 unique bus routes in India and buses connect 8,530 towns across the length & breadth of the country, making the reach of the bus network on par with railways.

Passenger preferences: 62% of the passengers opted for AC buses indicating a clear preference for comfortable travels. 50% preferred sleeper buses, and 33% chose hybrid options.

The rush days: Unsurprisingly, Fridays attract the highest number of travelers. Surprisingly however, more people travel on Thursdays than on Saturdays or Sundays. The least travel happens on Tuesdays.

Occupancy rates: Maharashtra & Goa topped the charts with 82% bus occupancy, while Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh saw the lowest at 67%. The all India bus occupancy rate was 77%.

Demographic trends: On redBus platforms, young travelers dominated, with 29% aged 18-25 and 39% aged 26-36, showing that buses are one of the preferred movers of students and working adults. Interestingly, 33% of all passengers were female and 52% of bookings were for solo travelers.

Booking patterns: Metros contributed 33% of bus bookings, while other areas accounted for 67%, showcasing the growing importance of tier-II and tier-III cities and increased digital penetration into non-metro areas, on redBus platforms.

Expressways support development: The national highway network increased by 60% in the past decade to cover 1,46,145 km in 2023 and has resulted in considerable reduction in travel time by buses. For instance, on the Nagpur- Mumbai stretch of Samruddhi Expressway there has been a 2hr 50mn reduction in travel time, a 215% growth in seats and 16% reduction in price.The continued pace of infrastructure development will further reduce travel time, increase seat bookings and lower cost of travel.

“I am very pleased to announce the launch of redBus India BusTrack. As the leader in the intercity bus transport sector, we recognized the pressing need for a reliable, data-based document, providing a pan-India overview, accessible to all stakeholders within the bus ecosystem. Our aim is to provide invaluable insights that empower bus operators, transport bodies, and enthusiasts alike. With BusTrack, we aspire to bridge the gap between fragmented data and informed decision-making, transitioning from rudimentary estimations to comprehensive analytics. This quarterly data report signifies our commitment to revolutionizing the bus transport industry, offering precise figures and trends previously unavailable. We envision India BusTrack as a catalyst for progress, fostering collaboration and efficiency across the sector,” Prakash Sangam, CEO, redBus, said.

This report is expected to have a significant impact by:

●Enabling data-driven decision making for bus operators, leading to improved operational efficiency and route planning.

●Providing valuable insights for policymakers to tailor policies and infrastructure development for the evolving needs of the sector.

●Attracting investors and fostering innovation within the bus travel ecosystem.

●Empowering travellers with informed choices and a more seamless bus travel experience.

  • Published On Mar 14, 2024 at 08:00 AM IST

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