Bus travel is back in style, and a new venture to help bus buffs find cheap tickets has been recently launched. BusBud has networked across 9877 cities in 81 countries at the time of writing, and the numbers are set to grow going by the trends.
On BusBud, just as you would to book plane tickets, you need to mention the location of departure and arrival and the website pulls out all the buses running between the locations along with the price tag. The objective is to help you get the cheapest fare between two locations and to help you do it from the comfort of a single website. You could instead visit a number of operator websites to compare ticket fares – which is a hassle.
The portal is truly global in the sense that you can pay in multi-currency and access the website in a number of European languages other than English. The interface is smooth and the locations auto fill as you start typing – which is a great help for outsiders who may not be adept at keying foreign city names.
On BusBud, there are a number of promotional offers that lets you travel cheap across cities. For example, Washington to New York at 20 USD is a steal.
The model that BusBud is shaping up requires bus operators from across the globe to register and share the trip sheets through APIs. A strong networking between various bus operators and BusBud will be crucial for its survival.
In India, a similar online service – red bus started in 2005 with limited operators. Now they have tied up with close to 400 bus operators and serve 5000 routes within India. For BusBud to replicate the model, it needs to swoop in on the operators and start pushing for tie-up rather than wait for the operators to catch the bait.