Indian intercity travellers increasingly prefer overnight journey in AC bus: redBus

New Delhi (IANS) Bus transport is the backbone of mass transit in India as it offers both affordability and convenience, benefitting all economic classes. The intercity bus travel in the country not just jumped back to normalcy (in terms of value) but also increased its coverage, going deeper into the length and breadth of the country in 2022.

As per estimates by world’s largest online bus ticketing platform redBus, the intercity bus travel network reached 7,800 towns and villages, an 11 per cent increase over the 7,000 towns and villages covered in 2021. The number of intercity routes covered grew from 1.16 lakh in 2021 to 1.36 lakh in 2022.

redBus, with insights of working with 20 leading public transport companies and 3500+ private bus operators, supporting bookings for 52,000 buses daily, analyses key trends that emerged during the intercity bus travel in the year 2022.

The concept of buying bus tickets online is gaining ground in Tier 2 and 3 cities: An impressive 38 lakh+ travellers booked intercity bus tickets online for the first time on redBus in 2022. Tier 2 and 3 cities’ contribution has consistently increased over the years, reaching 60 per cent in 2022, which is much higher than the 56 per cent share in 2019. The states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Gujarat witnessed the highest demand for intercity bus travel in 2022 on redBus

Intercity travellers prefer overnight journeys in an AC bus: More than 64 per cent of the travellers boarded the intercity bus between 5.00 p.m. – 12.00 a.m. — marking a distinct preference for night travel over the daytime.

It is important to note that the average distance covered by an intercity bus ride in India is about 416 km. Almost 70 per cent of the trips are up to 500 km, while 30 per cent cover distances beyond 500 km. Further, nearly 72 per cent of the bookings on the platform in 2022 preferred an AC bus, a marked increase from the 65 per cent share held by the AC buses in 2021

Diwali witnessed highest usage on the platform: A homebound movement is observed across the major festivals in India, with people returning to their homes to meet loved ones and celebrate the festivities. redBus witnessed the maximum number of people travelling on Diwali, October 21, 2022, when the demand was 45 per cent higher than an average day. Festivals such as Holi, Good Friday, Eid al-Fitr and Gurupurab, and Dussehra also saw a spike in usage on the platform. There is a 36 per cent spike in people travelling during these festivals compared to non-festival days

Tirupati tops the list of most visited pilgrimage destinations: Tirupati, Madurai, Shirdi, Nashik, Haridwar, Varanasi, and Puri were the top pilgrim destinations booked on redBus in 2022. Haridwar and Ujjain witnessed a 3X and 2X increase in travel demand, respectively (compared to 2021)

Goa is the favorite leisure destination of Indian bus travellers: In 2022, the top 5 tourist destinations booked on redBus across India were — Goa, Pondicherry, Manali, Shimla, and Ooty, with 1 out of 8 leisure bookings happening for Goa. Maharashtra contributed a lion’s share of 56 per cent of all bookings to Goa, followed by Karnataka (26 per cent) and Telangana (16 per cent)

redBus is the world’s largest online bus ticketing platform with operations in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Peru & Colombia. In India, redBus works with 20 leading government and 3500+ private bus operators supporting bookings for 52,000 buses daily.

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