bus booking app development

Bus Ticket Booking App Development- All You Need To Know!

The emergence of the slew of public transit and transportation apps have modernized the world for good, and I think anyone and everyone will concede to that. The pain of standing in long queues, just to board a bus and get a comfortable seat during rush hour, or book a ticket for an overnight journey again by standing in long queues, all these pains have gone away. Thanks to the bus ticket booking app development which came into existence, thus lessening our booking woes.

The cab and flight booking apps have established a strong foothold of their own, meeting the needs of the hour for the consumers around the clock. 

And now the bus booking apps are gradually making their way to reach that pace and level of popularity with exclusive bus ticket booking apps like WanderU, FlixBus, Rome2Rio, Omio, and more…

And why shouldn’t it be?

bus app

Online Bus Reservation System: What Do The Current Trends Say?

To meet the growing demand of travelers, an increasing number of travel agencies are also broadening their boundaries to various travel domains.  They are venturing into hotel reservations, tour and travel booking, cruise booking engine, flight booking systems, and more. This has increased the overall usage of mobile applications.

These travel booking apps have impressed the users’ time and again with their ease, convenient features, and smooth functionality. This has increased their popularity among customers, with them referring to their family and friends. This has raised the overall usage of the apps. 

With Smartphone users expecting to rise upto 2.87 million, the mobile apps are expected to earn a turn around revenue of $188.9 billion, through downloads, in-app purchases and ads, by 2020. This gives way to a preceding possibility of sharp growth in online travel bookings. The industry of online travel booking is forecasted to hit a revenue of $817 billion by the year 2020. That’s tremendously huge! 

With the technological innovations in the travel software solutions, bus booking software is also becoming its integral part.  

Related Read: How Transport & Logistics App Is Shaping The Future Of Transportation In India

Bus Ticket Booking App Development: To Define…

The online bus reservation system or an online bus ticket booking app is a web-based and mobile-based application that works through a centralized network management system. It facilitates everything under one platform starting from visitors buying tickets, checking on the seat availability of the bus, paying online through any of the multiple secure payment modes, and canceling the ticket if needed. There is also the option for customers to inquire about any issue they face in the app that gets resolved with an instant & quick response. 

bus ticket

The bus booking software works nowhere like the conventional database. The traditional database is computerized to do ticket booking, and tracking the real-time location of the bus. It maintains all bus details, user details, booking details, reservation details, thereby making it convenient, seamless, and travel easy. 

Through this system, a passenger will be able to buy any bus ticket over the Internet, 24/7, 365 days a year, and the bus ticket can’t be stolen, left behind, or lost. Moreover, a traveler can select the bus according to the journey time, bus type, bus rating, and facilities/amenities provided while they are onboard journeying.

Travelling Made Smoother With Bus Ticket Booking App Development

The past few years have seen a massive breakthrough in the bus ticket booking app development. More and more users have realized the possibilities that these logistics app platforms could offer, the accessibility, convenience, and comfort that comes with it. Booking tickets to enjoyable, comfortable journeys from their homes with just a few clicks on the smartphones, instead of standing in long queues, who wouldn’t want that!

The added serviceability of online bus booking systems where travelers can choose packages based on their preference has taken the convenience of the bus traveling to another level. The bus ticket booking process through mobile apps involves no fuss, is user friendly, and is pretty quick. 

Additionally, these apps also save a lot of effort and time for the travelers and they can devote this energy and time to other essential stuff. Owning to the many advantages that these bus ticket booking apps offer, the people of today find this concept truly useful.

Bus Ticket Booking App Development: Fundamental Modules

bus app development

The vendor management system of a bus ticket booking app tends to play an important role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the app. Through this platform, the admin will be able to create multiple vendors who can update, add, create or delete buses running across the several distinctive routes as they like. 

Both the admin and vendor will be able to design routes, however, the outcome is solely dependent on the brand owner. These systems let the app owners view reports that show the availability of buses and their booking statuses, total seats booked as per date and route, chosen transaction mode, and a lot more.

Bus Ticket Booking App: Essential Features

Now that you have gained an insight behind the reason and purpose of starting the process of bus booking app development, let’s list down the essential features that the app will run.

The idea is to develop an Uber-like paperless solution not only for the passengers but also for the drivers to not only show, allow online bookings and cancellations on the go but also provide real-time location tracking facility and ongoing trip updates in the form of push notifications. The bus booking mobile app needs to be useful and integrated with extraordinary features that can revolutionize and create waves across the travel industry.

Related Read: How to set up your own shuttle booking business?

Also, it needs to be inbuilt with robust security features, where the bus drivers can verify the identity of the passengers boarding on the bus through a QR Code mobile-based interface. Let’s delve into the list of necessary features that need to be imbibed within the app:

The Mobile App needs to have three modules:

  • Customer panel 
  • Bus Operator panel 
  • Admin Panel

busCustomer Module 

The Customer Module Should Have The Following Core Features:

  • Registration – This feature will allow the users to register onto the app by providing their personal details, such as name, address, DOB, phone number, email id, and other pertinent details.
  • Home (Top Cities, Top Routes, Offers) – This feature will show the top cities, and routes that the bus will travel through.
  • Bus availability – This feature will show the transport companies and their list of available buses. There will be a search option to search for buses by destination, stops, date and date range. The users can zero down their searches by applying the basic and advanced filters available. They will also be able to find out other bus details like dropping & boarding points, amenities, fare, seats, time.

ticket booking app

  • Graphical presentation of seat map – This feature will present a graphical presentation of the available seats. This will help the customers to do the suitable selection based on their convenience, by clicking on the seats shown on the map. There will be separate seat sections for females and males. Price variations for each set of seats will be shown when the customer clicks on a particular seat. 
  • Ticket types (counter ticket, M-ticket, e-ticket) – The ticket types will counter ticket, M-ticket, and e-ticket. The ticket fare will be calculated as per the selection of the boarding and dropping points. 
  • View information of packages (stay, travels, add-on options) – The customers will be able to view packages that include hotel options, travel spots of a particular destination, after selecting a seat. 
  • View, rate & write reviews – This feature will let customers give ratings and reviews on their travel experience, within the app, after the end of every journey. 
  • Get quotations on any package via email – The customer can get quotes on any of their travel requirements via email, by selecting the “Get Quote” option in the app or in the website.
  • Query option – The customers can make an inquiry or query for hiring any bus, through this feature.
  • Payment modules of several types – Customers will be able to make online payments through the various secure payment modes available in the app.

  • Discounts – This feature will let visitors do social promotion of the app and in return earn discounts, loyalty points, hot offers and deals. The users can redeem those loyalty points via third-party system code. 
  • Notification/ alert – This feature will give automated reminders to the user, to do bus booking or buy the searched tickets.
  • Track bus location – This feature will allow the users to live track the location of the bus on the app. 
  • Ticket cancellation – After cancellation, the passengers will be able to request refund and track the refund status. Customers will also be able to reschedule the booked tickets, as and when required through the rescheduling option. 
  • Customer support – This feature will provide customer support to the users on any issue they face in the app.
  • Multi-Currency support – Payment mode support for multiple currencies.
  • Newsletter subscription – Option to subscribe to newsletters of the app. 

Bus Operator Module 

The Bus Operator Module Should Have The Following Core Features

  • Login – This feature will let the user to login to the app and manage their profile. 
  • Dashboard – This will show total bookings completed, seat graph, total revenue amount earned, and refund. 
  • GPS Tracking and booking management – This will let the user Manage bus routes, Manage ticket bookings, Manage Bus Bookings, and Live track the bus’s location
  • Number of passengers – This feature will show the actual number of passengers onboard the bus. 
  • Customer ratings & reviews – This will let the user view the customer’s ratings & reviews that will guide them to boost their service further.
  • Alerts & Notifications – This will give automated reminders regarding any new update or integrated features in the app. 
  • Ticket verification – This feature will allow the bus drivers to get & verify the passenger details by scanning the QR code on their tickets. 

bus driverAdmin Panel

The Admin Panel Should Have The Following Core Features

  • Login – This feature will let the admin login to their panel and view the dashboard.
  • Profile Management – Through this feature, the admin will be able to manage their own profile, Manage users, Manage the business partners because of loyalty points, Manage business/brand owners for the show ads displayed on the website, Manage vouchers and promotions, all on one platform. 
  • Ratings & reviews – The admin will be able to manage the customer ratings and reviews, through this feature.
  • Operator Management – Through this feature, the admin will be able to Manage operators/ Travel agencies, and operators with customized dashboards. 
  • Income Management – The admin will be able to Manage transactions (profit, the payout did to operators, refund, and income), through this feature.
  • Billing Management – This feature lets the admin to Manage details of billing records for operators/Travel agencies and Manage cancellations & refunds.
  • Amenities management – This feature allows the admin to manage the amenities options in the app. 
  • Payment Integration – This feature lets the admin manage the integrated payment modes in the app. 
  • Live Tracking – The admin will be able to  Manage the Live location tracking option of the customer and bus operator panel, through this feature.  

GPS tracking

  • CRM & CMS integration – Through this feature, the admin will be able to manage the CMS & CRM integrated software in the app. 
  • Advertisement Management – The admin will be able to manage the displayed advertisements in the app, SMS & Email Marketing and Loyalty points of the users, through this feature. 
  • Notification – This feature will let the admin manage the notification feature of the customer and bus operator panel of the app. 
  • Management of user permissible features – This feature will allow the admin to manage all the user permissible features of the app.  

Related read: Ace Your Vehicle Rental Agency Management Like “Uber”

Bus Ticket Booking App Development: Advanced Features

Some of the additional or advanced features can be included in the app to increase its user-base. Let’s check them out:

1. Sign Up using Social Profiles

Users of the App can be allowed to sign up using their Google, Facebook, Yahoo account details and can subsequently create their profiles through the automatic filling up of the birth date, postal address, phone number information thus saving time and energy of the users.

2. Real-Time Seat Chart

The app should show a real-time seat chart on its screen when a customer decides to book a seat. The customer can then go forward to select a seat based on his or her convenience by looking at the seating chart. In case the customer decides to cancel the booking within the stipulated time, the money will be refunded.

seat map

3. Management Of Co-Traveller Facility

A customer should be able to make a booking for his co-travelers as well, by entering their details. After the booking is done, the co-travelers can simply see the details by opening the app of their phone, or the customer can share the details through WhatsApp or email. This certainly saves a lot of time and energy on part of the customers. 

4. Make Bookings Based On Personal Preferences

The app should allow the customers to book the buses by searching for them on their desired routes. They should also be able to see other details such as drop-off and pickup points, offered meal facilities, etc. 

5. Go Cashless With Multiple Payment Modes

The online payment feature will provide multiple secure payment gateways where passengers can make payments via card as well as through third-party e-wallets. After the payment has been done an online ticket will be generated portraying a QR code, which will enable the drivers to scan and verify the details of the customers while they board the bus.

6. Location Tracking Real-Time

This location tracking feature will show the customers the whereabouts of the bus and the departing time so that the customers will not need to call or contact the office of the bus operator for that information. 

They will be able to view the location of the booked bus in real-time on the inbuilt map itself. The map will also show the estimated arrival and departure time of the bus,  based on the boarding point that is selected by them while doing the booking. 

The bus drivers will also have a live seat map of that bus with them that shows the occupied and vacant seats and the total number of passengers on-board. It also enables the drivers to access the upcoming & current bus schedules with drop-off & pick up points.

7. Booking Management System With Centralized Interface

Through this feature, the customers will be able to cancel their bookings by doing just a few taps on the app. It also allows the customers to view the upcoming, cancelled and past bookings all on a single interface and search for specific, customizable booking through ticking the advanced filters present within the app. 

bus ticket booking app development

8. Journey Alerts

This feature will allow the customers to view the estimated arrival and departure time based on the boarding points that were selected while generating the bookings. The push notification feature will send several alerts to the customers regarding their upcoming journey via SMS and the App. 

Also, the driver can auto-generate and push out the alerts to all of the bus passengers through the driver app panel. This will help the customers to manage their time well.

9. Ticket Validation

This feature will guide the drivers to validate the bookings of the onboard passengers. Through the QR scanner integrated into the driver app panel, the drivers can validate bookings through scanning the QR code that is generated on the app of the customer, after booking the ticket. 

e-wallet

After scanning, the driver gets all the details of each of the onboard passengers such as their name, date of birth, phone no, email id, any other ID (passport, driving license, etc.), and the seat number. 

This benefits the drivers to complete their verification process with ease and also to expedite the boarding process of the passengers. Also the QR scanning feature is paperless, so it does away with the cumbersome ticket checking process of the bus operators. 

10. CRM Integration

CRM or Customer relation management is a crucial aspect for the successful running of a business; thus, a capable CRM software integration is a must requirement for the customer service department.

11. CMS Integration

A necessary & fundamental feature as it allows the app operators to maintain static content pages like About us, FAQs, Contact Us, Booking Page, App Privacy Guidelines, and much more. This feature is of great use to the Admin as he/she is the one responsible for the smooth running of these pages.

12. GPS Tracking

The integration of the Google Maps or GPS location tracking feature, with the bus ticket booking mobile app, will make the tracking process smooth and seamless for both the drivers, passengers and for the admin as well.

13. Inbuilt Chat Feature

An Inbuilt Chat feature within the app will be quite cool as it will enable the passengers, drivers and the admin to communicate and chat with each other. This will help them to directly address any issues that they face regarding the usage of the app or otherwise.

chatbot

This feature will also benefit the admin in case he needs to convey some important information to the passengers as well as the drivers keeping both of them in sync.

14. Visual Calendar Integration

A visual calendar within the app will help customers to check for any scheduled meeting or functions on a particular day or week, before booking tickets for a specific journey.

15. Seat Maps

The seat map shown in the app will give a visual presentation of the available seats in a bus so that the customer can do the selection based on their preference.

16. Cloud Storage Integration

This necessary feature will allow you to save some of your everyday personal details in the app for any future requirement.

17. Integration of Cab Booking API

This feature is a useful one that one can integrate into their online bus booking mobile application. Integrating a Cab Booking API into the bus booking app, will now enable the customers to book a cab through the same app itself if they are in a hurry to reach the pickup location on time.

Related Read: Transportation and Logistics Mobile Apps NEED These 4 Features

18. Hotel Booking Integration

Integration of a hotel booking feature into the bus ticket booking application will let the app show suggestions of nearby hotels to the users based on their choice of location, the destination that they are headed to, bus routes schedules, and pricing range. 

Thus, the users of your app will not need to look anywhere else to book a hotel. The users will get access to a lot of information on one single platform which will grab the attention of more users, thus raising the profile of your app.

The hotels of lowest prices can be shown at the top, gradually advancing to the mediocre priced and then to the higher priced luxury hotels.

19. Information On Bus Routes

The integration of this feature will inform the users about the route that the bus will take during the journey. It will also show all the spots and rest stops that the bus will pass through to reach the destination.

Marketing Tools

This popular feature is a great way to enhance user engagement for your mobile application. You can offer coupons & discount offers, customer loyalty programs, to the users from time-to-time. This will interest your app users more to make the majority of their travel bookings through your app and also they will further refer it to their family and friends. 

These advanced features will transform the user experience of your bus ticket booking mobile app to an exceptional level, raise its USP, and give your app an edge over its competitors.

Technology Stack For Bus Ticket Booking App Development

For developing a robust infrastructure for a feature-rich on-demand booking app, applying the right technologies are a must. Along with the right technologies, you will also need an experienced and qualified team of designers, QA testers, Project managers, and last but not least, smart & efficient web developers.

app development

Developing and implementing the right technology stack is a prerequisite for developing a robust, feature-rich bus booking app with a seamless and user- friendly interface. Therefore, for crafting a groundbreaking app, that can reach new heights in the industrial niche, technology is certainly the one aspect that needs to be selected very smartly.

  • Push Notifications – Push.io, Twilio,
  • Mobile OS – IOS, Android
  • Phone Verification and SMS Voice – Twilio, Nexmo
  • Database – Hbase, MongoDB, Cassandra, MailChimp Integration, PostgreSQL
  • Payments – Stripe, PayPal & BrainTree, Net Banking, EWallets
  • Cloud Environment – Google, AWS, Azure
  • API Integration of 3rd Party Companies – Cab Companies & Hotel Brands
  • Real-Time Analytics – Spark, Hadoop, BigData, Cisco, Apache Flink, IBM

Cost Estimation For Bus Ticket Booking App Development

The list of features and the technology stack to be integrated has been finalized, the only aspect that remains to be discussed is the Cost Estimation for the Bus ticket Booking Application Development.

If you have a good budget, then it would be way smarter to look for a Mobile Development Firm that has years of experience and accolades to its name to deliver the best in class apps. You will end up with a great product that will justify the budget spent. 

Then again, there are certain important factors that determine the cost estimation of building this app:

  • The country where you are developing the app
  • Your choice of platform, Android, iOS or both
  • Features, Functionalities
  • UI & UX design 

Overseeing these factors you might decide to build a simple, less complex app, but will that cost less?

Related read: The Only Cost Estimation You Need For A Bus Booking Software

Now Churn Out More Profit With Your Bus Ticket Booking App

With all of your priorities, set in place, you are now finally ready to head onto the journey of starting with the development process of your app. And why not, the travel and tourism industry is growing at a rapid pace with the increased usage of mobile applications, and buses being the preferred choice of travel for the majority, an amazing Bus Ticket Booking App can just pioneer the transport industry, steering it to a new direction. 

We at AllRide Bus, are here to help you create the best bus ticket booking app solution with our proficient team of developers and designers. 

Have an idea in mind? Go ahead to get a quote.


Swarnendu De

Swarnendu De is the Co-founder of Innofied, an Award winning Mobile apps, Web apps, and Game development company. He manages the technical operations and leads the design and development teams there. He is the author of an advanced JavaScript book: Backbone.js Patterns and Best Practices.  He regularly writes at his personal blog, company blog, LinkedIn and the Tuts+ network. Swarnendu lives in Kolkata – the city of joy. He loves traveling, photography & fishing.

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