How Travel Bus Companies Can Benefit From Smart Bus Booking App Solution?
Initially, it used to be travel sales, but now it has transformed into “digital” travel sales. With the onset of widespread use of the internet and digital tools like mobile and web applications, travel companies are fetching higher ROIs. Smart bus booking app solution hold a mammoth share in this transformed revenue generation model, contributing to a positive growth trend.
Involvement of technologies like artificial intelligence, IoT, machine learning and visual computing has made travel more convenient than before. Passengers are not needed to wait for their turn to reserve their seats, nor they have to go anywhere to do their booking. All they have to do is download the mobile application and do their booking from anywhere, anytime.
It is these facilities and benefits which have enabled the e-travel market to gain an average annual CAGR of +9.3% since 2017. A major portion of this segment is covered by bus booking apps which includes travel and tour buses, daily public transportation buses and charter buses. It is quite obvious that if any business is generating such a growth in its revenue generation schema, it signifies that the system and strategies are liked by consumers.
Why are Smart Bus Booking App Solution growing popular?
The major reason for the popularity of smart bus booking apps is the daily increase in the number of internet users globally. The International Telecommunication Union had declared in 2018 that half of the world’s population will be online over the world wide web. This indicates that the world market will be populated with billions of prospective customers.
Easy access to the internet is leading to greater levels of awareness among people about the facilities and ease of communication smart apps can bring in their life. They are gradually getting addicted to smart bus booking app solution due to the following reasons:
- Users are no longer needed to go to ticket booking counters and wait in long queues for their tickets.
- Users can view the vacant seats and book those for themselves from mobile apps anytime and from anywhere.
- Users can view bus schedules and select their preferred time of journey from the bus booking apps.
- Users can view the bus routes online via the smart apps and confirm their preferred destination on the app during booking.
- Users can pay the fare at the time of booking via secure online payment mode directly from their bank accounts or online wallets.
- Many bus booking apps offer discounts and promotional offers which attract more users to that particular app.
Apart from these, bus booking software can also help passengers in real-time tracking of buses, assists during transit and active communication systems. To make this possible, a bunch of tech stack gets integrated with the smart bus booking apps.
Let us take a look at what technologies make on-demand bus software solutions so popular.
Technologies used in Smart Bus Booking Apps
Be it a simple bus ticket booking software or a complete white label bus booking app solution, their functionality depends upon the technology used. Later you will know about the features, and it is based on these features that relevant tech stack is used in the app development process. But still, you should know about the basic technologies used in all bus booking software solutions.
This forms the backbone of the entire app which is a combination of databases and scripting defining the architecture of the bus booking software. The application server, web server and databases form the background of this technology and consist of load balancers and integration of service APIs. Ruby On Rails, Node.js, Laravel, Codeigniter and Google Firebase are the most preferred backend development platforms.
Frontend development determines the efficiency, interactivity, responsiveness and look & feel of your bus booking software. The output of this segment is what your users will visualize after they start using your app. Vue.js, Angular.js, Blockchain Testnet, Ionic 2 are few of the most popular front-end development tools used by developers to create white label bus software.
Tracking and Navigation Systems
This segment is focused primarily on outdoor geolocation technologies which helps your users to track their booked buses and also assists drivers in route navigation. This can work on GPS, Cell ID or Assisted GPS framework, by which data of current location is collected and circulated to the designated users. For bus booking software solutions, you can also integrate Google Maps, Waze or Bing Maps for tracking and route navigation purposes.
Your bus ticket booking software must have the feature of accepting payments after a user has completed his or her booking process. You can use software development kits or SDKs of payment gateway providers, or integrate APIs of the same for greater control over the checkout activities. The simplest method of integrating secure and fast processing payment gateways is to integrate third-party apps which require the least coding experience.
Communication and collaboration between users and your staff are very important for the ease of use and success of your bus booking software. Various tools like Dropbox, Skype, Twilio, basecamp can enhance the coordination between your users and your staff which can be part of a great user experience. Updates through mails, SMS or notifications are also important which can be configured during the backend development of your bus booking software.
These were the basic technologies which are mandatory to be used in your bus booking software development process. Depending upon your business idea and the way you want to execute your business, you can always integrate more tools and technology with your app. Your use of technology also depends upon the features you wish to have in your bus booking app solution.
Features of Smart Bus Booking Apps
User experience is the most important aspect which determines the success of your bus booking or ticketing software. Better features can enhance this UX factor enabling you to escalate your business volumes.
Registration and Login
Your app must enable users to register themselves using their social media accounts, email IDs or mobile numbers. Based on the details they provide, OTP based authenticated login features can help you get genuine customers with true details. This feature should be applicable for users, drivers and your staff as well.
Select Route and Bus
The user must be able to view the bus schedule on the app based on which he or she can select the preferred route and bus. For better user experience, the route and bus selection process must be filtered on the basis of the preferred date and time of travel of the passenger. This feature should also enable users to select the class, category or tier of the bus according to their need.
Online Bus Tracking
Users must be able to track their booked bus via the app as it would prevent them to wait long at the bus stop and wait for the bus arrival. An ideal bus booking software must provide an accurate estimated time of arrival of the bus to allow passengers to plan their move accordingly. Any information related to the early or delayed arrival or change in the schedule should be informed to the users via messages, email or in-app notifications to keep them updated.
Hassle-free Booking Process
As the users can view schedules, route details and bus descriptions, a hassle-free booking process completes the cycle. The booking process should be backed up with data security features so that the personal details of your users are not leaked over the internet. Along with that, the user must have access to a secure, fast and real-time payment processing system so that he or she can pay for the booking straight away via online payment mode.
These are the basic features which are compulsory for any bus booking app solution. Depending upon your business idea and the implementation process, you can add more features by integrating a bigger tech stack. The features also depend upon the model of business your bus booking app is going to follow.
Models of Smart Bus Booking Apps
You can always plan your business model depending on your investment capacity, resource planning and management strength. You can also select your app business model on the basis of your business plan and the output you want from it. Following are the three most widely adopted models of smart bus booking apps.
This model has the least investment as you have to pay only for the app development and limited manpower with a minimal amount of resource purchase and utility. In this model, you have to communicate with travel bus service providers and provide them with a centralized bus booking platform. Henceforth, you have to market your application to attract customers so that you can give bookings to the bus fleet owners.
Owned Fleet Model
In this model, the investment is maximum as you have to purchase buses and backup their booking process via your bus booking or ticketing software. As far as the cost behind app development is concerned, it is almost equal to that of the aggregator model, but in this case, your additional expense is for the purchase of resources and deployment of manpower. Although the investment is high, yet you can enjoy greater business control and liberty.
This model is somewhat like a third-party business process whereby you have to associate yourself with various fleet owners and convince them to integrate your bus booking software in their business. A significant amount gets invested in the marketing process of your services and has a greater level of risk than the previous two models. You can save your investment at initial phases by developing a simple MVP of your planned app for demonstration purposes.
All these models are having both merits and limitations and it is up to you to decide which model suits your business idea and available resources. But whichever model you choose, you must be able to make it beneficial for both your customers and staff. Let us know what minimum comfort your staff expects from your adoption of the digital interface.
How Smart Bus Booking Apps help Travel Bus Companies
A travel bus company mainly comprises drivers, conductors and the fleet managers or owners. If you are opting to transform your business on a digital edge or starting a new one, you must ensure that your staff along with you can avail the full benefits from it.
Benefits for Drivers
The bus booking app solution can be beneficial for drivers in the following ways –
Ease of Navigation
A smart bus booking app must have integrated GPS or RFID route tracking system by which drivers can get real-time updates on route status. The driver can view online maps on their dashboard with all topographical details which can help them in navigation.
Helps In Route and Trip Optimization
Drivers can instantly react to route issues and update that on the map which gets instantaneously updated to the passengers. They can also modify trip schedules depending upon the route status in a hassle-free way.
Know Vehicle Health Status
Few technical integrations in the app can enable it to do triad diagnosis of the bus based on the engine temperature, battery status, RPM and dielectric status. This helps drivers to know the vehicle health status before they start their trip and inform issues, if found, to the owner.
Check Employment Status
This is one of the best features which helps drivers to check their attendance, the payment received or due, duty time or anything related to their employment with the bus travel company. They can check and update their details whenever needed and ping admin if they need any changes.
All travel bus booking smart apps have an in-app wallet for staff which can be accessed by the drivers in a personalized way. These in-app wallets can be linked to the preferred bank accounts where the drivers want to receive their salary.
Communicate Emergency Situations
While travelling, emergency situations can arise anytime, be it route related or any passenger-oriented trouble. Using a smart bus booking app drivers can communicate with the nearest resource or help center for relief and seek mitigation of the emergency.
Related read: How to create an AI driven School Bus Tracking System
Benefits for Conductors
Conductors can get the following types of assistance from a bus booking software –
Conductors can check the authenticity of any passenger booking by scanning the QR codes on the e-tickets or mobile receipts from their devices. This process informs the conductor about the details like the name, seat number and destination of the passenger which they can validate by seeing their identity proofs.
The conductors will receive an alert on their app before the bus arrives at any particular stop in its route. The alert enables them to keep a track of the journey time and inform passengers on request with ample time in hand to get ready for the off-boarding process. This also helps conductors to remind drivers whether there is any pickup or drop at the upcoming stop or not.
Least Cash Transactions
Due to the online ticketing feature of the bus booking software, the majority of passengers pay their fares at the time they make their booking. Hence, there is no need for any cash transaction during the journey. If any passenger wishes to pay after boarding, they can do so via cards or online wallets which also do not involve any cash payment, hence, completely resolving change issues.
Benefits for App Owners
Without benefitting the business or fleet owners, bus booking software would never have grown so popular. It helps owners in the following way –
Monitor Staff Performance
An owner can always keep a track on the attendance, performance and service quality of the drivers and conductors from a centralized location. Aware of the fact that they are always under the scanner, staff will certainly perform efficiently. This will increase the productivity of staff along with optimized turnaround time.
You can keep your office desks clutter-free by avoiding physical copies of bills, invoices and challans. All data related to each booking, fuel refill, toll booth payments and other expenses will be straight visible to you on your dashboard as soon as it happens. Hence, you can easily filter your needed data based on the date and time as per your requirement from the app itself.
Accurate Tracking of Bus
This is very important if you own a fleet and want to keep your eyes on the movement of your assets. Accurate GPS location tracker can keep you updated about the exact location of all buses of your fleet. Using this feature, you can also monitor the halt time, parking time, total distance covered in a day and several other details which can help you make better decisions.
Better Fleet Management
Along with maintaining track of the movement of your vehicles, you can also monitor various performance and maintenance metrics of your fleet via a white label bus software. You can view the details of any document renewal, maintenance and servicing schedules and average fuel consumption status of each vehicle in your fleet.
Better Business Scope
It is very easy to market your bus booking software over the internet via various methods of digital marketing by following appropriate growth hacking techniques. The huge popularity of social media platforms and the addiction of people with those interfaces can make your app go famous in a jiffy. You can reach out to more customers with less investment compared to traditional methods of marketing and promotions.
Technology is the key to better business management and growth. Data-driven decisions and strategies are much more yielding than the conventional methods of predictive market analysis and adaptive implementation. It is very much true for businesses associated with the travel and transportation industry.
A properly developed bus booking software can provide you with all data and analytics related to your business straight on your dashboard. For white label bus booking solutions with real-time and AI-integrated technology, you must consult with our AllRide Bus Booking App Experts and create a new dimension for your business.