Cleartrip Travel Services Pvt Ltd, which runs the online travel booking site Cleartrip.com, has started offering bus ticketing on its site. For the same, the company has partnered with bus ticketing sites redBus and Travelyaari. The OTA already offers bookings for hotels, flights and trains.
For revenues, the company will possibly look at commissions for every booking done via its site, since it doesn’t actually offer booking facility and instead redirects the user to redBus or Travelyaari at the last step of the booking to process the payment. After the transaction is completed, the partners will issue the bus tickets and will also be responsible for providing after-sales support, including cancellation, reminders, ticket refunds, etc.
To book bus tickets on Cleartrip, a user need to go to the ‘bus’ tab and enter the locations he/she wants to go (as of now, the site does not offer a round-trip option). As soon as the traveler enters the location, the site lists available buses, which can be further filtered on the basis of operator, departure time and price. The site has introduced ‘smart tabs’ like ‘Volvo’ tab which helps the user to instantly reduce the search results to only Volvo buses; and ‘recommended’ tab which shows top 15 buses rated by Cleartrip’s patent-pending score algorithm. The Cleartrip score calculates the top 15 buses on the basis of various parameters such as ratings, comfort, seat availability and price in relation to other buses for the same route.
Once the bus is selected, the user can see the seat map and seat availability and details such as boarding points, cancellation policies and amenities onboard the bus. We tried searching for buses from the site, but most of the times there were errors on the page (bug fixing is required).
In India, Cleartrip competes with homegrown majors such as NASDAQ-listed MakeMyTrip, Via, Yatra and Goibibo.com. Interestingly, redBus was recently acquired by the South African media conglomerate Naspers’ Indian arm ibiboGroup (MIH India) which runs Goibibo.
In August last year, one more OTA, Expedia Inc, partnered with redBus to power bus ticket booking functionality on the site. Recently, MakeMyTrip launched SMS-based bus ticket booking service, which can be done using a feature phone.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)