National – January 12th, 2023: 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 the year 2022. As per estimates by world’s largest online bus ticketing platform redBus, the intercity bus travel network reached 7800 towns and villages, an 11% increase over the 7000 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+ travelers 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% in 2022, which is much higher than the 56% 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 travelers prefer overnight journeys in an AC bus: More than 64% of the travellers boarded the intercity bus between 5:00 pm – 12:00 am – 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% of the trips are up to 500 KM, while 30% cover distances beyond 500 km. Further, nearly 72% of the bookings on the platform in 2022 preferred an AC bus, a marked increase from the 65% 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 traveling on Diwali, Oct 21, 2022, when the demand was 45% 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% spike in people traveling 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 travelers: 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% of all bookings to Goa, followed by Karnataka (26%) and Telangana (16%).
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 52000 buses daily.