Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has partnered with BuuPass to launch an online service where travelers in the country can book and purchase bus tickets.
The service is currently available with five bus operators including Easy Coach, Modern Coast, Greenline, Palmers and East African Shuttles, and looks to onboard more than 20 additional operators by the end of the year. Customers can access the service by dialing *877# and at buupass.com with payments accepted through M-PESA.
“This partnership with BuuPass seeks to extend the convenience of M-PESA by empowering our customers to book a bus ticket wherever they may be and at their luxury. We further see a prospect in linking bus companies to opportunities by providing them with a solution to manage customer ticketing and cashless payments,” said Rita Okuthe, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Safaricom.
Through the app, customers can select a bus operator, preferred travel date and time, and reserve specific seat numbers. Customers can also reserve seats for multiple travelers, with tickets printed at the bus station after presentation of the confirmation SMS.
“We are glad to partner with Safaricom to provide travelers with an easy and flexible solution to book and manage their journey. Our platform similarly provides bus companies with a bus and parcel management system where they can manage their fleet, have control over their operational costs, and effectively reach more travelers and in turn sell more seats through our marketplace,” said Sonia Kabra, Co-founder and Director – BuuPass.
The service seeks a slice of the local inter-city transport industry estimated to be worth more than KES 100 billion annually but which is also characterized by low uptake of technology and digital solutions. The two firms have been working on the bus ticketing solution for more than a year and have already sold more than 80,000 tickets across more than 100 routes.
Some of the most popular destinations among travelers include Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Migori and Bondo.
Safaricom and BuuPass have similarly partnered on the online booking platform for the Standard Gauge Railway.