The first thing, we assumed during this COVID-19 crisis, is that public transport travel will go down big time. After all, the virus spreads through touch and social distancing. However, surprisingly a recent survey shows that people are ready to undertake a bus journey right after the lockdown ends. We assume these people are the very same ones who have been stuck in one city and want to get back to their loved ones. AbhiBus which did this survey said that more than 63 per cent of people agreed to use a bus to reach their destination. Others said that they will want more clarity on the guidelines and in the process, wait 2-3 months more. A travel fare increase was also indicated by more than 60 per cent of the respondents.
Not surprisingly, the majority of the people wanted to opt for a sanitised waiting area and social distancing while boarding and alighting. COVID-19 insurance falls next in line. AC bus passengers want to have their own blankets as well as home-cooked food. Sanitisers of their own too are a high preference on the list.
Commenting on the survey findings, Rohit Sharma, COO, Abhibus.com said
We have received an overwhelming response for the survey within a span of 48 hours, 3,000 plus respondents say they have their professional, social and academic obligations that need to be fulfilled. There seems to be consensus amongst the respondents that life needs to go on, lockdown cannot be a way of life and #AbhiTravelKarnege seems to be their call. At the same time respondents were very clear about the need for safety, social distancing and many even were looking for COVID related insurance.
redBus, another main competitor in the online business says that they have also started undertaking the pre-registration process. This will notify customers when the bus services will resume through call, SMS or email.
Speaking on the launch, Prakash Sangam, CEO, redBus, said,
As we near the end of the nationwide lockdown, we strongly believe that the ‘pre-registration’ feature will go a long way in helping anxious travellers be informed on the opening up of their specific routes and enable them to book tickets conveniently at the earliest possible time. This pre-registration service coupled with the steps taken by our bus operator partners to ensure safety measures during travel, from sanitization of the bus to social distancing, is sure to help bus travellers undertake their intercity commute in a safe and convenient manner.
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