How to Build a Bus Booking Software for Own Company
According to Statista, if people are given a choice between traditional phone and online bookings, they will choose the latter option 88% of the time because it's easier, cheaper and doesn't require anyone to talk to. The situation is similar when booking a car, a table in a restaurant, a place on an excursion or diving. For resourceful entrepreneurs, this is an absolute gold mine since you can reserve almost any service, therefore, you can make good money on it.
From our article, you will learn how to create an online bus ticket reservation system, what it will take and how much it costs to implement such a project.
Bus Reservation System Benefits for Business
The introduction of online booking (booking system) will allow you to take your business to a new level, be one step ahead of your competitors and provide a customer-oriented service for your visitors. This function is in demand in the hotel business, but it is also being introduced into the scheme of work of other businesses in the service and entertainment sector: to optimize the business processes of restaurants, nightclubs, concert halls, theaters, etc.
The ability to book a seat here and now increases the site's conversion. And this fact cannot be disputed. After all, the client does not call the manager to clarify the available places on a particular day. He calmly chooses suitable dates, times, rooms (places) and makes a reservation. If the user closes the browser, postponing the task until the morning, the probability that he will return to you tends to zero.
The booking system provides the following benefits:
- the possibility for the client to book a room (service, place) at the time of the decision;
- full information for the client about the employment of the hotel (audience hall, restaurant) in real time; increase in site conversion;
- optimization of working hours of employees of the institution;
- obtaining sales statistics.
The online booking function implemented on the site can quickly affect sales (volume, average check).
Must-have Features of a Bus Ticket Booking App
You need to decide whether your system will be open and, if so, how much. For example, Ryanair.com is an open system because another aggregator platform can connect to it and sell tickets for Ryanair flights on its website, just like tickets for many other airlines. In the case of Uber, the situation is different: it is a closed platform, the services of which can only be used through the Uber app or website. Next, we turn to the analysis of functions.
Passenger App Features
- Easy search. The faster and easier it is for a user to find what they need on your platform, the better, as this improves the user experience and, as a result, increases the attractiveness of your site. To do this, your platform's search engine must meet the following criteria:
- Intuitive navigation. At first glance, the user should understand where the field for entering keywords is, where are the categories with filters and how to work with them.
- Correct categorization. The division of objects or booking services into categories should be obvious and commonly used. New categories can be invented after the site becomes very popular.
- Correct titles and links. The names you choose for menu items, sections, and various links should be relevant and intuitive so visitors can understand which icon to click and what happens afterward.
- Availability calendar. The visual display of the reservation calendar allows visitors to check firsthand whether the reservation is available on the desired dates. This feature is optional, but it greatly enhances the user experience.
- Full verified data. Whether you are creating an aggregator site that collects data from different services or a website for a specific company, you need to provide users with accurate and detailed information about each reservation object.
- Cancellation of service and clear return conditions. Almost all well-known online booking services allow users to cancel a booking with a full or partial refund. A full refund is usually issued if the cancellation is made a few weeks before the date of the reservation, a partial refund is made a day or two before the reservation date. To keep this procedure from being controversial:
- Write a refund policy on your website/app and ensure the user reads it before booking and starting the cancellation process.
- Clearly state the cancellation deadlines and penalties, if any. For example, if you charge a cancellation fee of 3%, you must clearly state how much this percentage is deducted from (booking amount, advance payment) and when this occurs.
Driver App Features
- Vehicle Tracking System (GPS). The drivers always prefer mobile apps that minimize efforts and offer best practices. The GPS tracking system pinpoints the passenger's location and destination once they share the permission. This helps the driver easily track the passenger's location.
- Availability button. The drivers can mark themselves during the start and end of the trip. They can mark themselves as available-online or offline as soon as the trip begins or ends. With this, the driver gets notified for new requests and pick-up details when he is available.
- Driver dashboard. Drivers will get useful statistics and insights on their trips, overall performance, feedback and view the ratings customers gave in their dashboard so that they can improve.
- Email & SMS alerts. The driver will get pinged with important notifications via email or SMS alerts from the passenger regarding any query or cab requests where he can also respond to the passengers with an accept or decline option using a simple interface.
- Begin/ End ride. Destinations can be easily tracked with the help of maps used as an indicator to locate pickup and drop places.
- Automatic fare calculation & printing of e-receipts. The cost per mile is calculated with the help of GPS — according to the mileage attained in the customer’s route. The ride price must be submitted to the user as e-receipts before the cab departs.
- Accept/decline cab requests. With this option, the driver can accept or reject the cab request received from the passengers. A notification will be sent to the passenger’s app regarding the request's status. Based on the company's strategy, the request will be sent to the next nearby driver if the driver does not accept the trip request within a certain duration (15-30 seconds).
- Trip History. The app should allow the drivers to see the booking history they have received. This helps the drivers to maintain track of the journeys they have undertaken and it comes in handy as reference information in case of any future disparities. In short, this makes the business quite transparent.
Bus Ticketing Admin Panel
- Control Hub & Dashboard. This feature allows you to manage, monitor, and analyze any aspects of your online bus reservation system from a single place. Most often, it looks like a web-based panel with charts and dashboards that can show the number of daily/weekly/monthly booked tickets, bus drivers in service, revenue generated, etc. If you want to keep your eyes on the ball in real-time and be able to make data-driven decisions quickly, then a control hub with dashboards is a must-have feature to hold up your online bus ticket reservation system well.
- Routes & Schedules. A bus ticketing service is about well-thought-out routes and schedules, leading to win-win logistics for both customers and your company. It means that you should create a functionality dedicated to creating and managing routes, pickups, drop points, schedules, and other bus tour details. For example, if customers leave their feedback desiring to add a new drop point at a specific bus stop, schedule and route management features will allow you to add them with one-click ease.
- Inventory management. You may think that inventory management is of utmost importance only for e-commerce businesses and their analogs, but actually, it plays a huge role in an online bus ticket reservation software niche as well. Inventory management functionality enables you to keep a stock of the in-service buses, their types and models, seat layouts, tariff rules, and other details. This data is crucial to analyze your capabilities and verify whether your supply fully covers customers’ demands. If you need to scale your business, inventory management of your online bus ticket booking and reservation system will help you save much time and find new resources based on users’ needs. This way, you will also reduce costs as you avoid purchasing needless bus fleet units.
Bus Reservation System Development Process
We have described this process many times before. The development of applications and any other software is not much different at the initial stage. You have to go through the classic steps that many companies go through.
Create and validate your bus booking software project idea
First, come up with your online bus ticket booking and reservation system idea. What will be the key product goal and what exact problems of customers will it solve?
Answering these questions, you will form a high-level vision of your booking software to help you move further and create specific requirements and milestones.
Next, do competitor research and analysis. Try to find the top market players and review their products in detail.
Compare 3-5 online ticket reservation software solutions, analyze their key features, benefits, drawbacks, and customer-oriented approach. You can navigate through the user flow of each one making notes on each stage from the point of a real customer.
Competitor research is of utmost importance to take all the best from your market rivals including the key features and create an even greater ticket booking software that rocks.
Write down all your competitors’ blind spots and weaknesses to avoid them while building your own solution.
Afterward, validate your project idea. There are multiple ways to do it, but here are the most cost-effective and quick options:
- Ask your friends, colleagues, and relatives
- Use social platforms to conduct surveys and interview users
- Set up focus groups.
Choose a development option
Once you’ve validated your product idea, it’s high time to prepare the requirements and the list of core online bus booking system features you will implement first in your online bus booking software for ticket sale in the bus.
As we have listed the core functionality of bus reservation systems above, let’s discuss what development options you can use to reach your goals.
Find a CTO/Technical Partner
A Chief Technical Officer is a highly experienced professional who perfectly knows how to reach business goals through technology implementation with a solid background in launching online bus booking systems to the market.
Moreover, this specialist understands what technologies, languages, and frameworks will meet the project budget and goals as cost- and time-effective as possible.
For these reasons, finding a CTO is a great option to start building your own in-house online bus booking system development team or even outsourcing to a bus ticket booking app development company worldwide. This person is an ideal combination of a business partner and director of development within your project.
Outsource to a development company
According to Statista, global IT outsourcing is expected to reach the level of$409 bln in 2022 compared to $64.3 bln in 2017. These statistics show that more and more companies opt for outsourcing online bus booking system development to build high-quality bus ticket booking systems that rock.
At Ardas, we have passed through the way of IT outsourcing to 5 locations around the world which allowed us to gather useful knowledge and understanding of how to find a technology provider in a fast, reliable, and long-term manner.
What are the benefits of IT outsourcing?
To be short, you get the following advantages from hiring an online bus booking system development company:
- A large talent pool out-of-the-box
- High expertise and turnkey solutions
- An opportunity to engage closely with the team or fully delegate the project
- Cost reduction in the long run
- Risk management
- After-launch support and maintenance.
You can also review a company’s case studies similar to your online bus booking system project.
For example, if you are looking for a bus ticket booking app development company having solid experience in building online bus ticket software, then you can review our case study for Flibco.com.
There we share the key challenges, solutions, and results we achieved throughout the online bus booking system development and launch processes.
Perform a discovery phase
The discovery phase transforms your project requirements into sprints, timelines, deadlines, and exact online bus booking system development tasks. This process includes engagement from Business Analysts, Solution Architects, UI/UX designers, and other specialists.
Business analysts collect your project requirements to prepare a clear project development plan for in-depth specification.
Solution architects transform your business model and logic into up-to-date, user-oriented functionality and architecture. These specialists can offer alternative technology solutions to your project ideas to make your online bus ticket software more customer- and result-oriented.
UI/UX design professionals create prototypes and mockups to illustrate what will your future bus ticket booking software look like. This way, you can analyze how will a real user interact and navigate through your online bus booking system.
Ultimately, these specialists will take care of the final online bus ticket software design to make it visually appealing and intuitive.
At Ardas, we always insist on conducting a project discovery phase to understand the project better and show clients our technical expertise and transparency.
Build the key MVP features
A Minimum Viable Product approach is perfect for saving costs, launching fast, and collecting valuable customer feedback to improve your product.
Put it simply, you build the must-have features that allow early users and customers to get the core value of your online bus ticket software and make sure they find it problem-solving.
After a project discovery phase, we recommend building an MVP of your bus ticketing system software implementing the abovementioned must-have features.
Release and collect feedback
Once the development, UI/UX design, testing, and deployment processes are finished, it’s time to release your bus ticket booking app MVP version to the public.
Now your key goal is to collect as much relevant feedback as possible to improve your bus ticket booking software. Prepare and distribute high-quality press releases through the relevant platforms like:
- PR Fire
- PR Web
- Response Source Press Release Wire
- 24-7 Press Release
- LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
- YCombinator, Reddit, IndieHackers.
Press release distribution will help attract users’ attention, get first-trial users or customers, and collect their feedback and notes.
The latter should be your top priority in preparing a new V2 release, including bug fixing, functionality improvements, security enhancements, etc.
Scale and support
When you consider the feedback from the first customers, you should instantly improve the online bus booking system product, scale, and support it. Modify/add/remove features based on users’ notes and enhance the overall bus ticket booking app architecture.
One of the crucial aspects of keeping your bus ticket booking system in demand is constant maintenance. Most applications and solutions have bugs, but your task is to minimize and eliminate them immediately.
This will help you keep the churn rate at a low level and client satisfaction at a high level. Always make sure that your online bus ticket software doesn’t have downtimes and customers get a bug-free experience.
Ardas provides 24/7 concierge and support services to keep our clients’ online bus booking system error-free and solve their users’ challenges on time.
Tech Stack Used for Bus Booking Software Development
Proper technology implementation is a prerequisite for developing a feature-rich and robust Bus Booking application. Thus, to develop the ideal application and fit the industrial niche, the technology must be chosen wisely.
- Mobile OS - Android, iOS;
- Push notifications - Twilio;
- Push notifications SMS, voice and phone verification - Nexma, Twilio;
- Payments - Braintree and PayPal, Stripe, Walet Net Banking;
- Database - MongoDB, HBase, Cassandra Postgres MailChimp integration;
- Cloud - AWS, Google, Azure;
- Real-time Analytics - Hadoop, Spark, Big, Apache Flink, Cisco, IBM;
The technology stack plays a critical role when working on the features of a bus booking application. The better your bus booking app, the stronger your screen presence and clientele. So, find the right technical partner for the best bus booking software price and start today. Technology affects the quality and distribution of the product. We understand that the market is full of competition and you must stand out from the crowd. We have been working in the same field for many years and ensure that the solutions you bring to the market bring you success.
Cost Factors Affecting Developing a Bus Booking App
Bus Booking app costs depend completely on the features and functionalities that will be offered in the app. Factors that affect the development cost of the app are:
- App Features;
- Admin Panel Features;
- Bus Operator App Features;
- Technology to be Used for Development;
- App Platform (Android, iOS, or both);
- App Size;
- Advanced Features (Geolocation, Data Sync, AI).
How Ardas Can Help You With Building Own Bus Ticketing System?
If you are running a travel business, you must take it to the next level by developing an online bus booking app that will help increase your customer base and sales. With over 8 years of experience in the travel industry, our clients consider us the best mobile app development company. We have gained knowledge and skills in developing travel apps and providing client satisfaction.
Contact us to share your business requirements and get a quote. We will not only assist you, but we will also provide rich and smart solutions for your business to excel.