Kenyan Bus Ticketing Startup Aims To Transform Transport Systems Through Partnership

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Travelers boarding Easy Coach, Modern Coast, Greenline, Palmers and East African Shuttles can now book and purchase bus tickets online and make payments through M-Pesa. This follows Safaricom’s partnership with BuuPass, a bus ticketing application.

BuuPass is driven by young entrepreneurs who aim to transform inefficient transport systems into a catalyst for growth and impact as well as better connect people to goods, services, and resources. The startup based at the Nairobi garage began in 2016 in response to the 2016 Hult Prize Challenge, a global student competition for social entrepreneurship where it went on to win.

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 the 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. Customers can access the service by dialing *877# and at buupass.com with payments accepted through M-PESA.

Safaricom and BuuPass have similarly partnered on the online booking platform for the Standard Gauge Railway.

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Melissa Daniels
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