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How to Build an Online Bus Ticket Booking and Reservation System: Key Features and Step-By-Step Development Process

AscendixTech
We are Ukraine- and US-based developers who build desktop, mobile, and cross-platform apps, CRM and cloud solutions using Java, JavaScript, .NET, Xamarin, etc. Our GitHub: https://github.com/ascendix
・9 min read

The article was originally published at Ascendix Tech's Blog.

Must-have features of a bus ticket booking app

Key functionality for customers

Easy Registration & Social Login

The first and foremost functionality for most modern applications is also crucial for your bus ticket booking and reservation system.

You should constantly analyze users’ behavior, their routes and schedules, and other aspects to provide the best customer experience and keep the churn rate as low as possible.

What’s more, users often require some help and feedback from your customer support service. It means that you need to know each user’s history of bookings, payment options, and other personal data to offer instant and relevant answers and solutions to customers.

The mentioned above things become possible after implementing an easy-to-use sign-up/sign-in feature with social login functionality.

Smart Insights Report states that the social log-in functionality boosts the click-to-registration rate up to 50%.

Below you can see designed mockups of the registration/login form with a social login feature created for Flibco by Ascendix Tech.

Flibco registration and social login functionality | Ascendix Tech

Destination, date/time, passengers

Once created a personal profile, users usually proceed to booking a desired bus ticket. This stage is must-have for your bus ticket booking software and should include the following details:

  • Departure and arrival points
  • Date time for their outward and return (if any) journeys
  • Number of travelers (with infants, if any)
  • The Search button.

Below you can see mobile designed mockups of the main screens we created for Flibco.com.

Departure/arrival and route screen of Flibco | Ascendix Tech

Trip choice and tour details

After filling in the required data like departure/arrival spots, date, time, and the number of passengers, you need to provide customers with relevant trips that meet their criteria. At Ascendix Tech, we suggest adding the following aspects to this stage of your online bus ticket booking and reservation system:

  • Trip bus provider
  • Departure/arrival time
  • Journey time
  • Trip price
  • Duration of transfers (if any).

What’s more, provide users with an opportunity to check trip details by clicking on a specific journey option. We recommend showing an exact number of bus stops, a transfer timing, and the general trip duration.

Below we share the designed mobile mockups of the trip choice and tour details steps for Flibco.com.

Tour choice and details for Flibco | Ascendix Tech

Passenger’s information

Once selected the preferred trip option, navigate users to the stage of entering the passengers’ details:

  • First and Last name
  • Phone number with the country’s code
  • Email (optional).

This stage is crucial to identify passengers and assign specific bus seats to them. This screen shouldn’t include multiple fields in order to keep your online bus ticket booking and reservation system flow as simple and user-oriented as possible.

Below is a designed mobile mockup for the passenger identification stage created for Flibco.com.

Passengers’ information for Flibco | Ascendix Tech

Confirmation and payment

One of the final must-have features for your online bus ticket software is the confirmation and payment stage, the so-called checkout process. Here we suggest offering your customers multiple payment gateways to boost the conversion rate and provide as much convenience as possible.

The PR Newswire study states that small businesses that provide different payment methods increase revenue by over 30% in average.

According to Entrepreneur.com, Stripe, PayPal, Payoneer, Apple/Google Pay, and Amazon Payments are among the leading payment options for users.

What’s more, you can also implement the option to pay via cash as more than 23% of users still opt for cash on delivery.

Ultimately, we recommend providing users with an ability to download payment invoices which stand for a digital copy of their bills.

Right here is a designed mobile mockup for the passenger confirmation and payment experience which was created for Flibco.com.

Сonfirmation and payment processes for Flibco | Ascendix Tech

Key features for business

Control Hub & Dashboard

Dashboard functionality allows you to process, monitor, and analyze any aspects of your online bus ticket booking and reservation system with a single-click ease.

Routes & Schedules

Your ticket reservation software should include well-thought-out routes and schedules that lead to a win-win strategy for both customers and your company in terms of logistics.

For this reason, we recommend building advanced features dedicated to the creation and management of routes, pickups, drop points, schedules, and other bus tour details.

Inventory management

With the help of inventory management, you can keep a stock of the in-service buses, their types and models, seat layouts, tariff rules, and so on.

This information is of utmost importance to analyze your capabilities and verify whether your supply fully cover customers’ demands.

Benefits of Inventory Management for Business | Ascendix Tech

GPS Bus Tracking

This functionality allows you to reduce operational costs dramatically by analyzing such aspects as fuel consumption, idle and bus misuse time. How does it work?

You develop a tracking feature and equip your buses with GPS trackers to monitor their location, driving direction, and fuel consumption rate in real-time.

GPS Bus Tracking Benefits for Your Business | Ascendix Tech

Bus driver management

Driver management allows you to provide as much real-time transparency as possible by alerting or dispatching managers of any trouble emerged.

Besides, it enables you to define drivers’ risky behavior immediately through managers that can contact bus drivers quickly if any situation happens.

Bus driver management software also allows you to enhance fleet efficiency by times. Managers can inform drivers instantly in case of traffic, road, or weather conditions’ changes that may affect travel time and passengers’ safety.

What’s more, you can create a built-in predictive maintenance system which helps you to keep all bus fleet units repaired and free of breakdowns. So, you can gradually cut down the idle time of drivers as they no longer need to stay inactive waiting for a vehicle repair.

Ultimately, bus driver management software enables you to automate the rewards program that enhances driver retention rate. It works the following way: drivers get safety scores for high performance which can be summed up in the end of a quarter to reward them and keep from leaving your company.

Bus Driver Management Benefits for Your Business | Ascendix Tech

Bus ticket booking app development process

1. Create and validate your project idea

First, you need to come up with a project idea of your bus ticket booking software and define its core goal and value for customers. Analyze top market competitors, take their best features and eliminate top mistakes and bugs.

Then, form a general product vision and validate your project idea through the following options:

  • Ask your friends, colleagues, and relatives
  • Use social platforms to conduct surveys and interview users
  • Set up focus groups.

2. Choose a development option

Once formed a detailed strategy and collected project requirements, you can proceed to the development process of your software for ticket sale in bus.

Here you can choose from the following 4 options:

  • Hire freelancers
  • Find a technical partner/CTO
  • Outsource to an IT agency
  • Build the bus ticket booking and reservation system yourself.

3. Perform a discovery phase

A project discovery phase will help you generate a detailed project development plan with a strict timeline, exact deadlines, and specific milestones. The process inlcudes engagement of such specialists as Business Analysts, Solution Architects, UI/UX designers and others depending on your project specific.

As a result, you should get a detailed System Requirements Specification (SRS) document that includes project goals, milestones, sprints, deadlines, and final development costs.

4. Develop the core MVP functionality

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a great strategy to cut down expenses, release quick, and gather useful feedback from your customers and enhance your product greatly.

Here is the list of the must-have MVP features for your bus ticket booking app:

  • Easy Registration & Social Login
  • Destination, date/time, passengers
  • Trip choice and tour details
  • Passenger’s information
  • Confirmation and payment.

Must-Have Bus Booking Software Features for Customers

Now let’s check the core functionality for you as a business owner:

  • Control Hub & Dashboard
  • Routes & Schedules
  • Inventory management
  • GPS Bus Tracking
  • Bus driver management.

Must-Have Bus Booking Software Features for Business

5. Release and collect feedback

After finishing the development process of your bus ticket booking software, you need to release its MVP version and make it public.

We recommend preparing and distributing high-quality press releases through such well-known platforms as:

  • PR Fire
  • PR Web
  • Presswire
  • LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
  • YCombinator, Reddit, IndieHackers.

This will enable you to attract much attention and acquire first customers, collect their feedback, and improve your bus ticket booking and reservation system on.

The enhancement part should be your top priority as most likely users will find your product not that ideal (which is completely normal) which means that you should focus on improving it by adding/removing/modifying the features.

6. Scale and support

Process the feedback you got from real users and customers after releasing your product and making it public. Implement new features, solve security issues (if any), change the existing functionality, and so on.

The next step is to scale your bus ticket booking app offering advanced features and more servers to boost the user experience of your customers around the world.

Also, you should constantly maintain and support your product to keep it error-free. Most digital products have bugs and this is normal but your task is to minimize its quantity as much as possible.

Our Expertise in Bus Ticket Booking App Development

At Ascendix Tech, we have built multiple solutions dedicated to bus ticket booking software and now we want to share one of them.

So, here is the case of online bus ticket app development for Flibco.com - a leading private airport shuttle service provider with a passenger turnover of 1.9 million/year in main Western European countries with headquarters in Luxembourg.

What challenges we had to solve?

  • Migrate an old system to a new modern solution
  • Develop powerful route generation tool
  • Build advanced security management
  • Conduct cloud migration to an advanced online ticket reservation software
  • Integrate multi-payment functionality
  • Create front-rank performance analytics tools.

What solutions have we built?

  • Shuttle booking management
  • Ticket management
  • Integration with TomTom services
  • Google maps integration
  • Security management
  • Performance analytics
  • Multi-payment integration
  • Intuitive sign-up process
  • Drupal CMS integration.

If you want to learn more details about the bus ticket software development for Flibco.com, keep reading the full case study below.

Custom bus ticket booking app development case study for Flibco | Ascendix Tech

To draw the line, we have completed lots of tasks dedicated to bus ticket software development, system integration, cloud migration, DevOps services, etc.

To prove our words, here is what Alex Tregubov, Product Owner at Flibco.com, said:

In early 2019 we were in need to outsource the development of a mobile application to an external bus ticket booking app development company. We were blessed to find Ascendix! A number of other initiatives followed after the online bus ticket app delivery, including a unique system to manage our Door2Gate product and a complete overall revival of our IT infrastructure. Our partners at Ascendix have been phenomenal all the way, showing an exceptional level of efficiency, transparency, expertise, and quality. It’s no doubt that all of our future initiatives are with Ascendix Technologies.

Bottom Line

The online bus ticket booking and reservation system development may seem to be a tough and long process. However, a long way to Fuji starts with the first step so start doing and the result won't be long in coming.

If you want to learn more details about the step-by-step guide on building a bus ticket reservation software, then keep reading our full blog post How to Build an Online Bus Ticket Booking and Reservation System: Key Features and Benefits for Business.

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