Online travel portal RailYatri plans to have 2,000 buses on its platform in the next two years as it looks to expand services to various destinations across the country, a senior official said.
Currently, RailYatri operates 25 buses under its brand name in the country's northern region and is planning to start operations in the southern region in about a week with 10 buses.
"Industry needs a Pan-India brand which can aggregate and standardise the current buses. We expect to have over 2,000 bus opportunity for RailYatri in the next two years. We are expanding RailYatri Smartbus in north and soon make a foray into south," RailYatri co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Manish Rathi told PTI.
He said there are more than half a million buses being run by small, medium and large operators, out of which, the only handful operate over the 50-bus fleet.
RailYatri started the service between Delhi and Lucknow and now has extended it to Kanpur, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Jaipur and Manali, and will soon start operations in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.
The Nandan Nilekani-backed company is also working with IRCTC to start train ticket booking on its platform.
"We are working with IRCTC to start booking train tickets on our platform. We expect it to start the service shortly. RailYatri will not only help customers choose right train but also provide option of smartbus service so that they are able to travel conveniently," Rathi said.
RailYatri was allowing online ticket booking with the help of authorised agents, however, IRCTC challenged the service which was upheld by Delhi High Court.
Following a Delhi High Court order, train ticket service on RailYatri has stopped and the company has submitted an application for authorisation.
Rathi said the company is looking to connect all routes with the smart bus where demand for the train ticket is also high.
"We have addressed most of the insecurities that passengers had in travelling by bus. RailYatri has complete branding on bus and manages the entire experience. We have started 50 per cent refund on bus fare if it is late by more than 30 minutes, installed CCTV and GPS for safety. Smartbus also have washrooms to bring travel experience in them at par with trains," Rathi said. Rathi said.