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Long distance intercity bus travel: a mobile app to compare prices


25 October 2012 - New York City resident Ben Silverstein is working to bring the success of comparison websites to buses in an easy to use and free mobile app called "bustripping." He plans to officially release the new app by the end of 2012.

After struggling to find the best-priced bus when travelling to Boston to visit a friend, Silverstein came up with the idea for bustripping. He set out with the mission of creating the first comparison shopping application for buses, culminating in the start-up. 

"Over the past few years, long distance bus travel has outpaced both planes and trains as a mode of intercity travel," Silverstein said.

"However, unlike the airline industry which is dominated by a number of major travel sites, there isn’t a one-stop shop where users can search and compare all bus lines side-by-side. Bustripping is going to change that."

 

Silverstein noted that consumers have more choices for travelling by bus than ever before. Large cities such as New York and Boston have a number of small lines that travel between each city’s Chinatown districts and are collectively referred to as "Chinatown buses". These, along with curb-side operators and larger established brands such as Greyhound and Peter Pan, give travellers many options when considering bus travel. 

In 2011, long distance bus travel grew by 7.1%, and passengers on curb-side operators like Megabus and BoltBus grew by 30%, according to a study by DePaul University. According to the same study, in 2011 Greyhound added an additional 38 daily departures, while Megabus and BoltBus continued to add hubs. Long distance bus operators have grown year over year since 2006, and this trend is showing no signs of slowing. 

 

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