The luxury bus travel segment across metro cities saw an uptick of 66 per cent during this year’s Diwali week compared to the same period last year. In October 2022, over 20,68,600 passengers opted for bus services from eight metro cities compared to 12,43,117 passengers during Diwali week last year. Metros like Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai saw the highest number of passengers.
Data from Sciative Solutions, an Artificial Intelligence firm that tracked 500 routes across Indian metro cities, reviewed by businessline showed that over 5,53,473 passengers opted for luxury busses from Delhi, thus witnessing a 79 per cent rise on a year-on-year basis. The second spot was occupied by Hyderabad which saw over 3,90,011 passengers opting for luxury buses, up by 75 per cent. Over 2,33,674 passengers opted for bus services from Mumbai which was a 74 per cent hike over the same period last year.
“When we only focus on tier-1 cities, in 2022 we observed a 21 lakh passengers travelled out to inter-city locations from tier-1 cities, while in 2021 this number was only 12.5 lakh.,” the company told BusinessLine.
The frequently opted routes were Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Chandigarh. However, routes like Delhi-Dehradun witnessed a spike of 127 per cent on a year on year basis.
Industry experts explained that the rising costs of airfares and the longer durations of trains are pushing people to opt for bus travel. “The airport in Hyderabad, for instance, is extremely far from the city centre. If the person was to travel to Goa, they would have to book a cab to the airport, pay a hefty airfare and book another cab from Goa, which again, would be extremely costly. Most of the bus depots are within the city and hence they become a preferred option for passengers.”
For Hyderabad, the most frequented city routes were Hyderabad-Vijayawada and Hyderabad-Bangalore. However, routes like Hyderabad-Bapatla and Hyderabad-Razole witnessed a whopping growth of 766 per cent and 399 per cent respectively.
For passengers out of Mumbai, the most frequented routes were Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Surat and Mumbai-Shirdi. However, Mumbai-Goa and Mumbai-Hyderabad routes witnessed a spike of a 100 per cent whereas Mumbai-Nathdwara witnessed a spike of over 113 per cent on a year on year basis.
The company said it witnessed a similar trend during the entire festive season. “We observed that in the Navratri and Diwali month (October 2022) a whooping 1.8 crore passengers travelled, compared to 1.2 crore that travelled in September 2022 (non-festive season),” it said.