As the eager migrant workers make their way back home, we have witnessed bookings over 20,000 bus tickets from May till date on the Paytm app. Our platform is registering a consistent increase in the number of bookings for both government and private bus services.
After the government eased lockdown norms and resumed private and state bus services to allow interstate travel, citizens mostly migrants living in metro cities booked tickets on our platform to go back to their hometowns. Most of the tickets booked on from Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Kolkata are for tier-III and beyond towns including Patna, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Kanpur, Asansol, Vishakhapatnam, Cuttack among other centres.
While state transport bus services contributed to about 70% of the bookings on the app, the rest were from privately run buses. From June 1, we have been observing a daily average of over 1500 tickets being booked as more seat inventory and bus routes open up in states including Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Gujarat among other states.
Some of the popular routes over the last one month are Delhi-Darbhanga, Delhi-Gorakhpur, Kolkata- Asansol, Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram-Visakhapatnam. In the last 15 days, we have been trending at close to 250% of the average daily search volume witnessed before the lockdown began in March. Since the bookings opened up, over 1 crore searches for flight, train and bus tickets with a surge in demand happening over the weekend. The searches hit a peak of 2.5 lakh requests per hour during weekends.
Abhishek Rajan, our Senior Vice President said, “For many, the bus service is the most economical and reasonable form of transport. During this pandemic, we have seen how bus transport is a lifeline especially for millions of migrants who heavily rely on it to travel between metropolitans where they work and their hometowns. Over the next few weeks, most of the demand would be of people going back home.”