What you need to know:
- The online platform, by Easy Travel East Africa, will enable cross-border travellers plan ahead for their journey.
- Mr Barasa said the first phase of the project will cover Nairobi-Kampala-Kigali route.
Traveling across East Africa is set to be easier following the launch of an online ticketing platform.
The new system seeks to provide cross-border universal ticketing and customer support services.
The online platform, by Easy Travel East Africa, will enable cross-border travellers plan ahead for their journey through access to real time information on scheduled trips and compare pricing as well as reserve bookings.
Easy Travel East Africa project lead and Bekn Global Technologies Chief Executive Officer Nicodemus Barasa said the platform will bring together regional bus operators, regulators, tour agencies and immigration agencies.
Mr Barasa said the first phase of the project will cover Nairobi-Kampala-Kigali route.
The company has already engaged six regional bus operators including Modern Coast, Tahmeed, Dreamline, Mash Poa, Easy Coach and Riverside Shuttle.
“The platform is ready for use and is set to be fully rolled out in August 1 as soon as we complete the first partnership negotiations with the bus companies,” said Mr Barasa during the launch of the project at Weston Hotel, Nairobi on Thursday.
He explained that they will be offering the ticketing and customer support services on behalf of the bus companies partnering with them at a commission.
“A passenger only needs to visit our website and search for buses doing cross-border travels. They will then be able to book for their tickets online. They will get ticket details emailed and SMS confirmation sent to their phones, which they will use to board the buses they had booked,” he said.
The CEO stated they will also be offering border pre-clearance services for passengers using their platform where they will be sending the passengers’ information to the immigration offices prior to their arrival at the border.
“This is aimed at minimising the time they spend at the border doing clearance. Passengers will only be needed to declare their reason for the visit and goods in their possession,” he said.
Mr Barasa said they intend to partner with 10 major regional bus companies and 20 tour companies and agencies by the end of the year before expanding it to other regions like Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan.
He said the next phase will focus on the construction of infrastructure to support long distance bus travel.
“Currently most people have invested only in buses and not invested in infrastructure like the boarding areas and waiting lounges,” said the CEO.