Most of the bookings were made from states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal.
More than 300,000 people made bus bookings through redBus for the extended 3 October weekend, redBus said. Most of the bookings were made from states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal, while Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Ahmedabad were the top destinations.
Restriction on interstate bus operations was lifted in May, but bus operations remained staggered in many states. State-run buses are still partially available in many states. Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) resumed its interstate non-AC bus services only this week.
Among routes where services have resumed, Bengaluru-to-Hyderabad, Delhi-to-Chandigarh, Hyderabad-to-Vijayawada, Asansol-to-Kolkata and Gorakhpur-to-Delhi have been the busiest, according to redBus.
Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal showed highest demand for bus travel, surpassing pre-lockdown levels, due to limited availability of train services on many routes in these states.
"We expect this trend to continue with increase in economic activity, further relaxation in locked-down activities, the upcoming festive season and also when colleges/universities reopen. On many routes, we have also seen a substitution of demand moving from trains to buses," Prakash Sangam, CEO, redBus, said in a statement.
Further, bus bookings from tier II and tier III cities have also increased, accounting for 67% of the current bookings. Most booking demands came from Jaipur, Gorakhpur, Indore, Visakhapatnam, Kalaburagi, Rajkot, Malda and Guwahati.
The number of first-time customers on redBus has also doubled from 11% before covid-19 to 21% post covid-19.
To make passengers feel safe, redBus has introduced a covid-19 certification system for bus operators, which is given to those who follow strict safety protocols. Passengers can identify certified buses on the redBus platforms before making the booking.