Waving a bus down along the Phnom Penh street is now out of date as many transportation operators offer online ticket purchasing.
People can now purchase and confirm their seats to travel to any destination on a bus, taxi and or ferry service in the Kingdom, a service being led by BookMeBus.
BookMeBus, an on-demand transportation platform, allows its customers to be a step ahead with its mobile application, allowing them to have easy access to multiple ticket choices.
Langda Chea, the founder of BookMeBus which was a Cambodian start-up says: “Because we respond to travellers’ needs, seamless solutions are ready for everyone. People don’t have to converse with strangers just to get a ticket.
“BookMeBus users spend only a few minutes getting their tickets with a seat guaranteed and instant confirmation. Also, users don’t require a high level of digital or tech literacy to get started.”
Chea, 29, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Information Technology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the Institute of Foreign Languages, is himself a frequent bus traveller.
Before launching BookMeBus, he found it very challenging to secure his seat on a bus during Khmer New Year to visit his parents.
“Travel shouldn’t be a hassle, and with the adoption of this technology, people can remotely purchase their tickets with secure seats and proper onboard information. Moreover, the integration of technology also smoothens the operators’ daily work and expands their business,” he says.
In 2015, Chea and four other people founded BookMeBus with a vision of building a digital ecosystem for the transportation and travel industry in Southeast Asia.
Prior to the launch, he worked as a software engineer for eight years with a strong background in cloud data technology.
“We want to build and grow the ecosystem around transportation in Asean countries with powerful core management and distributed systems,” he says.
BookMeBus has grown from a web-based system for in-country travel to a global distribution system that helps its partners make sales across the globe through international travel websites.
“With our quick growth as a tech company, we have upgraded and started to focus on digitising the traditional Small & Medium Transport Enterprises to efficiently use technology to benefit local and international travellers and to help our transport partners expand their market share,” he says.
BookMeBus does not own any vehicles and only offers tech solutions to partners, work that has brought it some accolades.
Just last year, it won the Runway to Web Summit award in Thailand at the Digital Thailand Big Bang event.
BookMeBus connects national destinations to several international cities in neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, enabling foreign and domestic travellers to get their tickets with ease.
Sixty transport operators now use BookMeBus, meaning travellers have many options through the service.
“We’ve seen growth in users, transactions, partners and the routes we are covering. We now cover around 30 destinations with more than 300 routes within Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. And now, travellers can easily use ground transportation to travel across the border,” Chea says.
Chea says customers fill in a few options, like their departure point, destination and payment method, after which their seat is guaranteed.
“Users receive their e-ticket after successful payment and they can use the e-ticket to board the transportation later,” he says.
“BookMeBus has the vision to build an ecosystem around transportation in the Asean region. It is more than just a ticketing service. There will be content, ads, payment, and more. It will enable transport operators to upscale their services and provide a full-fledged service to travellers,” Chea says.