New Start-Up Aims to Create Mobile App for Comparison Bus Shopping
September 28, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News(New York, NY) – New York City resident Ben Silverstein is working to bring the success of comparison travel shopping to buses in an easy to use and free mobile app called "bustripping." He plans to raise $33,500 through the crowd-funding site Indiegogo to officially release the new app by the end of 2012.
"Over the past few years, long distance bus travel has outpaced both planes and trains as a mode of intercity travel," Silverstein said. "However, unlike the airline industry which is dominated by a number of major travel sites such as Kayak and Expedia, there is no one place where users can search and compare all bus lines side-by-side. bustripping is going to change that."
After struggling to find the best-priced bus when traveling to Boston to visit a friend, Silverstein came up with the idea for bustripping. He set out with the mission of creating the first comparison shopping application for buses, culminating in the start-up.
Silverstein noted that consumers have more choices for traveling by bus than ever before. Large cities such as New York and Boston have a number of small lines that travel between each city's Chinatown districts and are collectively referred to as "Chinatown buses". These, along with curb-side operators and larger established brands such as Greyhound and Peter Pan, give travelers many options when considering bus travel.
The bustripping app will be the first of its kind and completely free to users. Funding through Indiegogo would allow bustripping to create a mobile app for iPhones via the iOS platform, and create the necessary developer accounts with Apple to get into the app store. Later versions will include support for Android devices and tablets.
Silverstein calls the timeline "ambitious," but he notes, "With the ever-changing mobile and digital landscape, new apps like this can't afford to not push the boundaries."
In 2011, long distance bus travel grew by 7.1%, and passengers on curb-side operators like Megabus and BoltBus grew by 30%, according to a study by DePaul University. According to the same study, in 2011 Greyhound added an additional 38 daily departures, while Megabus and BoltBus continued to add hubs. Long distance bus operators have grown year over year since 2006, and this trend is showing no signs of slowing.
According to Tech Crunch staff writer Rip Empson, travel search will likely become more and more popular on mobile devices, and a recent Nielsen study found that 50% of American's already own a smartphone. MyDestinations.com also released a survey which found that two-thirds of mobile users say they are likely to explore, shop, and book travel via their mobile device. These findings support the idea that there are millions of Americans who could benefit from bustripping.
You can follow the progress of bustripping on Indiegogo at http://www.indiegogo.com/bustripping
About bustripping: bustripping was started in New York City by Ben Silverstein, a 2010 graduate of the College of Charleston. He earned a degree in Business Administration from CofC, then moved to New York City where he currently resides and works in digital advertising.