Operators are being told to make wise investments in technological advancements, sooner rather than later. This is because the technology that is available on the market for the coach and bus industry has proven abilities to help and advance an operation – so why waste any more time?
One area of technology which has come on leaps and bounds over the years is in ticketing. And set to be deployed on its first UK operation this year, is Betterez.
Based in Toronto, Canada, the firm describes itself as a “modern software-as-a-service reservations and ticketing management platform for scheduled coach and bus operations,” and it prides itself on its ability to help its customers sell more, operate more efficiently and reconcile faster, with modules such as: Revenue management, loyalty, parcel, distribution, capacity management, seat maps, bus-side scanning, reconciliation services, and more.
Tal Shalit, co-founder, President and CEO, established the business towards the end of 2011. Having a background in airlines, he noticed a gap in the market with airport transfers via coaches and buses, and he hasn’t looked back at airlines since.
“We are on a mission to help operators of all sizes take advantage of the many growth and efficiency opportunities that exist using modern travel software,” says Tal. “Aspects of ground operations such as capacity management, routing, and interlining are much more difficult on the ground given the sheer number of permutations with any corner potentially serving as a stop.”
Used daily by hundreds of operators and agencies across Europe, North America and Latin America, Betterez’s reservations and ticketing software solution is a true multi-tenant cloud platform featuring a large set of out-of-the-box features combined with modern application programming interfaces (APIs) for connecting to partners.
“Our platform, combined with our business analytics product, offers a powerful toolset for operators of all shapes and sizes. At Betterez, we provide a strong business case tailored to each operator and we strive to make onboarding to Betterez seamless.”
The cloud-based platform is fully-customisable to each operator’s individual needs, and depending on fleet size, can be up and running within a few hours.
Welcome to the UK
In January, it was announced that Scottish Citylink – which transports more than 5m passengers annually to over 200 destinations across Scotland – had chosen Betterez as its ticketing platform.
It has since begun deploying its solution as Scottish Citylink’s end-to-end bus ticketing platform, and is set to be officially launched later this year.
“We initially launched our first North American bus customer in 2012 and since then we’ve continued to grow with the addition of many travel operators around the world,” says Tal.
Challenged by a growing number of routes and complex business processes, the operator selected Betterez to help streamline its operations, increase ridership and modernise its passenger experience.
Why Betterez was chosen
Peter Knight, Operations Director, Scottish Citylink explains: “We were impressed by the Betterez system because it can scale with our business.
“The company’s ability to continually add new, beneficial features for us while transforming our existing operations was what attracted us most to this solution.
“Betterez has also been a key partner in the roll-out of its powerful platform, giving us the ability to deploy quickly while growing and developing our business at the same time.
“As well as benefiting the Scottish Citylink business, it will also have tangible benefits for our customers as we rebuild and relaunch our digital online booking platform and associated customer website.”
Tal adds: “We are proud of the robust reservation and ticketing solution that we’ve built and are humbled that we are now being sought out by many ground travel providers worldwide.”
Ontario Northland, an Agency of the Province of Ontario was on a mission to create better journeys, improve operations and connect communities in Northern Ontario.
Betterez explains that in 2011, Ontario Northland recognised the need for a modernised digital platform to sell tickets, gather passenger information, and analyse ridership data. It was seeking a solution that would enable customers to book online tickets while also helping with overall account management and reporting.
Betterez teamed up with the government agency, and its platform was in place soon after. Together the companies partnered to create a plan to help Ontario Northland improve the ticketing sales process and enhance the customer experience.
Betterez ticketing was first introduced on Ontario Northland’s motor coach service in 2012 and following that, the ticketing platform was expanded to the company’s passenger train service, the Polar Bear Express.
Now, 40% of Ontario Northland passenger tickets are purchased online, and a mobile-friendly site was introduced in 2014 to meet the needs of passengers.
The Betterez solution is improving Ontario Northland’s operations from ticketing, to better managing capacity, to reducing waste.
“Providing a positive customer experience from the moment a passenger purchases a ticket is very important to us,” says Tracy MacPhee, Director of Passenger Operations, Ontario Northland. “The Betterez online ticketing and reservation system has allowed us to better manage capacity and equipment, has improved reporting and data collection, and has reduced the amount of paper we use.”