In Q1 2022, domestic flight movements witnessed a 215% decline, according to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Road transportation remains the most used transport option for travellers within Nigeria, especially with the increase in airfares. About 80–90% of the country's population travel via road trips.
Most of the travel companies facilitating these trips work traditionally. In 2021, QuickBus, a pan-African bus booking platform expanded into Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa to enable intercity road transportation by providing booking channels such as USSD, WhatsApp, and agency banking.
"The past year has been one of constant growth, evolving to being supply-led, taking learnings and lessons in our stride as we strive to tame an albeit chaotic industry on the continent starting from Nigeria. With our great team, there is no doubt that we are heading to the summit and the figures confirm that," Oluwapelumi Oyetimein, Global Marketing Lead at QuickBus, said.
QuickBus works by aggregating bus Operators on one platform so the customer/traveller can see a list of bus operators plying their preferred routes, compare prices and make bookings. As the traveller, you simply log on to the website, search for your preferred route, choose a bus operator and pay online. Your e-ticket will be delivered via mail.
Since its launch in Nigeria, the bus booking platform has onboarded over 40 bus operators, sold over 30,000 tickets and processed more than ₦8 million weekly in gross merchandise volume (GMV), according to a statement shared with Benjamindada.com. "We sell an average of 1.5 million in daily tickets. That translates to over ₦8 million in weekly ticket sales," Ntongha Ekot, QuickBus' Global Content Strategist, said.
Currently, QuickBus' operators travel across the country, some of the notable routes are: Lagos to Jos, Abuja to Rivers, Owerri to Benue.
How QuickBus is conquering bumps on the road
On the adoption of its digital booking system, Ntongha told Benjamindada.com, "it is a lot better now than when we first started. We had to work with a lot of Direct Sales Agents (DSAs) who would wait at the bus parks and manually book for the customers online. As time passed, adoption improved and we even began a referral program where current customers were teaching prospective ones how to book tickets themselves. We’ve come a long way but there’s still a long road ahead of us."
As an aggregator working with bus operators, it was initially a struggle for QuickBus to convince the bigger bus operators that they do not intend to own buses.
"They were afraid that eventually, we will try and become a bus company ourselves and it took a lot of reassurance to let them realise that we have no interest in owning physical assets, much less handling all the hassles that come with running bus companies; our job has always been to make it easier for operations in the transportation space in Africa to function and grow — from handling drivers, repairs and maintenance, park/terminal management and a whole lot more; we help make them better and we are focused on this goal," QuickBus Group VP of Marketing and Nigeria Country Manager, Olumide Akinsola, said.
Editor's Note: The headline was updated to reflect that QuickBus processes ₦8 million GMV weekly.