The 2018 Bus Operator Report

This past April 2018, Busbud launched user-powered reviews on 1.3 million city to city bus routes. For the past two and a half years, we’ve collected travel tips, reviews and comments on bus companies and routes to ensure that our customers get every bit of information possible before making their bus ticket purchase and hopping on board.

Bus riders and travellers across the world who use Busbud have already written 113,000 reviews in a dozen languages, and with hundreds of new reviews pouring in every day, our customers give us plenty to work with!

In the spirit of being super helpful, and to fulfill our mission of being your ultimate bus buddy; we compiled, analyzed and classified reviews from our customers. The result was our shiny new Bus Operator Report.

What type of information does this report include? Well, everything you need and want to know before you start your adventure.

Our priority at Busbud is customer satisfaction. That’s why we are continually making improvements and add features to bring you the best user experience possible. We have found incredible value in the feedback and reviews from our passengers and we are delighted to share these insights with you.

Research Method

We gathered, compiled, and analyzed a sample size of 10,000 user-generated reviews , dating from February 2018 to July 2018. Reviewers included a star-rating from 1 to 5 for overall performance, timeliness, and staff for a specific route and specific bus operator. Some reviews also include comments and suggestions. The reviews and ratings were then compiled and we were able to extract the top 20 bus operators for each category.

First category – Timeliness & Punctuality

Punctuality, in any mode of transportation, is one of the main factors in determining how satisfied passengers will be about their travel experience. At Busbud, we make sure the booking experience is swift and simple, and you’re able to get your ticket within minutes. However, on the road, it can be a different story.  Bus operators face many challenges to ensure timely travel, and we found that some did better than others according to our customers.

Transport Focus is a watchdog for transport passengers and road users in the United Kingdom. Their 2014 report: “How late is late? Research on bus passengers’ views of punctuality” brings up some interesting insights on how passengers view punctuality and timeliness in bus travel.

One of the report’s main point was that, despite passengers being quite tolerant and forgiving about a certain degree of lateness, “our bus passenger survey shows punctuality is one of the main reasons for people to be unhappy with their bus service” says chief executive David Sidebottom.

Our Busbud passengers echoed this argument. Elizabeth on the Orleans Express bus from Montreal to Quebec City responded to our survey with a five-star rating saying “The buses were always on time and often arrived to the destination a few minutes early. The bus was very comfortable and had free WiFi which was great. I’ll definitely use Orleans Express again”.

Second category – Friendliness

It’s no secret that outstanding customer service is also a factor in determining whether a traveller will have a positive or negative experience with a bus company. For instance, Busbud passenger Parvati, who travelled with Red Arrow from Calgary to Edmonton described the following experience with a staff member: “Kyle at the Calgary Airport provided exceptional service to my sister and I . We are 88 and 85 years and the young man was very kind to us”

We expect all our partners to provide excellent service. We deeply care about the service that our partners provide on the trip and that’s why we send surveys asking about their service. Some staff and operators in particular go the extra mile in terms of service, and we wanted to share those with you.

Third category – Overall score

In the previous two categories we outlined the importance of great service and timeliness. However, there’s more to a bus trip than just that. Amenities and comfort also play an important role in making a travel experience enjoyable. This is why we also asked our passengers about their overall experience with a particular operator on a certain route. Unsurprisingly, many of the top operators overlapped on all three categories.

Scott, a Busbud customer, shared his outstanding experience with Uruguayan bus company EGA throughout his South American travels: “I’ve been backpacking South America for a couple of months now, through Chile, Peru, Boliva, Argentina and Uruguay. EGA bus was by far the best I’ve taken the whole trip. Service was great and the bus semi cama was the most comfortable by far! Thanks EGA”.

Busbud is dedicated to innovation through the release of new features that help travellers across the globe book online and travel by bus. The release of Apple Pay, more currencies as well as travel reviews and interconnected routes, are innovations we are proud to offer to our customers and visitors.