The online hitchhiking platform BlaBlaCar has teamed up with road transport companies to launch a bus ticket sales portal in the country. Among the 40 partners of the new service are Grupo Itapemirim, Viação Garcia and Grupo Santa Cruz.
The portal goes live with 16 partners. By the end of 2021, the goal is to reach more than 100 partner vehicles and 850 thousand tickets sold, reaching a turnover of R $ 84 million with the service. This year, the forecast is to earn R $ 5 million with the new portal.
During the announcement of the service, Ricardo Leite, general director of the company, said that he bet on a convenience rate 50% lower than that of competitors and discounts to gain space in relation to the competition.
BlaClaCar estimates that online sales represent only 10% of the sector’s revenue of R $ 15 billion per year. “There is a great opportunity and we want to be part of that,” stated Leite.
Last week, ClickBus, the bus ticket e-commerce, closed a partnership with Rappi, which launched Rappi Travel, a new channel for tickets and accommodation in Brazil.
For the vehicles, the portal will collaborate with the sales of empty seats and will be another channel to support the resumption of sales impacted by the pandemic. “In April, we had 15% of the movement in relation to the same month of 2019 and we reached September with 40% of the level of September of last year”, informs Francisco Mazon, president of Grupo Santa Cruz.
Mazon informs that the company dismissed 50% of its employees due to the pandemic and is now resuming hiring. “The expectation is to recover 80% of the movement by the end of 2021”, he predicts.
BlaBlaCar, of French origin, operates in 22 countries and also works with short distance rides and subcontracted bus trips in Europe. Ticket sales are offered in Poland, Russia and Ukraine.
Initially, bus tickets will be offered separately as an option for rides. “In the future, we will offer the multimodal integration of services”, informs Leite.
In Brazil, the company has been present since the end of 2015 and has 7 million registered people. According to Leite, the average movement per month was just under 1 million passengers until February. “In March, due to the pandemic, we had a drop of 60% and we are slowly recovering,” said the executive.