Gathering large groups of people to travel across the city or across the country can be a feat in and of itself. One of the key pieces of the puzzle that involves transporting any group over ten is the issue of how to get from point A to point B.
In some areas of the country, there are a wide variety of options for travel outside of personal vehicles that include, buses, neighborhood Zipcars, commuter rail trains and subways. Depending upon which area of the country people live in, access to these options varies. While public transportation is usually reserved for larger cities that have the budget to include infrastructure financing, the rest of the United States likely has to figure out travel on a case-by-case basis.
To help build the bridge between available transportation options, one company has rethought the availability of and access to large scale buses. Bus.com’s system allows people to either reserve a seat on a bus or rent out a bus on-demand for trips to festivals, music concerts and more. We sat down with Bus.com’s head of marketing, Dave Lastovskiy, to learn more about how the company was founded and what it plans for the future.
PYMNTS: What’s the story behind how Bus.com started?
DL: Wolf and Kyle met in 2013 helping a friend move when they realized they could change bus transportation. You see, in Germany, Wolf organized buses to help his friends get to their favorite team’s away soccer games. It was hard. Kyle was a developer and designer, and was confident he could make tools to let everyone organize their own trips. In 2015, they created Bus.com, and they’re changing the bus industry.
PYMNTS: In your own words, what is Bus.com about?
DL: Bus.com is about helping communities by enabling them to travel together easily.
PYMNTS: How does the pricing model work, and how does Bus.com get paid?
DL: Our pricing model varies depending on the event that we partner with. Either organizers pay for us to organize transportation for their community, or we work with organizers to provide transportation for their attendees where they would cover the cost.
PYMNTS: Since its inception, how much has Bus.com grown year-over-year or since it was launched? Does it have any future projections for where it hopes to grow within the next few years?
DL: In the last year, we’ve moved 150,000 people across 4,000 bus trips to date. We do not have a publicly facing goal at this time. However, we do plan on growing and improving our booking technology, enhancing rider experience and bus supplier operations, and continuing to grow our customer base.
PYMNTS: How many rounds of funding has Bus.com received?
DL: Bus.com raised a $5 million Series A round in April 2017.
PYMNTS: What does the term “Uber of X” mean to you, and how does Bus.com fit that mold?
DL: We think what Uber is doing is incredible, though we wouldn’t entirely consider ourselves an Uber of X company. While trying to increase access to the charter bus industry for everyone, we strongly believe that buses are the best way for communities to travel — whether for a music festival, college competition, or athletic event. Uber is playing a big role in the future of transportation, and we think that Bus.com will contribute to this future in our own unique way.
PYMNTS: What are Bus.com’s 2017 goals?
DL: We’d like to continue empowering communities and events through bus transportation.