UgaBus is Uganda’s very own online bus ticketing web portal.
If you have travelled by bus in Uganda, I bet you have had a few problems with the first-minute hustle when you get to the bus park not knowing which bus you are supposed to board, and everyone around you seems to be grabbing onto your luggage to pull you towards their bus.
That is not even the beginning of your hustle. You have to make a queue to buy a ticket and another queue to enter the bus and get a good seat.
What if you didn’t have to worry about all that? What if you got to the bus park with your luggage and walked straight into the right bus and took your pre-reserved seat at the exact time your trip was scheduled for departure? Well, you don’t have to worry anymore.
UgaBus is Uganda’s very own online bus ticketing web portal. In partnership with all bus companies in the country, it turns the hustle of purchasing bus tickets to a 1-minute interaction with any device that has an internet connection. With one click, you get access to over 100 departures per day and all this browsing is free. No subscription!
UgaBus has a pretty interesting history. The founder, Mr Ronald Hakiza got the idea after he almost failed to attend the burial of one of his close relatives in Kisoro. He was conned by a middleman and he bought fake tickets. He couldn’t get onto the last bus to his area because it was already full. He had to use 3 different commuter taxis to get to his destination.
Well, that was the last time he was going to do nothing about those fraudsters. He got some starting capital even though he was not financially stable and started UgaBus. Now, his business is worth more than he ever anticipated and the rest is history. He has a really interesting story. If you want to read more, click here.
How to use UgaBus
All you have to do is download and install their application from the Google Playstore and start using the app. Here a few steps on how you can take advantage of the service and make your bus travels much easier;
1. Search: Type in your destination, date of departure, and book a seat.
2. Pay: Choose a payment mode that you find convenient. It can be Airtel money or MTN mobile money.
3. Confirm: Complete the transaction by entering your PIN into a pop-up that will appear on your screen. A confirmation message will be sent to you including ticket details.
4. Travel: Once you’re done with the transaction and it has been confirmed, show the bus conductor the message sent to you and they will arrange the rest for you.
Benefits of UgaBus
I wonder why not many people are using this app. There are so many good reasons why you should and I am going to list a few of them below;
1. No extra charges: There are no extra charges added to your fare. In fact, your fare is reduced thanks to promotions like quizzes within the application where you are given UGX 500 for every correct answer.
2. Convenience: There is 24/7 access to book tickets from any place without moving an inch.
4. No language barrier issues: If you or a friend of yours is not very fluent with any of the languages they would have less trouble if they didn’t have to negotiate about tickets.
5. No price discrimination: If you’re worried about being priced differently for your travels by bus operators then you shouldn’t be. All the prices are kept in check and within affordable ranges.
6. You can cancel a trip and get a refund: No need to worry about cancellation fees. If you decide to cancel a trip, you’re refunded back your money without any worry.
The bad news!
The application is only available for Android users but not to worry, the iOS version will be launched very soon according to the company.
After analysing this application, I can firmly tell you that it is only doing a tenth of its capabilities. The future is so bright for these innovators. This app is just so quick and easy to use.
They could partner with a food and drinks company so that customers who pay an extra fee get refreshments along the way and WiFi or introduce trip reminders, and not forgetting the iOS app issue. All these are just small things that are slowing down inevitable growth.
No doubt this application takes my award for the most innovative app in Uganda currently. A real problem has been solved. Thank you for reading. Remember to like, share and comment. Let me know what you think about UgaBus.
Author: Solomon Mugisha
A Software Engineering student and tech enthusiast, Solomon Mugisha is an avid writer with a strong passion for technology. If he ain’t programming something, is definitely writing it down which is why he is known for his catchphrase: “if you can’t write programs, write files”.