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Hyderabad, July 5 Very soon, bus tickets will be available online. A tie-up between Bangalore-based travel services company Via and Sree Kaleswari Travels based in Vijayawada, will set the trend.

Via (formerly Flight Raja), would power the bus inventory online for Kaleswari, which has over 60 buses, 35 of them Volvos doing the daily routes across the State and neighbouring State capitals.

Announcing the tie up, Mr Niranjan Gupta, Chief Operating Officer of Via, said payment has to be through credit cards on the Web site and the customer would get an e-ticket, which can be used to board the bust at the pick up point.

This is the first partnership with a bus operator and Via is talking to several across the country, including State Government operators to expand the offering in the near future, Mr Gupta told newspersons.

Plans are on to hook this offer to the online airline ticketing services the company offers so that the customer can get the total connectivity.

The cumbersome and time-consuming process of physically going to the bus reservation counters and booking tickets can be avoided, especially in cities. Once, the ticket is booked online an SMS giving the PNR details is also sent for information, he added.

Mr Chalasani Ramesh, Managing Director of Sree Kaleswari, which is into lorry transport for the past four decades, said the top three-four private bus operators have about 300 buses and their company has taken the lead to provide the online service.

Via has developed the platform, which offers bus operators an easy combination method to host and manage their inventors online as well as have the facility to directly sell their tickets to B2C customers.

The company has over 2,000 agents and currently sells over 5,000 airline tickets.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 6, 2007)
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