Diwali weekend 2nd – 4th November 2013, one expects most transport and travel services to be sold at marked up rates, maybe double. But this was quite a shocker.
Mumbai – Aurangabad: Rs 3,500 on rebus, Rs 2,500 on cleartrip.
Mumbai – Goa: More reasonable. Rs 2,500 on both (but then Cleartrip trawled the redbus system for this particular search)
Mumbai – Hubli: It’s back to the Rs 3500 level here. But here’s the catch which I found by hovering the mouse over the destination point. It said “Hubli Byepass”. Now I have traveled on this route before and I know that Hubli Byepass means this bus is moving on somewhere, Bangalore maybe. So, this Rs 3500 is probably the fare to Bangalore and irrespective of whether I go the full distance or get off the Hubli, I pay the full amount. Which is fine. Unlike state transport company services which charge you by the kilometre, most point to point private bus services operate like that. But, Redbus does not tell you this. There are enough buses going and terminating at Hubli (I have sorted this in descending order of the prices. At the lower end there are bus tickets – non AC seater – going for 800 – 1000 bucks). Redbus needs to flag these buses separately so that people know.
So I checked the Mumbai – Bangalore fare. Voila!
In my opinion, from a customer orientation point of view, this is sloppy and pretty much a case of misrepresentation. I am okay if you tell me that this is a Bangalore bus and the fare cannot be reduced. Then it is my choice whether I buy it or not.