To help travellers reserve and buy bus tickets without visiting the bus stop in Thimphu, 26-year old Jigme Thinley Yoezer Rinzin has started a service called Druk Ride, a website where travellers can go online to buy the tickets.
Travellers can go to www.drukride.com and type the present location and the destination. Once the details are filled, the available buses and the seat layout for the passengers would be shown on the screen. On confirmation, users will be transferred to the payment gateway where they can pay through M-BOB, which is provided by the Bank of Bhutan.
The idea of paperless booking of bus tickets struck Jigme when his friend faced difficulty in booking bus tickets physically. A 2014 B.Com graduate from Dayamanda Sagar Institute in Banglore, India, Jigme said he had always wanted to become an entrepreneur. He said that he wanted to do something about the inconvenience of booking and buying bus tickets by offering the service online. Jigme said that the idea behind the online service is to bring about change through technology.
“There are many inconveniences when people have to come to the counter to buy bus tickets,” he said. “But going online would save people time, fuel and the environment in the long run.”
It took Jigme a year and half to work on Druk Ride. For now, Meto transport is the only public transport provider that has availed the online service. Since DrukRide went live on May 6, he has sold six bus tickets online. Jigme is working on making it available for all public transport providers. “It was challenging for all bus operators to understand the system,” he said. “Hopefully they will all join in and support the service.” On how sustainable his business would be, Jigme said that would depend on how people appreciate and use the service. “If it is used appropriately, I think it will be quite sustainable”, he said.
Through this service, Jigme also wants to encourage youth to come up with such ideas to become valuable and smart citizens.
“I would like to tell the youth to look around, notice problems and to not walk away from it,” he said. “We all have problems. So why not make it a business which benefit others.”