How to book a bus ticket through BuuPass and pay from your mobile phone using Safaricom’s Mpesa mobile money service

BuuPass has slowly transitioned from just a bus ticket agent to offering convenience and simple ticket booking platform that is now covering more than just one operator. Let’s be honest, the only time I sought services from BuuPass was during the December holidays when demand for travelling tickets from various operators were scarce and was in dire need of their assistance, which came in pretty handy I must say. Well, the service has now partnered with Safaricom to allow payments via Mpesa through their online portal or an SSD Code. Technology has been the answer to so many inconveniences and we must comment BuuPass for it’s dedication to see that some of us especially those who come from distant upcountry places in Kenya are not disadvantaged.

While at the time of this writing the service was available with five bus operators including Easy Coach, Modern Coast, Greenline, Palmers and East African Shuttles, the service is expected to add more than 20 additional operators by the end of the year. Customers can access the service by dialing *877# and at buupass.com with payments accepted through M-PESA.

Speaking on the development, Safaricom’s Chief Enterprise Business Officer Rita Okuthe said the partnership between Safaricom and BuuPass sought to extend the convenience of M-PESA by empowering their customers to book a bus ticket wherever they may be and at their luxury. She also added that both Safaricom and BuuPass see a prospect in linking bus companies to opportunities by providing them with a solution to manage customer ticketing and cashless payments.

From the BuuPass app, customers can select a bus operator, preferred travel date and time, and reserve specific seat numbers.  Customers can also reserve seats for multiple travelers, with tickets printed at the bus station after presentation of the confirmation SMS. The mode of operation is very different from that used by taxi hailing apps such as Uber.

“We are glad to partner with Safaricom to provide travelers with an easy and flexible solution to book and manage their journey. Our platform similarly provides bus companies with a bus and parcel management system where they can manage their fleet, have control over their operational costs, and effectively reach more travelers and in turn sell more seats through our marketplace,” said Sonia Kabra, Co-founder and Director – BuuPass.  

The service seeks a slice of the local inter-city transport industry estimated to be worth more than KES 100 billion annually but which is also characterized by low uptake of technology and digital solutions. The two firms have been working on the bus ticketing solution for more than a year and have already sold more than 80,000 tickets across more than 100 routes.

Some of the most popular destinations among travelers include Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Migori and Bondo. Safaricom and BuuPass have similarly partnered on the online booking platform for the Standard Gauge Railway.

How to book a bus ticket thorugh BuuPass SSD Code *877# and Pay via Mpesa

  • You can book for a bus ticket through BuuPass by simply pressing *877#  on your phone
  • You’ll be presented with a list of current enrolled buses to choose from i.e Easy Coach, Modern Coast and so forth
  • After you’ve chosen the preferred bus, you’ll then need to choose where you are departing from such as Nairobi followed by your destination. Please note only places that are operated by the selected bus will be shown.
  • Enter the day of travel from the menu, you can choose today, tomorrow or enter appropriate date
  • Choose time of travel from available options
  • Select Bus followed by seat number
  • You’ll be asked to enter full names, followed by identification details such as ID/passport number
  • After making the necessary payment, you’ll be issued by a confirmation message that can be presented at the office location to print the physical ticket.

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