ABA: Insider Exclusive - Online Ticketing: How 2 ABA Members Made the Switch

 Insider Exclusive: Online Ticketing: How 2 ABA Members Made the Switch

Insider Exclusive: Online Ticketing: How 2 ABA Members Made the Switch

By ABA MediaAre you looking to grow your business and run operations more efficiently? Is it time to give your old legacy systems a refresh? Then modernizing your ticketing system just might be the answer for you. The Insider recently spoke with two ABA member motorcoach and tour operators who have transitioned to digital ticketing sales and customer marketing with the help from Betterez, a reservations and ticketing management (RTM) platform that services the needs of ground travel and admissions operators.“We work with a variety of ground travel operators to help improve the passenger and operator experience,” said Tal Shalit, founder & CEO of Betterez. “This industry is in need of modernization, and we are excited to be a part of that transition.”

Launched in 2011, Betterez has helped several ABA members transition their sales, marketing, and back office operations to a cutting-edge online solution, which in turn has led to improved productivity and sales.

Two such members include Fullington Trailways LLC in State College, Pa., and Ramblin Express in Denver. Fullington has been using the Betterez platform since 2016, and while it uses Betterez for its contract service operations (for football games, private school transportation, etc.), Manager Jess Guenot spoke directly about its express bus service. Ramblin Express Inc. is a brand-new customer, transitioning to digital ticketing in April. President Todd Holland shared his recent experiences with The Insider.

What feature of the cloud-based reservation and ticketing management platform are you most excited about?

Guenot: It’s mobile friendly! Most customers for our express bus service are college students. The easy-to-use, intuitive interface makes it simple for our customers. In addition, the ability to issue vouchers and use promo codes is great.

Holland: Offering an online ticket purchase option.

How did you make the decision to take the leap into digital reservations and ticketing?

Guenot: We had a digital platform in place prior to Betterez, but it wasn’t mobile friendly and had limited capabilities.

Holland: We knew it was time. This solution provided the opportunity for customers to purchase tickets online, with a goal of removing a portion of the cash transactions that take place at the bus. We were also excited about the opportunity to gather ridership data and other valuable system intelligence.

What has been the biggest learning curve for you, your employees, and/or customers?

Guenot: Initial setup of the system was the biggest learning curve for our staff. It was a bit overwhelming at first given the vast number of capabilities of the platform. We had to take a step back and more thoroughly plan out the setup with Betterez. Once the planning exercise was complete, the setup process was simple and straightforward.

Holland: The technical aspects of the system, such as:

•    Reporting— to reconcile driver paperwork

•    Training employees on using the scanner and portal

•    Adjusting to a new boarding process—incorporating scanning of tickets

•    Customer support, providing assistance to those who are not familiar with making an online purchase, and/or customers that do not have the technology to make an online purchase

All learning has been worthwhile. As we said, we knew it was time to modernize!

Recent investments from Amadeus Ventures and JetBlue Technology Ventures will help ensure that Betterez is poised to transform ground transportation. For more information on Betterez, visit www.betterez.com.

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.

Contact

Melanie Hinton, Director of Communications & Media Relations, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
Email: mhinton@buses.org

Testimonial

We had a previous online reservation system that was costing quite a bit, was confusing to our customers, and was an overall pain to maintain and implement new trips or to revise current trips. Researched alternatives and Betterez won me over with their cost, ease of setup, and their customer support. It took a couple of days to setup our daily airport run, cross-state shuttle, and other seasonal trips.

FELIX RODRIGUEZ  •  Starline Luxury Coaches/Wheatland Express

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