UBus and Buser are mobility platforms popularly known as «Uber of buses». The applications for Android and iPhone (iOS) offer tickets for urban, intercity and interstate trips at prices generally lower than those offered by traditional travel companies.
The services promise up to 60% savings due to collaborative chartering, which is gaining visibility, as it promises to reduce the traffic of other vehicles on the streets and roads. The modality, however, has already generated controversies regarding its legality. Check out some questions and answers on application transport below.
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UBus is a transport service by application, nicknamed «Uber of buses» – Photo: Rubens Achilles / TechTudo
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What is collaborative chartering and how does it work?
Buser promises to offer bus tickets for prices up to 60% cheaper than the bus companies – Photo: Reproduction / Lívia Dâmaso
Mobility services bridge the gap between travelers and transport companies. They charter buses to travel and sell tickets on their platforms. This usually guarantees a cheaper trip, as there is an apportionment among users to pay for the bus rental. The more people travel to the same destination on the date, the lower the fare.
The user can see which trips must be confirmed based on the volume of searches for the itinerary and the most popular dates. Confirmation depends on a minimum number of passengers being reached, in addition to the availability of bus companies.
How is the payment made?
Buser allows payment by credit card or bank slip – Photo: Photo: Reproduction / Lívia Dâmaso
At Buser, payment can be made using a credit card or bank slip. The second option is only valid for reservations up to 72 hours before departure. At UBus, tickets are paid by credit card or BOM transport card and are validated by scanning the QR Code on the bus.
Which companies are behind the services?
The Buser website informs that transport companies are experienced in eventual road chartering and with professional drivers. The app ensures that vehicles are inspected and have up-to-date documentation.
In addition, the partners have authorizations from federal agencies, such as the National Land Transport Agency (ANTT). UBus also ensures that transport companies that provide services are legalized.
How do shipments and landings take place?
Locis for boarding and disembarking trips are determined by Buser – Photo: Reproduction / Lívia Dâmaso
The pick-up and drop-off location may vary depending on the mobility service used. In Buser, the point is defined by the app itself. In the UBus, there are three options: route determined by the operator, by the user or door to door on demand. The application also offers seating suggestions, informs the departure time and displays a forecast of the disembarkation.
What are the main rules of use?
The use of platforms must be made exclusively by individuals. To schedule a trip, you must perform a simple registration, which can be done through a Facebook account. In Buser, babies and children under 16 years old must have a seat reservation. Children up to one year old and their months must also have a ticket, in addition to traveling in the baby comfort seat. The transport of pets is not allowed.
UBus offers public transportation in the city of São Paulo and in ABC paulista – Photo: Reproduction / Lívia Dâmaso
The Municipal Secretariat of Mobility Transport (SMT) of the city of São Paulo recently considered UBus a clandestine transport service, claiming that the company does not have the accreditation to carry it out and suspending its operations. According to Secretary Edson Caram, as it is a new transport model, an ordinance has yet to be signed that fixed the itinerary of a bus service by application. Therefore, the company has not been authorized to operate this modality since October 10, 2019 and the activity will remain suspended until all impact analyzes in the city are carried out to decide whether or not the service will be regulated in the city. On the other hand, the startup claims to be a technology company that does not own vehicles, and is only the intermediary between passengers and legalized transport operators.
Buser won the right to operate in the state of Rio de Janeiro in court against a lawsuit filed by the Brazilian Association of Passenger Land Transport Companies (Abrati). The company still has at least eight more processes for the same reason in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Paraná.
Buser’s focus is on intercity and interstate trips with more comfort and at a lower price than those practiced by the bus companies. The UBus proposal, on the other hand, is to make trips within the city, such as from home to work, with more convenience, as it offers air conditioning and Wi-Fi, for example.
The app offers three modes: the line that has a fixed route, the charter in which itinerary, day and time are pre-determined by the user, and the door-to-door module that, on demand, handles flexible route requests. For now, the service is only available in São Paulo. Both use chartered vehicles to perform the mobility service.
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