Tiketmobile is a homegrown mobile solution for finding information about bus tickets, and making bookings for inter-state bus routes in Nigeria. This service is available on the mobile web and as a Java app. Though Tiketmobile is still in beta state, I took the mobile website for a spin anyway to see how the service works.
The design is simple and uncluttered, which is always a good thing. There are no distractions. Infact, loading the homepage, you are presented with only two actionable options – Book Bus Ticket, and About Tiketmobile. Both are self-explanatory.
I selected the Book Bus Ticket option and was presented with a form to select a route and date. There are currently twenty options to select from via a drop-down menu, and more are on the way according to a notice on the page. Easy-pie. Selecting a date was no hassle too. I hit the “Find” button.
The results featured three available tickets from different bus operators. Prices of the tickets are displayed, and the option to view details is available. So far, so good.
I picked one of the available bus tickets and I am presented with a “Buy Ticket” page that also provides departure time, as well as provide options to select one of the available parks that the bus operator runs from. I am wondering if it is possible to have included this info on the previous page and so reduce the process by one step.
However, I did notice that the date on the ticket came out wrong. 23rd of May 2012? That date glitch certainly needs attention from the developers.
Selecting an available park provides you with address and a contact phone number for that park. Nice and very useful. But that is all there is to the service for now. There is no option to make any actual purchase yet. Tiketmobile is still in beta and e-commerce/mobile money integration is work in progress.
I can easily see how this is a stunning idea and a service that is really useful. Even in its current incomplete state, Tiketmobile provides real value. I know how many times I have had to trawl the web for information about bus tickets and prices for one trip or the other. Tiketmobile simplifies my search and also provides me with direct contact details for bus operators.
Tiketmobile already has garnered the support of big names like Nokia and The Tony Elumelu Foundation, among others. That in itself speaks volumes.
I am not sure how many bus operators are in the Tiketmobile database, but I hope that we shall see quite a detailed pool. I am looking forward to seeing this service fully deployed and equipped with payment facilities. The Tiketmobile website says, “After purchasing the ticket, an SMS will be sent to you with your purchase details which contains a unique Ticket ID” and is to be presented at the bus park to validate your ticket purchase.
Sounds simple and straightforward. Just like using the mobile website has been for me.