New Delhi: To make long distance travel by buses convenient and seamless, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry along with a private partner will launch an integrated portal from Thursday.

The facility is developed and maintained by Bengaluru-based Radiant Info in partnership with Central Institute for Road Transport (CIRT). It will be launched Thursday by Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes.

“In India, road transport corporations (RTC) are fragmented. They are owned by various state governments and the central government provides funds, technology and infrastructure. In we first launched individual state sites. Then we felt the need to establish an integrated service for seamless booking across various states,” Venu Myneni, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Radiant Info told IANS.

The project entailed investments of around Rs20 billion (Dh1.2 billion), he said, adding that it will run on a build-operate-own basis.

In the first phase the portal has an inventory of 360,000 seats with a network of 147,000 buses available through the state transport corporations of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha, Meghalaya and Gujarat.

The second phase, which is expected to be launched next week, would see the inclusion of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Goa.

Myneni said was launched a couple of years ago to provide long-distance online bookings for various individual states.

“We plan to integrate this with the IRCTC (Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation) portal and taxi booking in future to provide an integrated travel experience in India,” he said. The company is in talks with Indian Railways for this. currently sells about 50,000 tickets daily and has revenues of around Rs10 billion while parent Radiant Info has revenue of Rs40 billion from its various businesses.

Radiant has around 200 employees at its Bengaluru office and has seven offices across the country. “In the next one year we plan to cover 92-95 per cent of the Indian bus network across various states,” Myneni said.

It also plans to float a software next year on transportation logistics solution to increase the efficiencies of the RTCs in organisational performances, he added.