WILKES-BARRE — Two local entrepreneurs, Connor Scalleat and Frank Henry, are working with Martz Trailways to build a new avenue to purchase bus tickets and find bus routes.
The two are developing an app called TouchBus.
The mobile app will allow bus riders the ability to find bus routes and purchase tickets in a four-step process.
Ticket payments will be secure through ApplePay, or customers can create an account for reoccurring purchases. The bus driver would scan an electronic ticket displayed on a smartphone, Henry said.
Scalleat, 19, and Henry, 20, plan to roll out TouchBus in September.
Frank Henry’s uncle, Scott Henry, president of Martz Trailways, confirmed the Wilkes-Barre-based bus company is “in the talking stages” with two.
Scott Henry noted there are several details that need to be “worked out” before the app can motor along.
“We need to get fee schedules and routes to them (Scalleat and Henry),” Scott Henry said.
Martz Trailways’ fleet is equipped with tablets that will enable the drivers to scan tickets on mobile devices, Scott Henry said.
“We are ahead of the technological curve,” he said.
Other bus companies will need to upgrade their systems to use of the app, Frank Henry said.
The idea was fueled by Scalleat’s and Henry’s personal experiences in buying bus tickets.
Henry, a student at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, said he recalled thinking, “Why isn’t there an app to find and compare bus routes?”
His elementary school friend and business partner, Scalleat, who attends Pace University in New York, finds himself frequently using public transportation to get around.
Bus companies, including Martz Trailways, are selling bus tickets online. But the process is cumbersome, requiring tickets to be printed at home or pay a nominal fee for the cashier to print them out at the bus terminal, Scalleat said.
Frank Henry and Scalleat want to see the app grow and encompass bus systems nationwide. The app would give travelers a comparative listing of bus routes, fees and payment options at a user’s fingertips.
“We would like to offer integrated maps, bus and taxi service listings,” Scalleat said. “It would be efficient for the customer.”
“It will not change who you are competing with but help people find you,” Scott Henry said.