Eid Al-Fitr: When bus stations are taken by storm

The bus stations of the various cities of the Kingdom are experiencing, in these last days before Eid Al Fitr, a massive influx of travelers, for whom nothing beats the convivial moments of family gatherings on the occasion of this religious festival. Travelers with their suitcases and bags looking for their coaches or in the waiting room, others looking for tickets, shops open permanently to sell mobile top-ups, bottles of water and other food, or taxi drivers watching for potential customers at the exit of stations, such is the atmosphere that marks these structures and their surroundings. An atmosphere that transforms the journey of some passengers into a real headache, given the scenes of chaos and disorder, to the chagrin of a large number of citizens wishing to join their families for this special occasion. On the ticket side, informed travelers have opted for online booking, while those who intend to make their purchase on the spot, find all the trouble, in particular in the face of the endless and sometimes poorly organized queues in front of the counters, the brokers who take advantage of the opportunity to increase their commissions and at the risk of falling on full coaches. Therefore, a simple trip to his hometown is often like a real obstacle course! And this is how the online booking alternative, which is attracting more and more Moroccans to the detriment of the classic circuit, is intended to be advantageous in terms of cost and time. Disappointed by the abuses of professionals and the lack of organization in these busy periods, Issam, an executive established in Casablanca, chose to book the trip to Ouarzazate, his hometown, differently. While scrolling on social media, Issam was seduced by the great flexibility offered by an online coach ticket booking site, an innovative method that continues to gain ground with an increasingly connected population. “A few days before my trip scheduled for Sunday, I was able to get a ticket at a fair price, without having to go to a ticket office or pay an extra to a broker to secure my seat,” he said. at the MAP. “It's nice when digitalization even extends to bus stations, it saves us a lot of stress,” said Issam, who now intends to book all his next trips via this application. Like structured passenger transport companies that have been able to digitize their offer, smaller operators have become aware of the importance of making this digital shift, by partnering with specialized applications to sell their tickets online. line.This new trend gained momentum following the outbreak of the Covid-19 health crisis, where digital transactions broke all records, against a backdrop of draconian containment and social distancing measures.  Prices: the oil surge, carriers in distress While health and mobility restrictions have been significantly eased, the recent surge in fuel prices has once again upset the calculations of transport professionals, who are struggling with the cost high operating costs, which may affect their rates. Anxious to preserve the purchasing power of citizens, the government launched in March the process of exceptional support for professionals in the road transport sector, targeting around 180,000 vehicles. Faced with a persistent rise in fuel prices, the government recently decided to once again allocate exceptional additional support to road transport professionals, to “avoid any disruption in the cost of transport for citizens and in the prices of transport for merchandise”.  Carpooling… a booming ecological mode Faced with the strong pressure experienced by bus stations, Moroccans are more and more adept at carpooling, a modern and ecological concept of travel, where the driver of a vehicle shares the costs. of his trip with one or more passengers. On platforms dedicated to carpooling, offers to several destinations are not lacking, with prices defying traditional competition, to the delight of travelers dissatisfied with conventional transport. This is the example of Reda, 30, who is among those who have chosen to travel via a carpooling application, which allows him to get in touch with several drivers making his journey and to negotiate the amount of his contribution to the costs. travel. “I've been using carpooling for my personal trips for a few years. In addition to the comfort and freedom of traveling by car, I've made new friends through carpooling,” he revealed.