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Apparently Weekends Aren’t The Best Days To Travel By Bus… It’s Actually Tuesday

Apparently Weekends Aren’t The Best Days To Travel By Bus… It’s Actually Tuesday

How Malaysians travelled in 2023 and what 2024 has in store for us!

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Tuesday is apparently the day to travel if you are looking to visit different cities in Malaysia by bus.

This is one of the many interesting facts unearthed by redBus – the world’s largest bus ticketing platform – as it analysed travel patterns for Malaysian bus and ferry users in 2023.

The findings are based on user purchase patterns on the redBus platform as the company shares insights into transportation and mobility trends in Malaysia last year.

As one of the leading online travel platforms in the country, redBus has witnessed a 60% year-on-year increase in the number of bus and ferry seats sold in 2023, over 2022.

The data also indicates a trend among Malaysians to book their bus journeys typically 1 to 3 days in advance of their travel. Given the growth of travel aggregators, it is no surprise that local bus and ferry operators are working with platforms like redBus to further increase their business every year.

Passengers are also more willing to book luxury bus tickets, compared to previous years.

As one of Malaysia’s leading online travel platforms, we are in the ideal position to share insights for this sector. The huge growth in bus and ferry travel we have witnessed in 2023 is a testament to the fact that we are very closely attuned to the evolving needs of Malaysian travellers and our constant innovation to provide them with a more convenient and reliable travel experience. redBus will continue to play a pivotal role in defining the landscape of modern bus and ferry transportation in Malaysia.

Krishnan Ramaswami, Chief Business Officer, RedBus

Top five most frequented destinations by bus in 2023:

Kuala Lumpur – 24%

Johor Bahru – 7.8%

Malacca – 5.7%

Kuantan – 4.7%

Kota Bharu – 3.4%

Bus routes that saw the highest growth in passengers when compared to 2022 include:

Genting Highlands > Kuala Lumpur – 70.7%

Kuantan > Kuala Lumpur – 54%

Kuala Lumpur > Singapore – 52%

Top five bus routes that were all-year favourites with Malaysians going back and forth:

Kuala Lumpur <> Melaka

Kuala Lumpur <> Johor Bahru

Kuala Lumpur <> Penang

Kuala Lumpur <> Kuantan

Kuala Lumpur <> Genting Highlands

Top three places most frequented by ferries in 2023:

Tioman Island


Perhentian Island

As we reflect on the transformative trends of 2023 and the exciting prospects outlined for 2024, redBus remains committed to continually shaping the future of travel in Malaysia. We see a majority of demand from home-bound consumers – passengers returning home from work on a regular basis and students coming home during vacations. Tourists who need flexible, budget-friendly and reliable travel options are another cohort from whom we see high demand. Essentially the ease and convenience of online ticket booking, coupled with a user-friendly experience on the redBus app and our superlative customer service is what attracts a majority of our customers.

Krishnan Ramaswami, Chief Business Officer, RedBus

As expected, travel is often planned around special events and/or weekends and vacations. However, there are also interesting trends around preference in timings and amenities.

Top five peak periods with the highest bus ridership:


Term 1 School Holidays (May – June)

Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Chinese New Year

Year-end Holiday

The most preferred bus departure time: 10 PM

The most preferred ferry departure time: 11 AM

Charging Points and M-tickets were important bus amenities which passengers checked for, when picking a bus.

Thursday is the busiest day for bus travel while Tuesday is the least busy.

Thursday is also the busiest day for ferry travel while Saturday is the least busy.

Did You Know?!

In 2023, more than 5,500 bus and ferry routes were covered across the country by more than 170 operators.

The busiest date of the year for bus travel was 10 November 2023, falling during the Deepavali festive period.

Some consumers really plan ahead – one redBus user secured a bus seat from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Penang 119 days prior to the scheduled departure. Now that is savvy travelling!

5% of commuters utilized the flexibility provided by redBus to reschedule or cancel their tickets as per their needs or change in plans.

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