When describing Rome2rio to someone new, it was common to hear “Ah brilliant! I can use this for my upcoming trip to South America”. But I couldn’t help but cringe on the inside at that response. Rome2rio’s South America coverage had always been lacking. Whilst the site would still show flight, drive and taxi options, no multi-modal search experience is complete without bus, train and ferry options.
That’s all changing thanks to our growing content team. Kate currently has 11 data researchers working on adding South America content to Rome2rio. Coverage has vastly improved in the last few months, especially in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Columbia. Rome2rio now also has a variety of bus routes in Central American counties such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Cuba and Jamaica.
This image provides an overview of our South America coverage today. Orange represents bus routes, purple represents train lines and blue represents ferries. Not surprisingly, the Amazon rainforest stands out as a region with little transport coverage.
Another region where our content has greatly improved recently is Greece and Turkey. These highly fragmented markets are served by a range of bus, ferry and train operators which our team have painstakingly added.
We’re making good progress in Asia too. Andrew has a team of 15 researchers adding routes in the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, China, Taiwan and Malaysia.
Finally we’ve continued to drastically improve our coverage in Italy. This is our crown jewel market with over 207 operators. It is also our most popular search destination on Rome2rio.
Our content team is now adding over 200 routes a day to Rome2rio. One new challenge as our content grows is maintaining the freshness and accuracy of the data. We are now developing processes to check for stale data where website URLs are broken, companies have shut down and routes have stopped or changed and new routes have been created. As always, user feedback is a valuable tool for identifying inaccuracies, but even our users can’t be expected to find and report every inaccuracy.
We are also looking forward to observing changes in user behavior as coverage grows. Will our users search more often in countries where train, bus and ferry routes have been recently added? Will Rome2rio become more popular in South America and Asia as the user experience in the region improves? We hope to share our observations on this topic in the future.