Germany’s Flixbus Is Hoping To Make Bus Travel Cool Again In The US
German startup FlixBus has exploded into the largest bus network in Europe, transporting 40 million passengers last year, and stealing business away from national train services. Now Flixbus is headed to the United States. The startup wants to make bus travel cool again.
Taking the bus for long trips is often more fun when doing so with a group of friends to share the experience with.
How does Flixbus work? Instead of operating its own fleets, FlixBus is a middleman working with both passengers and independent transportation companies. FlixBus will work with six bus lines in the US to start: Arrow Stage Lines, American Explorer Motorcoach, Gray Line Arizona, Pacific Coachways, Transportation Charter Services and USA Coach Services.
While all buses wear FlixBus’ distinctive green livery, they are owned and operated by independent companies. FlixBus determines routes and pricing and runs the app passengers use to book trips. All buses will have free Wi-Fi as well as USB and power outlets at every seat.
Travelers will also be able to bring two pieces of luggage on board. They can make changes to their trips or request refunds through the FlixBus app.
This week it revved up its engines in California, launching 180 connections out of Los Angeles. According to FlixBus USA managing director Pierre Gourdain, the shared-mobility habits of young people in the US market make it the perfect time for the Munich startup to hit the West Coast highways. “We needed to know if the market was asking for this,” Gourdain said. “And what we saw blew our mind.”
The company will make its debut on American roadways beginning May 31.
The Flixbus website is offering one-way tickets from LA to Las Vegas for $9.99 (8.43 euros) in early June, compared with around $20 on Greyhound.