European company FlixBus using local operators in U.S.

LOS ANGELES – Five years after its launch in Europe, long-distance, low-fare bus company FlixBus has hit the road in the United States.

American travelers are able to purchase FlixBus tickets on major routes in the Southwest, including service to Las Vegas from Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Diego.

Fares on some routes are as low as $2.99 one way.

FlixBus is the brainchild of three young entrepreneurs, Jochen Engert, Daniel Krauss and André Schwämmlein, who wanted to develop a new means of travel that was a blend of tech-startup, e-commerce and traditional transportation.

Based on this concept, FlixBus was launched in Germany in 2013 with a business model in which the company manages the technology, ticketing, customer service, network planning, marketing and sales, while its local partners are responsible for the daily operation of buses.

“Our business model has revolutionized the way people view – and utilize – buses in Europe, and we are excited to offer this fresh take on bus travel to people in the United States,” said Schwämmlein, CEO of FlixMobility.

“We harness technology to create a better experience for travelers, with the goal of providing smart and green mobility for everyone to experience the world — and we do all of it without owning a single bus.”

For phase one of the U.S. launch, 180 initial FlixBus connections are being operated by six regional bus partners: Arrow Stage Lines, American Explorer Motorcoach, Gray Line Arizona, Pacific Coachways and Transportation Charter Services – all members of the United Motorcoach Association — and USA Coach Services.

FlixBus plans to add another 400 connections in phase two.

“The FlixBus model allows us to focus on the daily operation of our buses – something we have over 30 years of experience doing – and puts the technology and marketing in the hands of the experts at FlixBus,” said Terry Fischer, president of Transportation Charter Services in Orange, Calif.

“FlixBus provides companies such as TCS a new business opportunity, and we’re looking forward to growing together through this partnership,” Fischer said. “It’s a smart way to operate, which ultimately benefits the customer.”

With its U.S. launch, FlixBus hopes to encourage more people to park their cars and choose a more sustainable form of transportation. On top of buses being the most environmentally friendly form of public transportation available, FlixBus passengers can choose to offset their carbon emissions by purchasing “CO2 Compensation” tickets, thereby making a voluntary environmental contribution.

“In the United States, we want to show people who take their cars on long-haul drives that the bus can provide a convenient alternative, one that allows them to work, relax or sleep while they travel,” Schwämmlein said. “You can easily fall asleep in LA and wake up in front of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas if you want. Travel can and should be simple and accessible to everyone.”

Share this post