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- Flixbus, Europe's Intercity Bus Giant, Will Enter U.S. - CityLab;
- Flixbus is like the Uber of long-haul road travel. Could it reboot the American coach business?.
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Knight, Dean Miller. David Lee Murphy, Danny Tate. David Lee Murphy. Patty Loveless. Bruce Robison. Flixbus was founded in , after Germany deregulated its bus market—previously, only state operators were allowed to run coaches between metros. It quickly built a national network of intercity connections departing around the clock by collecting and rebranding existing coach operators, large and small, under their umbrella.
Flixbus also heavily invested in custom software to locate veins of unmet demand, and to reorient drivers to more optimal schedules and routes. That, too, sets the company apart: Antolin explained that coach companies have historically tended to base schedules on what they can afford operationally, rather than thinking about these demands.
Like dominos, a line-up of European countries have followed Germany to liberalize their transportation sectors over the past few years, allowing Flixbus to replicate its Uber-esque franchise model across the continent. There is little downside for either Flixbus or its franchisees, said Joseph Schwieterman, the director of the Chaddick Institute and lead author of the report. Flixbus has also grown via mergers and buy-outs —some of them enormous.
In a few cases, when bus operators have declined to work with them, Flixbus has run contracted buses along the same routes, and crushed them with bottom-barrel some would say predatory prices. As with many a juggernaut, growth precedes profitability. Flixbus is fueled by billions in venture capital—the latest round, an undisclosed amount, came from U. According to company surveys, about 30 percent of Flixbus passengers 80 million in the past five years said they would have taken a car. Another 30 percent would have taken a bus or a train, and 30 percent would not have taken the trip at all.
In the U. He points to South Florida as one area with unmet demand for alternatives to the car; likewise smaller Midwestern cities, college towns, and military bases.
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What about the big dog? Greyhound has been trying to turn around its reputation for seedy, slow-crawl travel. Flixbus will certainly give it a run for its money. One of my personal favorites is the "Transit" app, which syncs real-time data from nearly every transit agency in both L.
Along with route-building across multiple agencies, Transit has a clean, easy-to-use interface that shows when the next bus or train will arrive, and gives you the option to pull up a GPS map showing the real-time location of your coming ride. Transit is amazingly free, and available for both iPhone and Android. This service is also extended to a some of the stops along Wilshire boulevard served by the Rapid bus.
Metro even makes real time information available to you if you don't have a smartphone. Check our their site for instructions on how to receive real time arrival information via SMS message. This one is percent myth. You can absolutely load your bicycle aboard any Metro bus or train, as well virtually any other transit carrier's bus as well.
All Metro trains have designated spaces for people moving large, wheeled loads. If you're riding the Red or Purple Line subways, that space is at the very end of the subway cars. Board through the doors closest to the yellow bollards on the station platforms. Aboard Metro's light rail trains, board through the doors closest to the center of the train, and then move into the train car's vestibule like-center area where there's plenty of room for your bike or wheelchair, stroller, or luggage.
For buses, you can load your bike onto the rack at the front of the bus. It's an easy process that, like riding a bike, once you do once you'll never forget how.
Take a look at the video above showing how to load the bike on to a bus' front rack. It's quick and easy, and once you know how to do it the process takes less than ten seconds.
Just make sure to signal the bus operator what you're doing, especially when it the time comes to take the bike off. While this myth was at one point true, Metro announced last September that TAP cards are now accepted on every single one of L. County's 26 different transit agencies.
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Money loaded on your card online or from stations is good for trips all over, whether you're on a bus operated by Metro, Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus, Culver City Bus, Foothill Transit, or any other agency. One caveat, however, is that just because the card is accepted everywhere, day, weekly, or monthly passes for specific agencies are not.
This won't usually be an issue for those traveling around in the City of Los Angeles as Metro offers service throughout most parts of the city.