The drive to Los Angeles isn’t all that bad but there are days when you’d rather leave the driving to someone else. That someone may just be FlixBus, a European bus company that is expanding across the sea and vowing to “disrupt” bus service we we know it. The company is initially offering three daily departures from Palm Springs to Los Angeles and vice versa, with additional routes to Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego and other regional destinations.
The German company, which operates in 28 countries, is taking a page from Megabus, Bolt and other innovators whose colorful, comfortable buses now ply the East Coast, offering low fares and frequent schedules that have won over not only students, retirees and other leisure travelers but also business types tired of hassling with high fares and lengthy taxi rides from the airport to downtown.
In a similar vein, Flixbus says it will be offering motorcoach trips at prices less than some cups of coffee. “After flourishing throughout Europe in five years’ time, advancing from market newcomer to the continent’s fastest-growing long-distance travel provider, [the] U.S. launch is the first phase of a larger plan to bring 1,000+ daily connections to the American west coast by year’s end,” the company said in a news release.
“If we’ve proven anything in the hyper-competitive travel markets of Europe, it’s that we’re survivors,” said managing director of FlixBus USA, Pierre Gourdain. “America is a different beast entirely, but we’re prepared to change people’s mindsets about mobility. We believe everyone should be able to get where they want to go in life, and we found a way to make that dream a reality, comfortably and affordably. This is just the beginning for FlixBus in the United States.”
Like its East Coast counterparts, FlixBus will bypass often-depressing bus stations for curbside pickup at popular locations, like UCLA and USC, Caesars Palace, and Disneyland.
Each FlixBus features a free entertainment system and live GPS tracking that shows where a rider’s bus is currently, its estimated time of arrival and directions on how to find the nearest bus stop in case you’re unsure. Both features are available through the FlixBus App.
“We have the chance to take up to 56 cars off the road with each FlixBus trip,” said Gourdain. “In terms of passenger miles per gallon, bus travel is widely recognized as the most sustainable way to travel. What’s more impressive to me personally is that FlixBus passengers are keeping the entire travel chain as green as possible. Seventy percent of our them choose to ride with us even though they have access to a car, with most people riding a bike or walking to the stop.”