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Flixbus (styled "FLiXBUS") is a German brand that offers intercity bus service in Europe and the United States. It is owned by FlixMobility GmbH, which also operates FlixTrain and FlixCar.

FlixMobility GmbH
Privately held company
IndustryTransport, Travel, Travel technology
Founded2011; 8 years ago (2011)
FoundersDaniel Krauss, Jochen Engert, André Schwämmlein
HeadquartersMunich
Area served
Europe
United States
ServicesIntercity bus service
OwnerGeneral Atlantic[1]
Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
Silver Lake Partners[2][3]
Websitewww.flixbus.com
A bus in the brand's green livery
Setra in the pre-merger blue colour scheme
Setra S 431 DT

Flixbus does not own any buses and does not employ drivers; its services run in cooperation with regional bus companies. Local partners are responsible for the day-to-day running of routes, while Flixbus is responsible for permits, network planning, marketing, pricing, quality management and customer service and retains 25-30% of the ticket price, remitting the remainder to its operating partners.[4] This business model is highly scalable and has enabled the company to grow quickly.[5]

The company has a 90% market share of bus travel in Germany.[6]

Per statistics published by the company in February 2018, 60% of the company's customers are female and 33% are between the ages of 18 and 25.[7]

Flixbus emphasizes the sustainability of its buses, lower prices, and free Wi-Fi on board. Customers can choose to offset their carbon footprint when buying a ticket online. The offset costs between 1-3% of the ticket price and goes to internationally certified climate projects.[8] Flixbus has routes served by electric buses made by BYD Auto and Yutong in France and Germany.[9][10]

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Flixbus' second logo, used from January 2015 until 4 May 2016
 
A LEO Express-liveried Taurus locomotive hauling Flixtrain-liveried ex-DR UIC-Z passenger cars near Göttingen

Flixbus was founded in 2011 in Munich by Daniel Krauss, Jochen Engert and André Schwämmlein and launched its first 3 routes in February 2013 in Bavaria, Germany. It was founded to take advantage of Germany opening up its bus market to competition in 2013.[6]

In January 2015, the company merged with MeinFernbus.[11]

In November 2015, Flixbus acquired Liinita, a start-up company developing a carpooling service to retail stores, shopping centers and restaurants which had been funded by the Business Incubation Center (BIC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Government of Upper Bavaria.[12] Flixbus used technology developed by Liinita to start its charter business.[13]

In May 2015, it entered the liberalized French market with "FlixBus France".[14]

In August 2015, Flixbus launched an Italian subsidiary in Milan.[15]

In November 2015, Flixbus announced the establishment of a new subsidiary called FlixBus B.V. in the Netherlands, creating the very first national Dutch intercity bus network.[16] At that time, it also had routes to Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark.[17]

In 2015, Flixbus controlled 71% of the German market (measured in kilometres driven by the company).[18]

In January 2016, Flixbus announced it was entering Central and Eastern Europe with a new subsidiary FlixBus CEE, covering Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Slovenia and Croatia.[19][20]

In March 2016, the company launched its first routes to the United Kingdom and Spain.[21][22]

By March 2016, the network included approximately 120,000 daily connections to 1,700+ destinations in 28 countries.[23]

Effective July 1, 2016, Flixbus acquired Megabus Europe from Stagecoach Group, with Stagecoach remaining as contractor to operate the services.[24]

On 3 August 2016, Flixbus announced the acquisition from Deutsche Post of Postbus, a German competitor, for an undisclosed sum.[25]

In September 2016, Flixbus announced plans to expand to Scandinavia. Together with Danish Small and medium-sized enterprises, Flixbus announced plans for a network in Denmark.[26]

In May 2017, Flixbus announced it would take over the Hellö coach network from Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) in August 2017.[27]

Starting on 24 August 2017, Flixbus cooperated with Czech train company LEO Express to take over the operation of the Locomore rail service between Stuttgart and Berlin (via Hanover and Frankfurt) in Germany.[28]

On 24 March 2018, FlixMobility acquired the open-access operator Hamburg-Köln-Express, which operated a route between Hamburg and Cologne, and integrated the HKX route into the Flixtrain network alongside the above-mentioned Locomore service.[29]

On 15 May 2018, Flixbus announced its expansion into the US market, operating from a main hub in Los Angeles.[30][31]

In March 2019, the company launched service in Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Biloxi, Mississippi.[32][33][34]

In April 2019, Flixbus acquired Eurolines and its Isilines brand from Transdev.[35][36]

In May 2019, Eastern Bus, which operates along the Interstate 95 corridor between New York City and Richmond, Virginia, reached a deal with Flixbus to operate the East Coast network for Flixbus.[37]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On May 5, 2019 a bus crashed in Germany. At least 3 passengers were seriously injured. Initial police findings were that the bus driver was not at fault for the accident.[38]
  • On May 19, 2019 a bus rolled and crashed into a road safety barrier in Switzerland. One person was killed and 60 were injured.[39]

ControversiesEdit

Working conditionsEdit

Flixbus has been accused of forcing its partners to have its drivers work excessive hours at low wages; however, official inspections have found that resting, driving and working hours in the market were much better than some media reports had suggested.[40]

Use of infrastructure without toll paymentsEdit

In 2015, Cologne closed its city center long-distance bus station because of the congestion associated with buses, forcing Flixbus to move its Cologne stop.[41]

Unlike competing train services and trucks, buses do not pay any road toll in Germany, which has been called a hidden subsidy by SPD and Alliance '90/The Greens politicians, as well as by Rüdiger Grube, chairman of Deutsche Bahn, one of Flixbus's main competitors.[42] bdo (an association of German bus companies) responded by saying that buses already pay for infrastructure they use in the form of various taxes (ex. mineral oil tax), while billions of subsidies are paid to national rail provider Deutsche Bahn.[43]

Dominant market shareEdit

Following the acquisition of Postbus in 2016, FlixBus gained control of roughly 80% of the German long distance bus market, which was criticised by various media outlets[44][45][46] as a de facto monopoly and harmful to competition. It was also suggested that Flixbus' control of the market could lead to higher prices and less service to smaller destinations.

Passenger name recordsEdit

On 25 June 2018, the Belgian Government announced that it was running a pilot project with Flixbus and Eurostar for which it is collecting all passenger data for Flixbuses and Eurostars crossing the Belgian border. The move was criticized as decreasing the attractiveness of public transport.[47][48]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Fockenbrock, Dieter (9 January 2015). "Ticket to Ride – A merger between Germany's two largest long-distance bus operators has rattled the country's state-owned rail company".
  2. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (16 January 2015). "Holtzbrinck Ventures Closes $331M Fund To Back More Consumer And E-Commerce Startups".
  3. ^ "FlixBus and Silver Lake Announce Strategic Investment" (PDF). 16 December 2016.
  4. ^ Wembridge, Mark (6 June 2019). "Flixbus aims 'to make coach travelling cool again'". Financial Times.
  5. ^ "Mobility Challengers – Company Presentation by Jochen Engert, Founder & Managing Director of FlixBus at the NOAH 2015 Conference in Berlin". 10 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b "How Flixbus conquered the European coach market". The Economist. 10 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Reinventing Travel: FlixBus Celebrates Five Years of Booming Business" (Press release). Flixbus. 13 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Ein grünes Netz von Bordeaux bis Bukarest!". 22 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Flixbus launches first long-distance electric bus route in France". electrive.com. 11 April 2018.
  10. ^ "World's first long-distance electric bus line to begin in Paris". DD News. 11 April 2018.
  11. ^ "MeinFernbus and FlixBus Become One" (Press release). Flixbus. 8 January 2015.
  12. ^ "FlixBus Takes Over the Mobility-Startup LIINITA" (Press release). Flixbus. 11 November 2015.
  13. ^ "MeinFernbus FlixBus übernimmt Liinita". www.deutsche-startups.de (in German). 16 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Autocars: l'allemand FlixBus se lance en France". 19 May 2015.
  15. ^ "FlixBus: viaggiare per l'Italia spendendo solo 1 euro e 9 euro per l'Europa". 4 August 2015.
  16. ^ "FlixBus opent netwerk intercitybussen in Nederland". 24 November 2015.
  17. ^ Di Lucchio, Maurizio (12 August 2015). "Flixbus, la startup degli autobus low cost che vuole creare 1.000 posti di lavoro". economyup.it.
  18. ^ "Fernbusmarkt startet stabil ins neue Jahr". IGES Institute (Press release). 9 February 2016.
  19. ^ Johnston, Raymond (14 January 2016). "FlixBus expands international service from Czech cities". The Prague Post.
  20. ^ "Blaguss fährt mit deutschem Flixbus nach Osteuropa". wirtschaftsblatt.at. 21 January 2016.
  21. ^ "European leader of intercity buses enters the UK" (Press release). Flixbus. 16 March 2016.
  22. ^ "Green Mobility - European Leader Launches Service in Spain and the UK" (Press release). Flixbus. 17 March 2016.
  23. ^ Davies, Phil (16 March 2016). "Low-cost coach operator enters UK market".
  24. ^ "FlixBus to acquire Megabus" (Press release). Flixbus. 30 June 2016.
  25. ^ "FlixBus to acquire long distance coach service of Deutsche Post" (Press release). Flixbus. 3 August 2016.
  26. ^ Sommer, Mathias (27 September 2016). "Tysk busselskab satser på danske indenrigsruter". DR (in Danish).
  27. ^ "FlixBus acquires long-distance bus business 'HELLÖ'" (Press release). Flixbus. 23 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Kooperation zwischen Fernbusanbieter und Fernzug-Startup Locomore" (Press release) (in German). Flixbus. 16 April 2017.
  29. ^ Barrow, Keith (6 March 2018). "FlixTrain to launch German open-access services this month". Rail Journal.
  30. ^ "FlixBus Launches in United States, Plans to Disrupt Traditional Bus Market" (Press release). Flixbus. 15 May 2018.
  31. ^ O'BRIEN, CHRIS (15 May 2018). "Germany's data-driven FlixBus launches in the U.S. to make bus travel cool again". VentureBeat.
  32. ^ Larino, Jennifer (27 March 2019). "German bus startup FlixBus launches in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
  33. ^ Selcraig, Bruce (5 March 2019). "FlixBus, a green entrant to U.S. bus travel, arriving in San Antonio". San Antonio Express-News.
  34. ^ Mathews, Chris (6 March 2019). "Europe's largest intercity bus network expands services to Houston, Gulf Coast region". American City Business Journals.
  35. ^ "Negotiations successfully completed: FlixBus buys Eurolines/isilines from Transdev Group" (Press release). Transdev. 2 May 2019. Archived from the original on 13 June 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  36. ^ Lundgren, Ingrid (4 March 2019). "FlixBus, the German Uber-like bus service, is buying rival". TechCrunch.
  37. ^ Schwieterman, Joseph; Antolin, Brian (11 July 2019). "How Greyhound, Coach USA sales will impact intercity bus lines". Metro Magazine.
  38. ^ "Drei Schwerverletzte Zwei Flixbus-Unfälle in einer Nacht". Berliner Zeitung (in German). 5 June 2019.
  39. ^ "Un mort et 60 blessés dans un accident de car". Tribune de Genève (in French). 20 May 2019.
  40. ^ "Einhaltung der Sozialvorschriften im Straßenverkehr und der Arbeitszeiten bei Fernlinienbusunternehmen ..." (in German). North Rhine-Westphalia. 9 August 2016.
  41. ^ Fockenbrock, Dieter (9 September 2016). "VRS-Kooperation Flixbus bietet wieder Verbindungen nach Köln an" (in German).
  42. ^ "Verkehrsminister fordern Maut für Fernbusse". Die Zeit (in German). 14 April 2016.
  43. ^ "bdo weist Forderungen nach einer Fernbusmaut zurück". www.bdo.org (in German). 18 April 2015.
  44. ^ Arzt, Ingo (3 August 2016). "Flixbus schluckt Postbus: Die Fernbuskrake" (in German).
  45. ^ Jahns, Christin; Schultz, Stefan (3 August 2016). "Flixbus kauft Postbus: Was die Fernbusfusion für Fahrgäste bedeutet". Spiegel Online (in German).
  46. ^ Doll, Nikolaus (3 August 2016). "Das bedeutet das neue Fernbus-Monopol für Kunden". Die Welt (in German).
  47. ^ Fender, Keith (10 September 2018). "Eurostar to trial passenger data exchange with Belgian authorities". Rail Journal.
  48. ^ "Le gouvernement donne son feu vert à deux projets pilotes élargissant le PNR". RTBF Info (in French). 25 July 2018.

External linksEdit

  Media related to FlixBus at Wikimedia Commons