Having made quite a splash with its entry into the US market (now the 28th country in which it operates) in early May, FlixBus this week extended its transport network to the San Francisco Bay area. Now operating across the whole of California, plus Nevada and Arizona, the Munich-based bus travel specialist offers journeys from as little as $2.99. The most highly-awaited line is the one linking San Francisco with Los Angeles, which is set to do battle for passengers with both the high-end sleeper coach service provided by Cabin and also the more traditional services on offer from MegaBus, Bolt Bus and Greyhound, but at higher ticket prices. Since starting out back in 2013, FlixBus has carried over 100 million passengers all over Europe, 70% of whom apparently own a car, yet nevertheless prefer to travel by FlixBus. The company, whose basic proposition is to provide an alternative mode of transport that is comfortable, environmentally-friendly and suited to people on smaller budgets, has set a target of linking up the entire US West Coast by the end of the year. Moreover, this German startup does not see itself merely as a bus company or even a transport provider but as a tech business. It offers a rich array of on-board entertainment, GPS tracking and numerous other up-to-date benefits. Meanwhile it has clearly demonstrated its social and environmental commitment and claims to be able to create more jobs in the United States than in Europe (its US operation already employs 1,200 staff plus over 7,000 drivers). FlixBus also offers passengers the option of purchasing so-called 'CO2 neutral' tickets, the idea being that proceeds from these tickets will enable the US National Forest Foundation to plant more trees.
By Marie-Eléonore Noiré