|Industry||Transport, Travel, Travel technology|
|Founders||Daniel Krauss, Jochen Engert, André Schwämmlein|
|Services||Intercity bus service|
|Revenue||€500 million (2018)|
|Owner||General Atlantic |
Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
Silver Lake Partners
Flixbus (German pronunciation: ['flɪksbʊs]; 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.
FlixBus does not own any buses and does not employ drivers; its services run in co-operation 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. This business model is highly scalable and has enabled the company to grow quickly. As of 2018, the company has a 90% market share of bus travel in Germany.
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.
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.
In January 2015, the company merged with MeinFernbus.
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. Flixbus used technology developed by Liinita to start its charter business.
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. At that time, it also had routes to Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark.
In 2015, Flixbus controlled 71% of the German market (measured in kilometres driven by the company).
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.
By March 2016, the network included approximately 120,000 daily connections to 1,700+ destinations in 28 countries.
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. On 28 February 2017, Flixbus announced that Danish bus company Abildskou, based in Aarhus, would become its first bus partner in Denmark.
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.
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.
On 15 May 2018, Flixbus announced its expansion into the United States market, operating from a main hub in Los Angeles. In March 2019, the company launched service in Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Biloxi, Mississippi.
On 2 July 2020 Flixbus launched intercity coach service in the United Kingdom, with initial routes from London to Birmingham, Bristol and Portsmouth (calling at Guildford). At the same time it resumed its services from London to mainland Europe.
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.
Accidents and incidents
- On 5 May 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.
- On 19 May 2019, a bus rolled and crashed into a road safety barrier in Switzerland. One person was killed and 60 were injured.
- On 6 October 2019, a bus rolled and crashed near Bizanet. One person was killed and 17 were injured.
- On 3 November 2019, a bus rolled and crashed near Amiens, injuring more than 30 people.
- On 29 November 2019, a bus crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing one passenger.
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.
Use of infrastructure without toll payments
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. 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.
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 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 records
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 criticised as decreasing the attractiveness of public transport.
Lack of responsibility during the COVID-19 outbreak
In Sweden Flixbuss AB, the Swedish affiliate, posted information on their channels about increased safety and security measures as a response to COVID-19. However the company received many complaints on their social media page and in Swedish media that these measures were only empty words. Buses were completely filled and lacked any policy for passenger placing.
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- "Ein grünes Netz von Bordeaux bis Bukarest!". 22 January 2016.
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- "Autocars: l'allemand FlixBus se lance en France". 19 May 2015.
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- "FlixBus Launches in United States, Plans to Disrupt Traditional Bus Market" (Press release). Flixbus. 15 May 2018.
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- Larino, Jennifer (27 March 2019). "German bus startup FlixBus launches in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
- Selcraig, Bruce (5 March 2019). "FlixBus, a green entrant to U.S. bus travel, arriving in San Antonio". San Antonio Express-News.
- Mathews, Chris (6 March 2019). "Europe's largest intercity bus network expands services to Houston, Gulf Coast region". American City Business Journals.
- "Negotiations successfully completed: FlixBus buys Eurolines/isilines from Transdev Group" (Press release). Transdev. 2 May 2019. Archived from the original on 13 June 2019. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
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- "Reinventing Travel: FlixBus Celebrates Five Years of Booming Business" (Press release). Flixbus. 13 February 2018.
- "Drei Schwerverletzte Zwei Flixbus-Unfälle in einer Nacht". Berliner Zeitung (in German). 5 June 2019.
- "Un mort et 60 blessés dans un accident de car". Tribune de Genève (in French). 20 May 2019.
- "Un mort et 17 blessés, dont un grave, dans un accident de car Flixbus dans l'Aude". l'OBS (in French). 6 October 2019.
- Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Dozens injured in France Flixbus bus crash | DW | 03.11.2019". DW.COM. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
- "Thanksgiving charter bus crash on Turnpike kills 1". 20 February 2020.
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Media related to FlixBus at Wikimedia Commons