FlixBus

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FlixBus
Founded2011; 12 years ago (2011)
HeadquartersMunich, Bavaria, Germany
Service areaEurope
United States
Brazil
Chile
Canada
Service typeIntercity bus service
Websitewww.flixbus.com Edit this at Wikidata

FlixBus (German pronunciation: ['flɪksbʊs]; styled FLiXBUS) is a German brand that offers intercity bus service in Europe, North America, and South America, with plans to launch in India in 2024. It is owned by Flix SE, which also operates Flixtrain, FlixCar, Kâmil Koç, and Greyhound Lines. Flixbus operates buses or, in many cases, just handles marketing, pricing, and customer service for a commission, on behalf of bus operators on the list of FlixBus bus partners.[1][2][3] In 2022, FlixBus had revenues of €1.5 billion.[4]

Countries in which Flixbus operates as of October 2023[5]

Flixbus serves over 3,000 destinations in more than 40 countries.[6]

History[edit]

Corporate history[edit]

FlixBus was founded in 2011 in Munich by Daniel Krauss, Jochen Engert and André Schwämmlein. In June 2021, FlixMobility GmbH raised $650 million at a valuation of US$3 billion.[7] In April 2022, FlixMobility GmbH was renamed Flix SE and the umbrella brand FlixMobility was replaced by Flix.[8]

Service launches[edit]

FlixBus launched its first three routes in February 2013 in Bavaria, Germany to take advantage of Germany opening up its bus market to competition.[9] In the following years, it added routes across Europe.[10]

A North American FlixBus in Hartford, Connecticut at Hartford Union Station

In 2018, FlixBus expanded to the United States, first operating from Los Angeles[11] and adding service to the East Coast of the United States in 2019 operated by Eastern Bus.[12]

In 2022, FlixBus launched its Canadian operations with routes in Ontario[13] and British Columbia.[14][15]

In 2021, FlixBus launched service in Brazil[16] and in 2023, it launched in Chile.[17]

FlixBus plans to launch in India in 2024.[17]

Acquisitions[edit]

# Date Company Seller Notes Ref(s).
1 January 2015 MeinFernbus Received investment from General Atlantic [18]
2 July 2016 Megabus Europe Stagecoach Group Stagecoach became an operating partner [19]
3 August 2016 Postbus Deutsche Post German bus lines [20]
4 May 2017 Hellö coach network Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) Austrian bus lines [21]
5 April 2019 Eurolines and Isilines Transdev Acquisition of Eurolines operating businesses including France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic and Spain and excluding Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland, Switzerland and Serbia [22][23]
6 August 2019 Kâmil Koç Private equity firm Actera Group Turkish bus lines [24]
7 October 2021 Greyhound Lines FirstGroup U.S. bus lines; price was $78 million [25][26][27][28][29][30]

Corporate affairs[edit]

In 2022 Flixbus achieved a revenue of over €1.5 billion with a profit on EBITDA level. The company carried 60 million passengers of which 38 million in Europe, 13 million in Türkiye and 8 million in North America in 2022.[31]

Accidents[edit]

Setra S 431 DT
FlixBus in Prague, heading to Karlovy Vary
  • In May 2017, the driver of a double-decker bus attempted to drive under a bridge with insufficient clearance, completely ripping off its roof. No passengers were on board.[32]
  • In May 2018, a bus rolled and crashed near Udine, Italy. There were 43 people on board, of which 26 were injured.[33]
  • In August 2018, a bus traveling from Stockholm to Berlin crashed in Germany after veering off a highway, seriously injuring sixteen passengers.[34][35]
  • In December 2018, a bus crashed on a motorway near Zurich, killing two people including the driver.[36]
  • In May 2019, a bus crashed in Germany. At least three passengers were seriously injured. Initial police findings were that the bus driver was not at fault for the accident.[37]
  • In May 2019, a bus rolled and crashed into a road safety barrier in Germany. One person was killed and 60 were injured. The local police found early indications the driver had fallen asleep.[38]
  • In October 2019, a bus rolled and crashed near Bizanet. One person was killed and 17 were injured.[39]
  • In November 2019, a bus rolled and crashed near Amiens, injuring more than 30 people.[40]
  • In February 2023, an Uber Eats bicycle courier was struck and killed by a Flixbus coach in Brussels.[41] Two months after the incident, the government and FlixBus were criticized for not moving the bus stop away from the bike lane.[42]
  • In June 2023, a bus crashed in Avellino, Italy when it swerved to avoid another car, resulting in one death and injuries to 26 passengers.[43]
  • In July 2023, a bus crashed into another bus in the Czech Republic, killing one of the drivers and injuring 76 people.[44]
  • In September 2023, a 19-year-old Austrian woman died after the bus overturned near Micheldorf, injuring 20 people.[45]

Controversies[edit]

Working conditions for drivers in Germany[edit]

In 2016, FlixBus was accused by a German government agency of forcing its partners to make drivers work excessive hours at low wages.[46] However, official inspections have found that resting, driving, and working hours in the market were much better than some media reports suggested.

Use of infrastructure without toll payments in Germany[edit]

Unlike train services and trucks, buses do not pay any road toll in Germany; this was criticized as a "hidden subsidy" by some German politicians in the spring of 2015.[47] bdo, an association of German bus companies, responded that buses pay for infrastructure use in the form of related taxes (ex. mineral oil tax) while billions in subsidies are paid to national rail provider Deutsche Bahn.[48]

Dominant market share in Germany[edit]

In August 2016, following the acquisition of Postbus, FlixBus had control of roughly 80% of the German long-distance bus market, a move criticised by various media outlets as a de facto monopoly and harmful to competition. It was also suggested at the time that FlixBus' control of the market could lead to higher prices and less service to smaller destinations.[49][50][51]

Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden[edit]

In July 2020, a passenger criticized the company for not requiring social distancing on its buses in Sweden during the COVID-19 pandemic. FlixBus responded that the requirements from the Public Health Agency of Sweden were unclear.[52][53]

Buses inaccessible for wheelchair users in California[edit]

On May 14, 2020, the Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) filed a federal class action lawsuit in a California U.S. District Court against FlixBus and other bus operators alleging that buses were inaccessible for wheelchair users and staff was untrained on how to accommodate wheelchair users.[54]

Customer support after bus crash in Italy[edit]

Following the crash of a FlixBus coach in Italy in June 2023 that resulted in the death of two passengers and the driver suffering serious injuries, FlixBus was criticized by survivors for the lack of support offered, including delays in receiving help from the company and a lack of communication. Passengers said that, despite the seriousness of the situation, their initial compensation offer was a €10 meal voucher "for the inconvenience.”[55][43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wembridge, Mark (6 June 2019). "Flixbus aims 'to make coach travelling cool again'". Financial Times.
  2. ^ "Bus Partners". FlixBus.
  3. ^ Ellingson, Annlee (15 May 2018). "European FlixBus brings tech-driven bus network to L.A." American City Business Journals.
  4. ^ "Flix announces most successful year ever, with record revenues and profitability on EBITDA level in 2022" (Press release).
  5. ^ "The FlixBus Intercity Bus Service is Coming your Way!". Flixbus.
  6. ^ "FlixBus: Convenient and affordable bus travel in the US from $4.99". www.flixbus.com. Retrieved 17 September 2023.
  7. ^ "FlixMobility raises over $650M in Funding at $3B Valuation planning further global expansion" (Press release). FlixBus. 2 June 2021.
  8. ^ "New umbrella brand: FlixMobility is now called Flix" (Press release). FlixBus. 19 April 2022.
  9. ^ "How Flixbus conquered the European coach market". The Economist. 10 May 2018.
  10. ^ "German bus firm Flixbus opens new Vaasa to Warsaw route". Yle. 18 July 2023.
  11. ^ O'BRIEN, CHRIS (15 May 2018). "Germany's data-driven FlixBus launches in the U.S. to make bus travel cool again". VentureBeat.
  12. ^ Schwieterman, Joseph; Antolin, Brian (11 July 2019). "How Greyhound, Coach USA sales will impact intercity bus lines". Metro Magazine.
  13. ^ Dunne, James (8 April 2022). "Giant German bus company hits the highway in Canada". CBC News.
  14. ^ Chan, Cheryl (24 May 2022). "FlixBus launches new bus service between Vancouver and Seattle". Vancouver Sun.
  15. ^ Chan, Kenneth (27 May 2022). "FlixBus: Vancouver to Seattle bus service launches in June with $18 fares". Daily Hive.
  16. ^ "FlixBus starts in Brazil – first connections from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte from Dec 1st" (Press release). Flixbus. 1 December 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Flix reveals plans to launch in India, one of the largest bus markets in the world" (Press release). FlixBus. 25 May 2023.
  18. ^ "MeinFernbus and FlixBus Become One" (Press release). General Atlantic. 17 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Megabus Europe retail operations sold to FlixBus". CBW (Press release). 4 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Deutsche Post sells long-distance bus unit, confirms 2016 targets". CNBC. Reuters. 3 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Hellö is now FlixBus" (Press release). FlixBus.
  22. ^ "Negotiations successfully completed: FlixBus buys Eurolines/isilines from Transdev Group" (Press release). Transdev. 2 May 2019. Archived from the original on 13 June 2019.
  23. ^ Lundgren, Ingrid (4 March 2019). "FlixBus, the German Uber-like bus service, is buying rival". TechCrunch.
  24. ^ "German FlixBus moves to acquire prominent Turkish bus company Kamil Koç". Daily Sabah. 21 August 2019.
  25. ^ "FlixMobility acquires Greyhound to Expand U.S. Intercity Bus Services" (Press release). Flixbus. 21 October 2021.
  26. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (21 October 2021). "Germany's FlixMobility acquires Greyhound Lines, the iconic". TechCrunch.
  27. ^ "Germany's Flixbus acquires US Greyhound bus company". Deutsche Welle. 21 October 2021.
  28. ^ "FlixBus owner hitches ride with Greyhound as FirstGroup exits". Reuters. 21 October 2021.
  29. ^ O'Donnell, Paul; Walters, Natalie (21 October 2021). "Dallas-based Greyhound sells to Europe's largest long-distance bus network". The Dallas Morning News.
  30. ^ "FlixBus owner hitches ride with Greyhound as FirstGroup exits". Reuters. 21 October 2021.
  31. ^ "Flix announces most successful year ever, with record revenues and profitability on EBITDA level in 2022". Flixbus. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  32. ^ "Flixbus roof sheared off by bridge – DW – 12/05/2017". dw.com. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  33. ^ Treppo, Paola (19 May 2018). "Bus della Flixbus si ribalta sull'A4 in provincia di Udine: 26 feriti, uno grave". Il Messaggero.
  34. ^ "Several injured in mystery Flixbus crash". Deutsche Welle. 17 August 2018.
  35. ^ "Update: 16 injured after Flixbus travelling from Stockholm to Berlin tips over in crash". The Local. 17 August 2018.
  36. ^ "Zurich coach accident claims second victim". Swissinfo. 2 January 2019.
  37. ^ "Drei Schwerverletzte Zwei Flixbus-Unfälle in einer Nacht". Berliner Zeitung (in German). 5 June 2019.
  38. ^ "One dead, many injured in German Flixbus crash". Deutsche Welle. 20 May 2019.
  39. ^ "Un mort et 17 blessés, dont un grave, dans un accident de car Flixbus dans l'Aude" [One dead and 17 injured, including one seriously, in a Flixbus bus accident in Aude]. L'Obs (in French). 6 October 2019.
  40. ^ "Dozens injured in France Flixbus bus crash". Deutsche Welle. 3 November 2019.
  41. ^ Ro.Ma. "Près de trois mois après le décès de Sultan, livreur percuté par un Flixbus, des poteaux sont installés boulevard Albert II, proche de la Gare du Nord". La Dernière Heure (in French).
  42. ^ "'Twee maanden na dood fietskoerier nog niks veranderd'". BRUZZ (in Dutch). 16 April 2023.
  43. ^ a b Parker, Benjamin (5 June 2023). "Flixbus passengers offered just €10 meal voucher after fatal bus crash". The Independent.
  44. ^ "1 dead and 76 injured in a bus crash on a major highway in southeastern Czech Republic". ABC News. 17 July 2023.
  45. ^ "One dead and 20 injured after Flixbus travelling from Berlin overturns in Austria". The Local. 19 September 2023.
  46. ^ "Einhaltung der Sozialvorschriften im Straßenverkehr und der Arbeitszeiten bei Fernlinienbusunternehmen ..." (in German). North Rhine-Westphalia. 9 August 2016.
  47. ^ "Verkehrsminister fordern Maut für Fernbusse" [Transport ministers call for tolls for long-distance buses]. Die Zeit (in German). 14 April 2016.
  48. ^ "bdo weist Forderungen nach einer Fernbusmaut zurück" [bdo rejects calls for a long-distance bus toll]. www.bdo.org (in German). 18 April 2015.
  49. ^ Arzt, Ingo (3 August 2016). "Flixbus schluckt Postbus: Die Fernbuskrake" [The long-distance bus cracks]. Die Tageszeitung (in German).
  50. ^ Jahns, Christin; Schultz, Stefan (3 August 2016). "Flixbus kauft Postbus: Was die Fernbusfusion für Fahrgäste bedeutet" [What the long-distance bus merger means for passengers]. Spiegel Online (in German).
  51. ^ Doll, Nikolaus (3 August 2016). "Das bedeutet das neue Fernbus-Monopol für Kunden" [That means the new long-distance bus monopoly for customers]. Die Welt (in German).
  52. ^ Kardell, Malin (4 July 2020). "Karin Isgren: "Jag kände mig chockad och orolig"" [Karin Isgren: "I felt shocked and worried"]. Aftonbladet.
  53. ^ Suncbeck, Johanna (14 July 2020). "Karin Isgren: "Bussbolag: Otydligt om avstånd från Folkhälsomyndigheten"" [Bus company: Unclear about distance from the Public Health Agency]. Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish).
  54. ^ "Class Action Lawsuit Alleges "Discrimination and Humiliation" by FlixBus Passengers with Disabilities Repeatedly Denied Accessible Vehicles". Disability Rights Legal Center. 14 May 2020.
  55. ^ Doyle, Michael (5 June 2023). "Australian involved in fatal Italian bus crash says company offered $16 meal voucher". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

External links[edit]