FlixBus

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Flix SE
TypePrivate
IndustryTransport, Travel, Travel technology
Founded2011; 11 years ago (2011)
FoundersDaniel Krauss, Jochen Engert, Olaf Rosati, André Schwämmlein
HeadquartersMunich
Area served
Europe
United States
Brazil
Canada
ServicesIntercity bus service
Revenue€500 million (2018)[1]
OwnerGeneral Atlantic
Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
Silver Lake Partners[2]
Websitewww.flixbus.com
A bus in the brand's green livery
Setra in the pre-merger blue colour scheme
Setra S 431 DT

FlixBus (German pronunciation: ['flɪksbʊs]; styled FLiXBUS) is a German brand that offers intercity bus service in Europe, North America, and Brazil. It is owned by the mobility platform Flix SE (until April 2022: FlixMobility GmbH), which also operates Flixtrain, FlixCar, Kâmil Koç and Greyhound Lines. As of June 2021, FlixMobility GmbH was valued at US$3 billion.[2]

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.[3][4][5][6]

In 2018, the company had a 90% market share of intercity bus travel in Germany.[7] As of February 2018, 60% of the company's customers were female and 33% were between the ages of 18 and 25.[8]

History[edit]

FlixBus' second logo, used from January 2015 until 4 May 2016
A Hector Rail-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, Olaf Rosati and André Schwämmlein and launched its first three routes in February 2013 in Bavaria, Germany. It was founded to take advantage of Germany opening up its bus market to competition in 2013.[7]

In January 2015, the company merged with MeinFernbus.[9]

In May 2015, it entered the liberalized French market with "FlixBus France",[10] and in August it launched an Italian subsidiary in Milan.[11]

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.[12] At that time, it also had routes to Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark.[13]

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.[14][15]

In March 2016, the company launched its first routes to the United Kingdom and Spain.[16][17]

Effective 1 July 2016, FlixBus acquired Megabus Europe from Stagecoach Group, with Stagecoach remaining as contractor to operate the services.[18]

On 3 August 2016, FlixBus announced the acquisition of Postbus, a German competitor, from Deutsche Post for an undisclosed sum.[19]

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.[20]

On 28 February 2017, FlixBus announced that Danish bus company Abildskou, based in Aarhus, would become its first bus partner in Denmark.[21]

In May 2017, FlixBus announced it would take over the Hellö coach network from Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) in August 2017.[22]

In 2017, FlixBus launched service in Portugal.[23][24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

In April 2019, FlixBus acquired Eurolines and its Isilines brand from Transdev.[27][28]


In August 2019, FlixBus acquired Turkish bus company Kâmil Koç from private equity firm Actera Group.[29]

In July 2020, FlixBus launched intercity coach service in the United Kingdom, with routes from London to Birmingham, Bristol and Portsmouth (calling at Guildford) and resumed its services from London to mainland Europe. It also launched routes to Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.[30] In April 2022, FlixMobility GmbH was renamed Flix SE. The umbrella brand FlixMobility was replaced by Flix.


On 1 December 2021, FlixBus launched service in Brazil in partnership with Expresso Adamantina, a Brazilian bus company.[31]

North America[edit]

On 15 May 2018, FlixBus announced its expansion into the United States market, operating from a main hub in Los Angeles.[32][33] In March 2019, the company launched service in Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Biloxi, Mississippi.[34][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] On 21 October 2021, FlixBus acquired Greyhound Lines for US$78 million.[38][39][40][41][42][43]

In April 2022, FlixBus launched its Canadian operations with three routes in Ontario.[44] and in May expanded into British Columbia with routes from Vancouver to Bellingham, Everett and Seattle in Washington State.[45]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 5 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.[46]
  • On 19 May 2019, a bus rolled and crashed into a road safety barrier in Switzerland. One person was killed and 60 were injured.[47]
  • On 6 October 2019, a bus rolled and crashed near Bizanet. One person was killed and 17 were injured.[48]
  • On 3 November 2019, a bus rolled and crashed near Amiens, injuring more than 30 people.[49]
  • On 29 November 2019, a bus crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing one passenger.[50]

Controversies[edit]

Working conditions[edit]

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.[51]

Use of infrastructure without toll payments[edit]

Unlike train services and trucks, buses do not pay any road toll in Germany, which has been called a hidden subsidy by some German politicians.[52] 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 in subsidies are paid to national rail provider Deutsche Bahn.[53]

Dominant market share[edit]

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[54][55][56] 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[edit]

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.[57][58]

Following protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

In July 2020, the company's Swedish affiliate, FlixBuss AB, was criticized for not enforcing health protocols established by the Public Health Agency of Sweden during the COVID-19 pandemic.[59][60]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Flixbus sammelt 500 Millionen Euro ein und steigt ins Ridesharing ein". Handelsblatt. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b "FlixMobility raises over $650M in Funding at $3B Valuation planning further global expansion" (Press release). Flixbus. 2 June 2021.
  3. ^ Wembridge, Mark (6 June 2019). "Flixbus aims 'to make coach travelling cool again'". Financial Times.
  4. ^ "Mobility Challengers – Company Presentation by Jochen Engert, Founder & Managing Director of FlixBus at the NOAH 2015 Conference in Berlin". 10 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Bus Partners". FlixBus.
  6. ^ Ellingson, Annlee (15 May 2018). "European FlixBus brings tech-driven bus network to L.A." American City Business Journals.
  7. ^ a b "How Flixbus conquered the European coach market". The Economist. London. 10 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Reinventing Travel: FlixBus Celebrates Five Years of Booming Business" (Press release). Flixbus. 13 February 2018.
  9. ^ "MeinFernbus and FlixBus Become One" (Press release). Flixbus. 8 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Autocars: l'allemand FlixBus se lance en France". 19 May 2015.
  11. ^ "FlixBus: viaggiare per l'Italia spendendo solo 1 euro e 9 euro per l'Europa". 4 August 2015.
  12. ^ "FlixBus opent netwerk intercitybussen in Nederland". 24 November 2015.
  13. ^ Di Lucchio, Maurizio (12 August 2015). "Flixbus, la startup degli autobus low cost che vuole creare 1.000 posti di lavoro". economyup.it.
  14. ^ Johnston, Raymond (14 January 2016). "FlixBus expands international service from Czech cities". The Prague Post.
  15. ^ "Blaguss fährt mit deutschem Flixbus nach Osteuropa". wirtschaftsblatt.at. 21 January 2016.
  16. ^ "European leader of intercity buses enters the UK" (Press release). Flixbus. 16 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Green Mobility - European Leader Launches Service in Spain and the UK" (Press release). Flixbus. 17 March 2016.
  18. ^ "FlixBus to acquire Megabus" (Press release). Flixbus. 30 June 2016.
  19. ^ "FlixBus to acquire long distance coach service of Deutsche Post" (Press release). Flixbus. 3 August 2016.
  20. ^ Sommer, Mathias (27 September 2016). "Tysk busselskab satser på danske indenrigsruter". DR (in Danish).
  21. ^ "Abildskou bliver den første FlixBus-partner i Danmark (Abildskou becomes the first FlixBus partner in Denmark)" [Abildskou becomes the first FlixBus partner in Denmark] (in Danish). Flixbus. 28 February 2017.
  22. ^ "FlixBus acquires long-distance bus business 'HELLÖ'" (Press release). Flixbus. 23 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Flixbus triples passengers to and from Portugal". The Portugal News. 17 January 2020.
  24. ^ "FlixBus celebrates 7th birthday and announces further expansion" (Press release). Flixbus. 13 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Kooperation zwischen Fernbusanbieter und Fernzug-Startup Locomore" [Cooperation between long-distance bus providers and long-distance train startup Locomore - Resumption of train operations from 24 August] (Press release) (in German). Flixbus. 16 April 2017.
  26. ^ Barrow, Keith (6 March 2018). "FlixTrain to launch German open-access services this month". Rail Journal.
  27. ^ "Negotiations successfully completed: FlixBus buys Eurolines/isilines from Transdev Group" (Press release). Transdev. 2 May 2019. Archived from the original on 13 June 2019.
  28. ^ Lundgren, Ingrid (4 March 2019). "FlixBus, the German Uber-like bus service, is buying rival". TechCrunch.
  29. ^ "German FlixBus moves to acquire prominent Turkish bus company Kamil Koç". Daily Sabah. 21 August 2019.
  30. ^ "International expansion: FlixBus starts bus services in the UK and the Baltics" (Press release). Flixbus. 8 July 2020.
  31. ^ "FlixBus starts in Brazil – first connections from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte from Dec 1st" (Press release). Flixbus. 1 December 2021.
  32. ^ "FlixBus Launches in United States, Plans to Disrupt Traditional Bus Market" (Press release). Flixbus. 15 May 2018.
  33. ^ O'BRIEN, CHRIS (15 May 2018). "Germany's data-driven FlixBus launches in the U.S. to make bus travel cool again". VentureBeat.
  34. ^ Larino, Jennifer (27 March 2019). "German bus startup FlixBus launches in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
  35. ^ Selcraig, Bruce (5 March 2019). "FlixBus, a green entrant to U.S. bus travel, arriving in San Antonio". San Antonio Express-News.
  36. ^ Mathews, Chris (6 March 2019). "Europe's largest intercity bus network expands services to Houston, Gulf Coast region". American City Business Journals.
  37. ^ Schwieterman, Joseph; Antolin, Brian (11 July 2019). "How Greyhound, Coach USA sales will impact intercity bus lines". Metro Magazine.
  38. ^ "FlixMobility acquires Greyhound to Expand U.S. Intercity Bus Services" (Press release). Flixbus. 21 October 2021.
  39. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (21 October 2021). "Germany's FlixMobility acquires Greyhound Lines, the iconic". TechCrunch.
  40. ^ "Germany's Flixbus acquires US Greyhound bus company". Deutsche Welle. 21 October 2021.
  41. ^ "FlixBus owner hitches ride with Greyhound as FirstGroup exits". Reuters. 21 October 2021.
  42. ^ O'Donnell, Paul; Walters, Natalie (21 October 2021). "Dallas-based Greyhound sells to Europe's largest long-distance bus network". The Dallas Morning News.
  43. ^ "FlixMobility Acquires Greyhound to Expand U.S. Coach Services".{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  44. ^ (Press release) https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/flixbus-bus-service-ontario-market-1.6412670/. {{cite press release}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  45. ^ Chiappetta, Felicia (24 May 2022). "New bus service will get you from Vancouver to Seattle for just $18". Vancouver Is Awesome. Retrieved 25 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  46. ^ "Drei Schwerverletzte Zwei Flixbus-Unfälle in einer Nacht". Berliner Zeitung (in German). 5 June 2019.
  47. ^ "Un mort et 60 blessés dans un accident de car". Tribune de Genève (in Swiss French). 20 May 2019.
  48. ^ "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.
  49. ^ "Dozens injured in France Flixbus bus crash". Deutsche Welle. 3 November 2019.
  50. ^ "Thanksgiving charter bus crash on Turnpike kills 1". 20 February 2020.
  51. ^ "Einhaltung der Sozialvorschriften im Straßenverkehr und der Arbeitszeiten bei Fernlinienbusunternehmen ..." (in German). North Rhine-Westphalia. 9 August 2016.
  52. ^ "Verkehrsminister fordern Maut für Fernbusse". Die Zeit (in German). 14 April 2016.
  53. ^ "bdo weist Forderungen nach einer Fernbusmaut zurück" [bdo rejects calls for a long-distance bus toll]. www.bdo.org (in German). 18 April 2015.
  54. ^ Arzt, Ingo (3 August 2016). "Flixbus schluckt Postbus: Die Fernbuskrake" [The long-distance bus cracks]. Die Tageszeitung (in German).
  55. ^ 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).
  56. ^ 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).
  57. ^ Fender, Keith (10 September 2018). "Eurostar to trial passenger data exchange with Belgian authorities". Rail Journal.
  58. ^ "Le gouvernement donne son feu vert à deux projets pilotes élargissant le PNR". RTBF Info (in French). 25 July 2018.
  59. ^ Kardell, Malin (4 July 2020). "Karin Isgren: "Jag kände mig chockad och orolig"" [Karin Isgren: "I felt shocked and worried"]. Aftonbladet.
  60. ^ 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 Northern Sami).

External links[edit]

Media related to FlixBus at Wikimedia Commons