A German bus company that currently operates routes in 29 countries has arrived in Boston. FlixBus is launching with daily round-trip service from Tufts University in Medford to New York, and Boston to New York.
While multiple bus companies already service the Boston-New York route, FlixBus managing director Pierre Gourdain said his company is aimed at reaching travelers who normally wouldn’t take the bus.
“What we really wanted to do is put people on the bus who have never really seen it as an option,” he said. “We have plenty of legroom, Wi-Fi, power outlets at every seat, and a bathroom in the bus so you don’t need to wait for the driver to stop.”
To introduce the service to Bostonians, the company is offering fares beginning at $5 each way, plus a $2 service fee. The company allows customers to reserve a seat, so there’s no need to elbow to the front of the line. Riders can also track the progress of the buses in real time on the company’s website and through its mobile app.
Boston buses depart from 90 Traveler Street. Tufts University buses depart from 38 Professors Row.
“Once you have your ticket, you can find your bus online,” he said. “So this is like Uber. You will see your bus arriving. If your bus is late, and it’s bound to happen once in a while between New York and Boston with traffic, you will know that in advance.”
FlixBus is also compared to Uber because the company doesn’t own any of the buses that service the routes; instead it contracts with charter bus companies. Gourdain said FlixBus is “mostly a data company.”
“On the one side, you have a trove of small and medium-size bus companies who are owning and running buses,” he said. “They know exactly what’s going on. On the other side you have FlixBus, and we’re good at planning routes, we are good at setting prices. So basically it’s the best of both worlds.”
FlixBus is currently Europe’s largest bus service network, serving nearly 45 million passengers in 2018.