FlixMobility takes ownership of the iconic Greyhound bus brand: What does this mean for riders?
Traveling by bus may not be the most glamorous option in the world, but, for many, the patchwork of intercity bus operators across the U.S. provides an important — and affordable — way to get from point A to point B.
Beyond a simple means of transportation, America's bus system has inspired countless artists, including beatnik author Jack Kerouac, as he saw the country unfold through the window of a bus. While the reality of bus travel is not nearly as romantic and nostalgic as it's often painted in the movies, it still plays a vital transportation role.
The fate of one of the most recognized bus companies, Greyhound Lines, has been in the balance since its owner FirstGroup announced it was putting the brand up for sale back in May 2019. Then the pandemic happened and the process slowed considerably.
In fact, in early July 2021, Greyhound announced it was shuttering subsidiary BoltBus — you know, the chain of buses that promised seats with decent legroom and power outlets, good Wi-Fi and tickets as cheap as $1.
OK, usually only one seat on each bus was priced at $1, but it was a great gimmick to draw potential riders. For many, it was their preferred method of transportation between New York and cities like Boston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
But, the future of Greyhound's bus network is now clear: FlixMobility — the provider behind the FlixBus and FlixTrains brands — has purchased the company.
According to Greyhound, "The Transaction results in cash consideration to the Group of $172m, comprising $140m paid initially, with $32m in unconditional deferred consideration paid in installments over 18 months.
If you're not already familiar with FlixBus USA, it launched in 2018 and focuses on Southwest destinations, from Phoenix to Las Vegas to Los Angeles. It has since expanded to additional cities in the South, Northeast and Pacific Northwest.
So, in reality, what does this mean for riders? FlixMobility says the acquisition will help FlixBus "be better able to service the needs of intercity bus travelers in the U.S. Intercity bus lines were a lifeline during the pandemic for communities and essential workers, and as economies re-open, they will be a tremendous driver for sustainable growth across the company."
The overall network will expand with Greyhound's 2,400 existing destinations across North America. FlixMobility will be better positioned to serve the needs of passengers across the country that are looking for affordable and comfortable ways to travel.