A European bus company with destinations across the country recently added a stop at OU’s Lloyd Noble Center.
FlixBus created a bus stop in November 2019 with direct connections to Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Houston, Dallas and several other cities in Texas. The company’s mission is to attract millennials and young people who might not have cars or may be trying to save money, said Michael Kahn, FlixBus’ head of business development.
“Our whole idea is that we really want to make bus travel something that is cool again, with especially a younger demographic of passengers,” Kahn said.
FlixBus was founded in Germany in 2013 and is currently the largest bus company in Europe, Kahn said. It expanded to the U.S. in 2018 and added stops in Oklahoma cities late last year.
Besides large cities, the company currently has stops at college campuses in California, Arizona and Texas, Kahn said. The Lloyd Noble stop is the first FlixBus stop at an Oklahoma university.
FlixBus does not own any buses itself, instead partnering with local bus operators in each state. The business model allows it to offer cheaper bus tickets than many of its competitors, Kahn said.
Customers are also given the option, while purchasing tickets, to offset the carbon dioxide impact with an extra payment.
“Essentially, what that means is we then donate that money directly to help plant trees that sort of offset the carbon emission,” Kahn said.
Kris Glenn, director of OU Parking and Transportation Services, said FlixBus reached out to OU to coordinate a stop. Glenn recommended Lloyd Noble Center as a good location.
“I think as more and more students choose not to bring a car to campus, or even if they do, this is an affordable, convenient way to travel,” Glenn said in an email.
Bus tickets can be booked through the FlixBus app, where passengers can also track their bus via GPS. Tickets can also be booked through flixbus.com.
One-way tickets from Norman to Tulsa start at around $5, while tickets from Norman to Houston range from $10 to $25.
Correction: This post was updated at 12:20 p.m. Feb. 2 to reflect the correct spelling of FlixBus' head of business development Michael Kahn's name.