Greyhound Acquired by Fast-Growing FlixMobility, which Aims to Expand Bus Travel in the US
By Dan Zukowski
October 29, 2021
Peter Pantuso, president of the American Bus Association, said that the industry, which is mostly composed of small, family-owned businesses, operated at just 15% to 20% of available capacity in 2020. “We've lost about a quarter of the companies that were in the industry in 2019,” he said. He estimates that scheduled intercity bus lines are currently operating at about 45% or 50% of 2019 capacity. They serve nearly 3,000 communities, and Greyhound says it reaches 2,400 of those.
But an industry-wide driver shortage could impede growth. “As the industry has started to come back, the driver shortage issues are playing absolute havoc on the industry,” Pantuso said. He explained that many laid-off drivers decided to retire while others took jobs in trucking. Asked how FlixBus would address that, Schwämmlein said they would offer good working conditions and a strong brand.
With the industry suffering from weakened bus travel prior to and through the pandemic, Pantuso sees the Greyhound acquisition as an “attractive opportunity” for Flix. He’s optimistic that the future will bring travelers back to intercity buses.