A FlixBus passes down Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The new bus service will run two trips a day between Biloxi and New Orleans and once daily to three other cities (handout photo).

FlixBus, which offers bus service across Europe and the West, will start offering daily service to Baton Rouge and New Orleans beginning Thursday, with one-way introductory fares starting as low as 99 cents.

The bus will pick up passengers three times a day in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, offering regular trips to Houston, San Antonio and Biloxi, Mississippi. In Baton Rouge, FlixBus will pick up passengers downtown at 138 Florida Blvd. In New Orleans, the stop is at 2105 Gravier St.

A route map can be found here

Pierre Gourdain, managing director for FlixBus, said the service is able to offer better service than its competitors because of agreements it has with local operators. “These are all local bus companies with roots in the ground,” he said. “They have the best operators so you get the full Louisiana hospitality experience.” Because the drivers and buses are already operating, FlixBus can offer better service at a lower price, which enables people to take more trips to visit family members or loved ones, Gourdain said.

Top stories in Baton Rouge in your inbox

Twice daily we'll send you the day's biggest headlines. Sign up today.

FlixBus will partner with Louisiana Motor Coach and three Texas companies for daily operation of the buses while it will handle the technology development, network planning, operations control and marketing. The buses offer amenities such as free Wi-Fi and complementary onboard entertainment, including movies, TV shows, music and video games. 

FlixBus was launched in Munich in 2013 following deregulation of the German bus market. It now provides service to 27 European countries, stretching from Spain to Belarus. About six months ago, FlixBus entered the U.S. market, serving travelers in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. So far, the U.S. service has had about 500,000 passengers, half of whom had never taken a public bus before.

Globally, FlixBus handled 45 million passengers in 2018.

FlixBus plans to expand into other Louisiana markets. By the summer, the goal is to offer bus service out of Lafayette and Lake Charles, Gourdain said.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.