FlixBus sees high demand as services grow in region

By Isabel Buckmaster

FlixBus offers trips from Kitchener and Waterloo to Pearson International Airport as demand for the transit company’s services continues to grow across Ontario. 

Making stops in downtown Kitchener and at the University of Waterloo, the move will add two trips daily in each direction on Sundays, Thursdays, and Fridays. 

“Rather than having to take a taxi, rent or borrow a car, having the option of a bus with frequent daily departures to get you from Kitchener directly to the Pearson Airport is an amazing option,” said Emily Eisenhart, a member of FlixBus’ East Coast team. “Having the airport connection enables us to further serve our passengers and allow them to travel seamlessly to their end destination without having to rely on a last-mile substitute.” 

The first bus of the day leaves at 10 a.m., arriving at Pearson at 11:20 a.m. The second trip of the day departs at 5:30 p.m. and arrives at the airport by 6:50 p.m.

Tickets start at just under $16.

“In a larger city like Kitchener, cars increasingly are becoming sort of prohibitively expensive,” said Eisenhart. “We definitely pride ourselves in being considered an affordable, alternative option that enables a car-free lifestyle.” 

In 2018, FlixBus launched in the U.S. before branching out to Canada in April 2022, offering trips from Kitchener to Toronto and the surrounding areas.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this week, the carbon-friendly transit company currently operates in 40 countries worldwide. 

“Canada is the dream market for us,” said Eisenhart. “Normally when you launch in a new region, it takes a few months for ridership to pick up. And I think something that was really surprising about entering the Ontario market, and specifically Kitchener, was just the demand that we saw for travel was almost instantaneous.”

In 2022, FlixBus had thousands of riders in Waterloo Region. 

Since launching its first cross-border routes between New York City and Toronto, and Seattle and Vancouver in May 2022, the company now offers trips to Detroit and will likely add new stops to its roster later in the year. 

“I think we started with a lightweight network in Ontario and then we've been able to rapidly expand our portfolio and our service offerings,” said Eisenhart. “So we’re continuing to grow our cross border service, and are looking for more ways to add to what we already offer.” 

As for their environmental impact, passengers are able to purchase carbon offset credits when booking to compensate for their trip's minimal emissions. In North America, they’ve partnered with atmosfair to give customers the option to travel carbon-friendly for an additional (optional) cost of one to three per cent of the original ticket price. 

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