Capital Region

New bus service to link Schenectady, Albany to NYC starting Thursday

This image shows an example of a FlixBus. (Photo credit: flixbus.com)

This image shows an example of a FlixBus. (Photo credit: flixbus.com)

SCHENECTADY — A new bus service between New York City and Albany and Schenectady will launch Thursday.

FlixBus will start the route with a single bus each day in each direction, with three stops in the Capital Region: The Amtrak station in Rensselaer, the University at Albany and Gateway Park in Schenectady. Fares start at $9.99.

Germany’s FlixMobility, parent company of FlixBus USA, on Oct. 21 completed its acquisition of the venerable Greyhound intercity bus company, which also serves Albany and Schenectady. 

A FlixBus spokesman told The Gazette on Monday that there will be no immediate change in Greyhound service as a result.

FlixBus has been primarily a point-to-point intercity bus line. A passenger could presumably string several of these regional routes together but FlixBus has not functioned as a long-distance network the way Greyhound has. 

The acquisition of Greyhound could suggest an expansion of the FlixBus business model, the spokesman said, but that has not been decided or announced.

FlixBus does not own a fleet of buses or employ a workforce of drivers; it contracts with local companies and wraps their buses with the FlixBus logo. It handles the business services such as scheduling and ticket sales, which require fewer assets and less physical infrastructure.

It also markets itself as a green company: Its first electric bus on a regular route in the United States is expected to hit the road later this month, and customers also have the option of buying CO2 Compensation tickets when booking their bus ride, a voluntary environmental contribution to the National Forest Foundation that adds 1% to 3% to the ticket price.

The company runs buses on biogas in Europe and a corporate sibling, FlixTrain, links some of the bus routes.

Northbound buses to the Capital Region will depart from 31st Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan at 9 a.m., with arrival at the Rensselaer Amtrak Station at 11:30 a.m., the University at Albany at 11:50 p.m. and Schenectady at 12:15 p.m.

Southbound buses will depart Schenectady at 4:15 p.m., the University at Albany at 4:45, and Rensselaer at 5 p.m., with arrival in midtown Manhattan at 7:30 p.m.

Service from Albany to Burlington, Vermont, is expected to start later this month.

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