(Photo by Ethan O’Malley)
This fall, Newark saw the addition of an intercity bus service — FlixBus — providing access to New Jersey Transit as well as Newark Liberty International Airport. FlixBus, according to its press release, is North America’s fastest-growing intercity mobility provider.
“We try to not only serve big cities but also smaller cities — cities near other large cities. Newark is really a great example,” said Flixbus’ Senior Government Relations Associate Paul Henjes said, who spearheaded the company’s expansion into Newark. “It’s really close to New York but also has a really large population. We already are running through the area between Philadelphia and New York, so why not make a stop?”
The line has stops at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Annapolis, Maryland; Washington D.C.; and Richmond, Virginia.
With the NJIT, Essex County College, and Rutgers-Newark campuses in the vicinity, it was important for FlixBus to focus on adding stops that are as close to students as possible. “One thing that we know is that students are a good portion of our ridership,” Henjes added. “For example, in Florida and the western United States, we have stops directly on campus at several universities.”
A quality that sets FlixBus apart from other transportation services is its commitment to sustainability and eco-friendliness. “It’s the first intercity bus network in the United States to pilot electric intercity bus service,” he stated. The service has had four pilots since 2019, with the most recent one being in August between Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.
Henjes mentioned that shorter routes, such as Philadelphia to New York, are very promising. “The main barrier is how long the buses can run with electric batteries that we have in today’s technology,” he explained. “So, I think Newark could be a potential location in the future.”
One of the challenges the team faced when considering Newark was the traffic that northern New Jersey faces regularly.
“Detouring off of any turnpike, for any city, is kind of difficult. I think that particularly when customers want to get between Philadelphia and New York or Washington D.C. and New York, they don’t want the bus to get off the highway for any reason,” he said. “Trying to balance the desire for express trips and traffic with expanding the market reach to FlixBus is something we’re always juggling.”
The service runs seven days a week, with both morning and afternoon departures. Its relatively low cost has attracted customers in Europe and the United States, and it now provides more access to the Northeast Corridor with this year’s holiday season underway.
The exact address for the Newark stop is 1 Raymond Plz. W. and is found steps away from Newark Penn Station. Tickets and more information are available on its app as well as FlixBus.com.