A new bus stop in Foggy Bottom will give students and locals the opportunity to travel to cities across the East Coast on buses run by a company working to reduce the environmental footprint of its travel.
Locals can purchase FlixBus tickets from the new stop, which was installed earlier this month at the intersection of 19th and E streets for as low as $11. A spokesperson for the German company said tickets come with an option to purchase carbon offset credits that help fund Atmosfair, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce carbon emissions.
The launch of the stop comes after a yearslong effort by the company to install the intercity service in Foggy Bottom, which the COVID-19 pandemic delayed since discussions started in fall 2020. The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission approved the installation of the bus stop in November.
Francesca La Brecque, the business development associate at Flixbus, said the bus company is the first to offer an option for travelers to offset their carbon emissions with an additional 1 to 3 percent cost to their ticket, which funds sustainability projects like planting trees.
“Part of the reason to go with the green color of the buses is we’re really focused on trying to have a greener future,” La Brecque said.
FlixBus has offered service in 39 countries since it was founded in Munich, Germany in 2013, originally arriving on the East Coast in 2019.
La Brecque said the planning for the new stop has been a “long time coming” after working with ANC commissioners for more than a year to settle on the spot near the Elliott School of International Affairs because of its proximity to campus and minimal impact on traffic and parking.
“Once it became clear that the pandemic back in 2020 would be longer than a couple of weeks, we had to figure out on the technical side how the meetings were going to work and restart those conversations as we moved into the period of having buses on the road again,” La Brecque stated.
FlixBus does not have any stops near other universities in D.C. like Georgetown or American universities, but students still account for 15 to 25 percent of customers in D.C. – FlixBus’ second-largest East Coast market.
“Students are a pretty significant portion of our market,” La Brecque said.
La Brecque said the accessibility of the new stop because of its proximity to campus will be one of the highlights for potential passengers, especially if they don’t have a car.
“People tend not to have cars so the closer things are so if you can walk to them certainly makes a difference in terms of that accessibility into long-distance travel,” La Brecque said.
John George, the president of the Foggy Bottom Association, said the new bus stop will be an asset to local residents and workers as well as students.
“Riders consider how easy it is to get to the bus,” George said. “We don’t want to take the Metro to the bus or walk up to Dupont Circle based on where we live.”
George said FlixBus is also providing benefits to residents because of their increased options and lower prices when compared to competitors.
“I think having inter-city transportation is important throughout a major city with competitors like in D.C. so people have choice,” he said. “Choice helps with competitive pricing and picking the way that bus looks or comfort or its schedule.”
This article appeared in the February 28, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.