A FlixBus is seen in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman

A bus service with operations in the United States and Europe has opened routes connecting Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Houston.

FlixBus already has established operations on the East and West coasts, along with several European countries. The company doesn’t own its vehicles but instead contracts with local charters and provides marketing, route planning and technology development.

In Oklahoma City, FlixBus buses will be operated by Wynn Transportation and A Ambassador Transportation. The company will connect Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Stillwater, Norman, Thackerville and Denton, Texas, to Dallas and Houston.

Fares on FlixBus are remarkably low compared to other bus transport options, so much that FlixBus USA Managing Director Pierre Gourdain said the company won’t make a profit from introductory-priced ticket sales.

A ticket from Oklahoma City to Dallas this week costs $5, and a trip to New Orleans through Houston would cost about $30.

A trip from Tulsa to Oklahoma City is $4.99 plus a $2 service fee, according to the FlixBus website. The FlixBus stop at Tulsa is at 11 E. First St.

“Our goal is to provide convenient and eco-friendly long-distance travel options and encourage people to park their cars,” Gourdain said. “Since launching in the U.S. in 2018, FlixBus has created an entirely new demographic of bus travelers through a seamless app booking process, affordable prices and convenient stops, free Wi-Fi and more.”

He said that “65% of first-time FlixBus users had never taken a long-distance bus. We want to bring this experience to people across Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma travelers will be able to choose from multiple daily departures on the following round-trip route: South Houston/Hobby Airport, Dallas Bishop Arts District, Dallas Market Center, Dallas Love Field, Denton-Thackerville/Winstar Casino, Norman, Oklahoma City, Stillwater and Tulsa.

The Tulsa FlixBus stop is within walking distance of downtown amenities, including the business hub, the Tulsa Arts District and the BOK Center. Each bus has Wi-Fi connectivity and electrical outlets throughout the cabin.

“FlixBus is connecting Tulsans and visitors alike to hubs throughout Oklahoma and Texas, which in turn is good for commerce in our community,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said.

“FlixBus is providing high-tech transit solutions that are accessible to everyone, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them in Tulsa.”

After a Wednesday news conference in Oklahoma City announcing the service, which featured one of the new FlixBus-branded buses parked outside the Santa Fe Depot, several passengers began filing on board. The company had mistakenly opened sales early, Gourdain explained, and they sold eight or nine tickets to Dallas in just 40 minutes.

“There seems to really be a need for a new transport option,” he said.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said another option like FlixBus adds to connectivity between Tulsa and Dallas that residents have asked for.

“There’s a lot of people who do business in both cities and go back and forth and get tired of the boring straight-line drive on the Turner Turnpike and would like to be able to sit in comfort, check their emails, you know, check their voicemails, check their Facebook feed, whatever,” Holt said.

While many Oklahomans clamor for high-speed rail, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said building that infrastructure would be costly.

“Maybe that will happen someday, but that’s obviously very expensive both for the passenger and for the public sector to provide,” he said. “This is a much more affordable option.”

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