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BlaBlaCar Bus and FlixBus take positions in Spain taking advantage of the tourist boom

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 15:10:03

International bus companies seek to position themselves in Spain in the face of the opening songs to the competition that are beginning to be ruminated on in the road transport sector. A hypothetical liberalization, for which more and more players who are not part of the Spanish concession map are pressing, will open the door for important players at a European level such as Flixbus or the BlaBlaCar bus subsidiary to enter to operate routes that today are exclusively iva the two largest bus companies in Spain, Alsa and AvanzaBus.

Both firms provide most of the long-distance lines in Spain under the conceptual model, in force for decades and which is based on the fact that the State grants and renews certain administrative licenses to provide this service, demanding certain conditions in its provision. The CNMC has been opposed to this model and has demanded more competitiveness be implemented in bus transport, arguing that bus users in Spain pay much higher fares than their main European neighbours.

The last word is in the hands of the central Executive, who until now has only taken small steps without actually opening the market. It has done so through the Sustainable Mobility Law, now decayed by the electoral call, which included the possibility of removing state-owned lines to free competition, which are those that cover long routes between large cities and towns of different sizes. regions.

The successful liberalization of passenger rail on high-speed lines, which has been saved with falls in ticket prices and a substantial increase in supply and demand, has been cataloged by actors as a mirror to demonstrate the virtues of free competition. And to put pressure on the government, either the current one or the one that comes out of the general elections on June 23 —the PSOE has started this process and the PP has not shown itself opposed to the opening of the market—, they have intensified their presence both institutional level as well as on the highway, opening new routes and increasing its offer of places in the middle of the tourist season.

BlaBlaCar will compete with Renfe in France

Making use of what is liberalized, which are international routes, BlaBlaCar Bus (previously called BlaBlaBus) has announced three new routes between Spain and France that allow it to position its service, given that its brand is well known in the about segment. of the shared car. In this way, from June 29 it will be possible to travel between Barcelona and Paris in 12 hours from 50 euros, a route that aims to compete with the plane and the train that Renfe will launch at the end of the month.

The other two new routes will link Tarragona and Aix-En-Provence in nine and a half hours; and you can travel directly from Murcia to Paris for 60 euros on a journey that will probably last a day (22 hours and 55 minutes). For this case, stops have been established in Alicante, Benidorm, Valencia, Castellón, Tarragona, Barcelona, ​​​​Perpignan, Narbonne, Béziers, Montpellier and Lyon.

During Easter Week, BlaBlaCar deployed a significant number of routes from the main cities of the country (Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona,​​Bilbao, San Sebastián, Santander, Oviedo, La Coruña and Vigo) to different cities in France and Portugal. The platform aims to squeeze the potential of the connections between its buses and shared cars so that travelers can travel from end to end with its brand.

Flixbus asks to leave behind the dealership model

For its part, FlixBus, a giant brand at the European level but whose presence in Spain has been limited to international lines since 2016, is trying to publicize its service offer while defending a revolution in the model: “all Indian metrics While the bus has been losing passengers since the turn of the century, users on state lines have plummeted from 45 to 30 million between 2009 and 2019.” They denounce that the concession system and the current law prevent the generation of new routes beyond the map set by the administration: “There would be profitable routes that could be launched only by allowing them to operate in competition.”

The company’s green buses operate services to the main towns and tourist spots in Portugal (Lisbon, Porto or Faro), France and the rest of Europe through connections beyond the Pyrenees. As for local routes, it only has tickets for sale for a regional line to Ávila and different towns in that province ending in Baños de Montemayor (Cáceres) provided by one of its partners, Autobuses Jiménez Dorado.

It has routes that cover the entire Peninsula from north to south and that go beyond the Pyrenees, such as those linking Algeciras with France, designed to simulate Operation Passage of the Strait; and they make use of the possibilities offered by relatively close cross-border routes, such as San Sebastián-Hendaye-Bayonne.

In addition, it has an insignificant number of routes to Andorra and international connections from airports such as El Prat. Its operation is based on associating with local companies and guaranteeing them a minimum income, also unifying technology. Flixbus sources claim to have agreements signed with more than a hundred years of bus companies throughout Europe.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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