German bus company takes on NS with intercity travel

Aerial view of Dutch train at a bridge crossing a canalGerman bus company FlixBus plans to take on Dutch railway company NS with a network of long distance routes in the Netherlands.

The low cost company already operates international routes in Germany, France, Belgium and Czech Republic and began adding Dutch cities to its schedule a year ago.

It is increasing its frequency on the Nijmegen-Eindhoven-Antwerp-Brussels route this week and has just added Hengelo as the 11th Dutch city on its network.

FlixBus now wants to set up a intercity bus service in the Netherlands between Groningen and Eindhoven.


Intercity bus transport in the Netherlands and allowing passengers to get in and out of buses on international routes is ‘allowed’, former junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld has said, the Volkskrant notes.

Mansveld resigned last week after the publication of a damning report into the Fyra high-speed train debacle.

According to Mansveld, the law covering public transport does have leeway to allow this sort of initiative.


However, FlixBus’ plans will have to be weighed up by provincial governments. They can refuse to licence the German company for intercity services if this ‘means existing public transport on the same routes suffers’.

The plan for a route between Groningen and Eindhoven does not seem to affect Dutch bus companies, the Volkskrant says. But it would be tough competition for the NS, particularly as FlixBus is a low cost operation.

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