Coach company FlixBus to cut services due to rail tax support - media report
Wirtschaftswoche / Clean Energy Wire
Europe's largest coach service, FlixBus, has said it will discontinue many rural connections because the government only supports train travel with tax cuts, reports Dominik Reintjes in the business magazine Wirtschaftswoche. "We will reduce the frequency of connections, shorten lines, and jobs will be lost," said Andre Schwämmlein, founder and CEO of parent company FlixMobility, which dominates the German coach market. He called cutting the VAT to 7 from 19 percent only on train tickets – part of the government's 2030 Climate Action Programme – an "incredible disaster," adding that his company preferred to introduce environmental innovations abroad. Flixbus says it wants to test a "small fleet" of fuel cell buses in the next two years. "Given the framework conditions we have in Germany it doesn't look like we can implement that project here."
Munich-based FlixMobility carried 62 million passengers last year, an increase of 37 percent. The entire FlixMobility network now spans 2,500 destinations in 30 countries, which are served by coaches from FlixBus, trains from FlixTrain and newly acquired companies, such as Eurolines.
Meanwhile, the European Commission has approved, under EU state aid rules, a 300 million euro increase for an existing public support scheme for the purchase of electric buses and related recharging infrastructure by public transport operators in Germany. Thus, the scheme will have an overall budget of 650 million euros.