FlixBus, a European-based, low-cost bus service, will launch a new service in Pittsburgh next week, with trips to Columbus or New York City starting at $9.99.

The Columbus-to-New York City route, which also stops in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, replaces a route between Columbus and Washington, D.C., says company spokesman Albert Aydin. The change was made due to feedback from riders.

By comparison, Megabus rides from Pittsburgh to New York City start at about $45, according to its website. Greyhound trips start at about $36, according to its website.

“Our new bus route would provide an affordable, environmentally friendly, long-distance travel option for students and residents, and for people looking to do business in your community,” Aydin says.

FlixBus, which operates in 143 U.S. cities, also touts its sustainability. “Bus travel is more sustainable than if you have 50 people driving a car or taking a plane,” Aydin says. “Sustainability is one of our beliefs.”

Riders can add a fee, called “CO2 Compensation,” to their trip to offset the emissions that their bus emits. Those proceeds — Aydin estimates it to be about 1% to 2% of the ticket cost — are donated directly to the National Forest Foundation in the U.S.

The company plans to be carbon-neutral by 2030. It is currently piloting an electric bus on a route from San Francisco to Sacramento and is testing buses fitted with solar panels in Europe, Aydin says.

FlixBus touts amenities such as free WiFi, power outlets at every seat and one carry-on item and one checked baggage per ticket.

Currently, FlixBus boards at 912 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown, but that stop will change on March 5 to 1059 Penn Ave., near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Justin Vellucci

A former news reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Justin Vellucci currently freelances for a number of Pittsburgh publications and works as a staff writer for the music...