Next week, a Florida-based intercity bus company will bring its service to San Antonio, offering travelers a new option for getting to Austin, Houston, Waco and Dallas.
Beginning April 28, RedCoach will offer daily departures from downtown at 165 Bowie St. to downtown stops in Austin, Houston and Dallas. Additional destinations include a stop near Baylor University in Waco and a stop in the Dallas suburb of Richardson.
Since 2012, intercity bus service in San Antonio has been dominated by Megabus, which offers similar routes between Texas cities. Like VonLane, RedCoach has positioned itself as a more luxurious bus option, offering what it describes as “first-class” seating.
“For us, San Antonio was the perfect place,” said Florencia Cirigliano, vice president of marketing and sales for RedCoach. “We will really want to hit that golden triangle. We feel like San Antonio is not just a place to visit and go to the River Walk; it has so much to offer.”
Before RedCoach could think about expanding services to San Antonio, company officials met with VIA Metropolitan Transit to make sure they followed local guidelines.
Because RedCoach is not considered public transportation, VIA agreed to let the company establish a stop downtown in front of the former Macy’s store at the Shops at Rivercenter, as long the company picks up and drops off within 30 minutes, does not idle or stop for hours and does not block the street or leave buses unattended, Cirigliano said.
Founders of the company, which has billed itself as an affordable alternative to long distance driving, have more than 50 years experience of running transportation businesses in Argentina, where bus travel is more common, Cirigliano said.
RedCoach has been operating in Florida since 2010 and expanded to Texas in October 2021, offering routes to Houston, Dallas, Austin, Waco and College Station. Since then, two more stops were added in Katy and Richardson. Cirigliano said the company has worked to challenge the reputation of bus travel from being seen as a “last option” by telling people, “Public transportation is good.”
“There’s a perception, but I think that’s changing. I believe the whole industry is doing a better job,” she said.
Rising gas prices have helped the company attract new customers, Cirigliano said. “People are more willing to try different things because they have to be more creative and say, ’Hey, I need to find cheaper ways to travel,’” she said.
Fares begin at $15 one-way and vary depending on what day of the week you are traveling and how far in advance the seat is booked.
Trips can be booked online or at the stop at the downtown location. One-way or round trips are available, with options for child, student and senior discounts.
Each bus carries 26 people and provides reclinable seating, free Wi-Fi, power outlets and no baggage fees.