Transportation

Transit App Adds Bus Service to Florida Cities

OurBus will allow riders in five Florida cities to track buses and book trips from their smartphones.

by Sarasota Herald-Tribune / May 22, 2018
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(TNS) — A company that has added an app and other technology to the old idea of traveling by bus is adding service in Florida with a route connecting Tampa to Miami, with stops in Sarasota, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale.

OurBus, which describes itself as "a tech company that specializes in intercity and crowdsourced bus routes," said it will begin its service Friday and run Fridays to Sundays until next month, when it will expand to seven days per week.

Promotional fares are available for the first two weeks at just $10 each way, the company said.

"Fort Myers and Sarasota are two of the largest cities in the country that don't have express long-distance bus service," said Axel Hellman, the company's co-founder. "There are no flights from Fort Myers or Sarasota to Miami, so people here are used to making long drives. Taking the bus is more convenient, and more environmentally friendly."

OurBus' claim to crowdsourcing comes from its willingness to establish a route if enough people request one. It is a tech company because it provides a platform for booking trips, via a website or app, and doesn't operate any buses itself.

OurBus is partnering with My South Bus Tours, a Florida-based operator, to provide the new service in the state.

Its app, which is available for Android and iOS devices, can track buses and book trips.

Boarding for the Florida route will be in downtown Tampa, the Cattleman Transfer Center in Sarasota, Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport.

OurBus vehicles have free Wi-Fi, reclining seats, individual mobile-device charging ports, bottled water and bathrooms.

The company was founded in 2016 and is based in New York City. Its routes are concentrated in the cities of the Northeast and East Coast.

©2018 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.