April 22, 2018

RedCoach and Kissimmee-based Florida Express Bus launched their luxury bus services in 2010.

Photo: Gregg Matthews

RedCoach Interior

RedCoach and Kissimmee-based Florida Express Bus launched their luxury bus services in 2010.

Photo: Gregg Matthews

Luxury bus transportation in Florida is "On a Roll"

Jerry Jackson | 2/19/2013

The past five years have seen the re-emergence of bus transportation, with a number of companies providing intercity bus travel on comfortable coaches with competitive fares, more routes and a focus on speed and convenience.

The trend has taken root in Florida as well. When Bill Hennessey founded Florida Express Bus in Kissimmee in early 2010, buses were just beginning to make inroads competing against short-haul airlines on popular routes. By staying lean and offering low fares, Florida Express grabbed a decent share of the Orlando-Miami traffic, so much so that at first it was known as the Orlando Miami Bus.

The small company, which does most of its booking online and its marketing through Facebook, has since expanded to serve more than two dozen other cities in Florida and the Southeast. In contrast to many airlines, which have dropped meals and slashed other amenities, Florida Express has created a number of luxury buses outfitted with galleys and staffed with attendants who serve salads, sandwiches, drinks and snacks and act as “full-service concierges.” Even the company’s smaller buses feature reclining bucket seats with arm rests and reading lights.

Among other bus transportation companies in Florida:

» RedCoach USA links most major cities statewide and launched daily service from Orlando and Miami in 2010. Buses feature reclining leather seats with extra legroom.

» rolled into the Orlando area in 2011 and made a splash with fares as low as $1 and daily service to Jacksonville, Atlanta and other cities.

» Shortly after RedCoach entered the Orlando market and spread statewide, Greyhound launched Greyhound Express, offering similar premium, direct service to and from centers such as Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale.

The companies are succeeding in part by attracting college students and young adults. They offer free wi-fi computer access, laptop work tables and other features, without the downside of airport security and other delays.

With lower fixed-costs, the companies have more flexibility to add or drop locations and routes based on changing traveler demands.

Tags: Central, Travel & Tourism

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Celebrity Edge, where dining really is on the edge
Celebrity Edge, where dining really is on the edge

Le Petit Chef, a tiny animated chef who creates a whimsical dessert, is a key ingredient in what Celebrity Cruises calls an immersive fusion of entertainment and dining on its newest ship, Celebrity Edge, debuting in Fort Lauderdale.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Who should pay for increased security at Florida's K-12 schools?

  • School districts, out of their budget
  • Cities and Counties
  • State of Florida
  • Other (comments welcome)

See Results

Ballot Box