RedCoach brings its intercity bus service to San Antonio

Next week, a Florida-based intercity bus company will bring service to San Antonio, giving travelers a new option for getting to Austin, Houston, Waco and Dallas.

Beginning April 28, RedCoach will offer daily downtown departures 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 suburban Dallas in Richardson.

As of 2012, intercity bus service in San Antonio has been dominated by Megabus, which offers similar routes between cities in Texas. 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 at RedCoach. “We’re really going to want to hit that golden triangle. We feel like San Antonio isn’t just a place to go and visit the River Walk; it has so much to offer.

Before RedCoach considered expanding its services to San Antonio, company officials met with VIA Metropolitan Transit to ensure they were following local guidelines.

Since RedCoach is not considered public transit, VIA agreed to let the company set up a downtown stop in front of the old Macy’s store at the Shops at Rivercenter, as long as the company picks up and drops off in 30 minutes, not idling or stopping for hours and not blocking the street or leaving buses unattended, Cirigliano said.

The founders of the company, which marketed itself as an affordable alternative to long-distance driving, have more than 50 years of experience running transport companies in Argentina, where bus travel is more common, said 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 have been added at Katy and Richardson. Cirigliano said the company has been working to challenge the reputation of bus travel as being seen as a “last option” by telling people, “Public transport is good.”

“There is a perception, but I think that is 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 need to be more creative and say, ‘Hey, I need to find cheaper ways to travel,'” she said.

Fares start at $15 one way and vary depending on the day of the week you are traveling and how far in advance the seat is reserved.

Trips can be booked online or at the downtown stop. One-way or round-trip tickets are available, with discount options for children, students and seniors.

Each bus carries 26 people and offers reclining seats, free Wi-Fi, power outlets and no baggage fees.

Melvin Z. Madore