Vonlane, a high-end bus service targeting business travelers in Austin, Dallas and Houston, is gearing up for an expansion.
The company said this week it has acquired three new buses at a cost of $2.25 million — a move that will double the size of its fleet.
Vonlane currently runs between Austin and Dallas and Houston and Dallas. With the new buses, it expects to increase frequency on those routes and to add service between Austin and Houston in January.
“We’ve had tremendous feedback from our customers and that’s helped shape our plans moving forward,” Vonlane founder and president Alex Danza said. “Expansion of our fleet is further indication of our commitment to Central Texas and to our customers.”
While most motorcoaches have 56 seats, Vonlane’s have just 16, allowing for extra legroom and space to recline. There’s also a conference room on each bus that can accommodate up to six people.
Amenities include an onboard attendant, free WiFi, electrical outlets, complimentary refreshments, XM radio and DirecTV channels and no baggage fees, among other things.
The service debuted in May 2014 and has become the preferred mode of travel for many businesspeople who used to fly or drive between the three cities, Danza said.
“Vonlane is hands-down a much nicer experience overall,” said frequent rider Don Kuykendall, managing director at Commerce Street Capital. “It’s like being in the comfort of my own office. My company’s corporate headquarters is in Dallas and I travel there a lot. I never drive to Dallas anymore.
“The WiFi is super fast, the seats are much more comfortable than airline seating and there’s no queuing up, worrying about where to store extra baggage or dealing with security lines. It’s quiet, the staff is very friendly and accommodating, and the food is much better, too.”
In Austin, Vonlane passengers are picked up and dropped off at the Hyatt Regency hotel, 208 Barton Springs Road near downtown. Tickets typically run about $100 each way and can be purchased at vonlane.com.