BlaBlabus – Goodbye Ouibus, BlaBlacar is starting the buses

In November 2018, BlaBlaCar announced that it had submitted an offer to buy Ouibus, the long-distance bus subsidiary of SNCF. With the deal now concluded, the famous carpooling platform plans to launch its first BlaBlaBus coaches in 2019.

Why did SNCF sell Ouibus to BlaBlaCar?

There are two interesting avenues to understand the choice of SNCF to sell Ouibus to BlaBlaCar. The first is the strategy implemented in recent years by Guillaume Péry, the current president of the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer français.

Thus with the development of mainline trains available at a more accessible price than the TGVs represented by the Ouigo offer, the SNCF was in a state of self-competition with OuiBus, for journeys to the destination and at more or less prices. similar.

The second reason is to be found on the side of the reform which was voted by Parliament last year. SNCF must therefore quickly get back in the saddle to prepare for the future opening up to competition of rail transport in France.

The time is therefore for the company to do everything possible to protect its main market. Without wasting time and resources in the survival of a secondary activity like Ouibus, which represented a loss of 165 million euros between 2013 and 2017.

BlaBlaCar’s plans for BlaBlaBus

It is confirmed, the Ouibus brand will gradually disappear to disappear from the SNCF’s “Yes” mobility package and, with BlaBlaBus, come closer to the brand image and the growing notoriety of its new owner.

Among the important changes, we find the opening of BlaBlaBus at a European level, the former Ouibus offer being mainly focused on the French market. This opening to ultimately bring Ouibus back into the green.

BlaBlaBus is also not intended to manage its own fleet of coaches and should present itself as a franchise by working with small transport companies. The latter will take care of travel and BlaBlaBus will take care of marketing and reservations.

Finally, the advantage of this acquisition for BlaBlaCar is to offer combined and coherent carpooling and coach offers. Allowing users to travel by bus to major European cities and end the trip by carpooling.

A partnership between SNCF and BlaBlaCar

If the SNCF has now sold its main line bus activity to BlaBlaCar, it is not however completely withdrawing from the equation. The French public railway company has indeed put its hand in its pocket to afford a very small share of the capital of BlaBlaCar.

A partnership between the two parties was then announced to carry out joint actions in order to bring in additional customers. Among them, we are talking in particular about a train + carpooling offer in order to list carpooling trips on the Oui.sncf site.

The young carpool sprout can therefore rub its hands on the contribution of such visibility. However, history does not say whether the branch of regional trains of SNCF (the TER) sees the arrival of this partnership very favorably. This activity can vampirize some of its occasional users.

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