A Dallas-based company aiming to reinvent city-to-city bus transit has its sights set on Aggieland . . . and business is booming.
This season, Starline Travel Group is packing its buses with Texas A&M University football fans on a new weekend route it calls the GameLiner — a spin-off of its regular CityLiner service between Houston and College Station that's specifically designed for game day, allowing Aggies to breeze in and out of Kyle Field without the stress of parking or driving.
But it's the journey itself that Starline co-founders Jase Chandler and Tommy Obenchain hope will make the biggest impression on passengers. Gone are the stiff narrow seats. Gone are the crumbling concrete bus terminals. And gone are the inexplicable and seemingly endless stops made along the way.
"What really sets us apart from the competition is our cabin crew."
"We found there was a huge hole in the transportation market for fast, comfortable rides that bring you to the heart of a city, rather than to a parking lot at the edge of town," Obenchain tells CultureMap, noting that all Starline buses stop in areas filled with restaurants and shops.
The company hopes to create "an experience" for its passengers with free Wi-Fi, TVs and leather seating standard with every trip. Those tired of the creepy midtown bus station will be delighted to board downtown at the GreenStreet shopping center (formerly the Houston Pavilions), several blocks west of Discovery Green.
"While we offer a lot of cool stuff, what really sets us apart from the competition is our cabin crew," Obenchain explains. "Each bus has a dedicated attendant to assist passengers and sell a number of food and beverage items. It's more akin to flying."
In addition to expanding GameLiner service to include Aggie away games, Starline is looking to add new routes across the state in the next year.