ArrivaClick to replace bus service in Speke

Arriva’s innovative demand-responsive minibus service to trial as a replacement for a fixed-route service near Liverpool

ArrivaClick is being trialled as a replacement for a fixed-route bus service in Speke, south east of Liverpool.

Supported by Liverpool local authority, the app-run ArrivaClick Speke Zone service replaces 211 Speke Circular in September, with an initial 12-month trial – believed to be the first in the country – to look at how demand responsive transport can complement the existing public transport network.

ArrivaClick South Liverpool has already been declared a success, with a fast-growing fleet, and ArrivaClick – from its initial operation in Sittingbourne – has launched in Leicester alongside Arriva’s conventional bus services.

Passengers will no longer have to wait at the bus stop, and instead will set their journey on the app, and will be picked up at an agreed time within 100 metres of their desired pick-up point, and dropped off as close to their final destination as possible. Passengers with smartphones will be able to track their vehicle in real-time.

The new ArrivaClick Speke Zone service will operate between the same hours as the current 211 service: 8:05am to 5:15pm Monday to Friday, and 8:45am to 5:15pm on Saturdays.

As with all ArrivaClick vehicles – EVM Lowfloor Sprinterspassengers get wifi, USB charging points, leather seats, and tables. Services will also be more frequent, with a maximum wait time of 30 minutes instead of the 211’s 40 minutes. The vehicles are wheelchair accessible.

Pass holders without smartphones will be able to book their journeys through the Merseytravel contact centre (0151 330 1000).

Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “We are excited to be trialling this service with Arriva. While we appreciate that it may take a bit of getting used to, we hope that passengers will soon see the benefits in terms of frequency, convenience and quality.

“Should the trial be a success, this model could offer a solution in helping improve bus services in areas that aren’t currently well served, especially as we face increasing budget challenges in funding supported bus services.”

Howard Farrall, Managing Director of Arriva Merseyside said: “The Speke circular is important for local residents and we believe that the introduction of ArrivaClick on this route will be truly innovative for customers living and travelling in this area.

“The app is free to download and journeys can be booked via the app or calling the Merseytravel customer service centre. ArrivaClick is demand responsive so it can be booked to arrive when customers need it. It also picks up and drops off at much more local and convenient places.

“We are working closely with our colleagues at Merseytravel and hope the customers in and around Speke enjoy this new service and the flexibility and frequency it offers.”

Pre-paid ticket holders, such as those with Solos and Trios, will not be able to use their tickets and passes on this new service. This has been considered in introducing the trial, with consideration that only a very small percentage of journeys on the current 211 service are made by those with pre-paid tickets. It is hoped that by the end of the trial, more ticket options will be available to use on the service.

For fare paying passengers booking through the Arriva Click app, fares are estimated to be between £1 – £4 for a single journey, depending on distance.

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