Deep Alliance delivers rapid results for Merseyside buses

A 9.7% growth in fare paying passengers over the last two years – just shy of a 10% target – is the initial result of the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance.

Announced at a joint event with Transport Focus in Merseyside (see Big Story) it is good news for the Alliance, comprising Arriva, PTE Merseytravel and Stagecoach, and comes only six months after a five-year partnership was signed.

The key aim of the Alliance is to reverse the historic trend in patronage decline, with growth in fare-paying passenger numbers a key metric. Says the Alliance: “Ultimately, growing the number of fare paying passengers drives up investment for all.”

September’s signing released an additional £25m investment in buses (£19m from operators, the rest from OLEV), in a region where already the average vehicle age has been reduced to less than six years.

Another key target is to hit 95% overall passenger satisfaction (in the annual Bus Passenger Survey by Transport Focus). Initial progress has seen it move from 89% to 90% in the latest results.

Value for money scores have increased by 10% since 2013, and further work includes flat young person fares.

About to be launched is a joint marketing campaign called ‘Better by Bus’ while other plans include network revisions, journey time reductions and congestion-busting measures.