Stagecoach has signed a new landmark partnership agreement that will deliver a multi-million-pound investment in improved bus services in Merseyside over the next five years.
The Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance, a partnership with Merseytravel and Arriva, will deliver more than £25m worth of investment in bus services in the first year to boost services for existing passengers and attract more people to bus travel.
Around 80% of public transport journeys in the Liverpool City Region are made by bus, with overall customer satisfaction at 89%. The new partnership will provide local people with further improved, more efficient, joined-up and better value services.
Key initiatives include:
- a commitment from operators to provide modern bus fleets with an average age of no more than seven years
- improved smart ticketing, and Wi-Fi and USB charging on all new buses so passengers can charge their mobile devices on the move
- Stagecoach and Arriva partnering fully on a range of initiatives, including marketing campaigns, on-bus cleaning and customer service training
- improved links to the city’s John Lennon Airport, and a continued pilot of a new night bus service
- clearly defined targets around punctuality and passenger satisfaction
The formal signing of the Bus Alliance agreement also releases additional Government OLEV funding of £4.7 million – the single biggest award out of the last round of funding in July – for 72 new, greener buses across the City Region.
The Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance is a key element of a comprehensive bus strategy for the region. Built around the idea of ‘multimodal’ transport for customers, changing between rail and bus services will be simplified making journeys easier and more enjoyable for passengers.
Elisabeth Tasker, Managing Director of Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire, said: "Buses are central to life in Merseyside, from getting people to work, helping shoppers access our high streets, and connecting people with education, health and leisure opportunities.
"We are making a huge investment to attract more people to bus travel: better value fares, greener vehicles, smart ticketing and tools like our new Stagecoach bus app which offers features such as journey planning and live bus information.
"Merseyside already has one of the highest levels of bus satisfaction in the country. By working together through the new alliance, and tackling the growing challenge of road congestion, we can deliver an even better customer experience and get more people on board the bus."