Bus users in Speke will benefit from a new type of bus service from next month, allowing them to book journeys across their community on demand with the introduction of the ‘ArrivaClick Speke Zone.’
The new service will replace the 211 Speke Circular supported bus service from Monday 2 September. This will be an initial 12-month trial – believed to be the first in the country – to look at how demand responsive transport can help to complement the existing public transport network. ArrivaClick is a bookable, ‘street to street’ service.
Passengers will no longer have to wait at the bus stop, and instead will be picked up at an agreed time within 100m of their desired pick-up point, and dropped off as close to their final destination as possible.
Paying passengers and concessionary pass holders will book their journey using the ArrivaClick app. Pass holders without smartphones will be able to book their journeys through the Merseytravel contact centre. Passengers with smartphones will be able track their vehicle in real-time.
Passengers will benefit from free WiFi, USB charging points, leather seats and tables. Services will also be more frequent, with a maximum wait time of 30 minutes (the current frequency of the 211 is 40 minutes). The vehicles are also able to take a wheelchair, with drivers trained to help.
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 onto 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.”