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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-02-28

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Better by bus

PROPOSALS set to transform bus travel which include enabling customers to travel on any bus, anywhere across Merseyside for 1 price are set to go before the Merseytravel Committee on Thursday, 2 March 2017.  Aimed at encouraging passenger growth and making ticketing simpler for customers, the report includes the following proposals which would come into effect from 3 April 2017:-

► All solo ticket types to be valid for use across Merseyside.
► Price changes for all existing and new Solo products.
► Introduction of a new Solo four weekly Young Person's ticket.

Reviewing zonal structures and pricing to simplify the customer ticket offer is a key objective of the Bus Alliance, a formal agreement between Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach (who together operate 90% of commercial bus services in the Liverpool City Region); and aims to get more people travelling by bus which drives up investment potential to benefit all who use them.

The proposals would result in the removal of 'zones' giving Solo customers greater freedom to travel across Merseyside as many times as they want with 1 ticket.

The proposed fares would be up to a third cheaper for people who currently buy all area tickets, resulting in significant savings for those customers.

Solo ticketing would also become simpler for everyone as customers would not have to work out which zone they need and it could support greater access to work and leisure opportunities.

In terms of the proposed price structure, 7 out of 8, 1 area, prices will increase in line with inflation to a maximum of 0.3% above or below RPI (set at 1.9%) and could be off set by the significant benefits customers will experience.

Usually approved price changes for Solo season tickets are applied annually in January along with other ticket products. However, in January 2017, it was agreed to freeze these prices to avoid 2 price increases for Solo products during 2017.

Customers have already been benefitting from the prices being maintained at 2016 prices for the 1st 3 months of 2017.

Bus users who buy a 1 Area Adult 4 Weekly Solo will experience a marginal price increase, but would benefit from being able to travel across the whole of Merseyside as often as they want within a 4 week period.

The introduction of a new Young Persons 4 Weekly Solo ticket would contribute towards making travel more accessible for young people and would be a welcome addition to the ticket offers already available, including the ₤2 My Ticket.

Chief Executive Frank Rogers said:- "These proposals represent a significant step forward in improving the bus offer and giving customers greater freedom, at affordable prices across the network. The current zonal system for Merseytravel tickets dates back to the 1970's and doesn't represent modern travel patterns. Simplifying fares would make ticketing buying more straightforward and easy to understand; 1 way of encouraging people to try the bus. Not only do we want to make the experience better for those who already use it, but remove those perceived barriers for those who may otherwise give it a try if routes were simpler, make fares easier to understand, broaden people's horizons and support better access to work and leisure opportunities. Following on from recently introduced services and offers, including being able to load some Arriva and Stagecoach tickets onto Walrus cards plus the new adult 1 Day Solo ticket that can be used on any bus, any time, we are continuing to work together with operators to improve the customer experience."


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