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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-24-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Record numbers of customers satisfied with Bus Services in the Liverpool City Region

BUS users have given the Liverpool City Region the best result yet, with 90% for overall customer satisfaction included in results released, on Wednesday, 22 March 2017, by Transport Focus, the independent transport watchdog. The national Bus Passenger Survey (BPS) results, announced at Merseytravel, Mann Island, are a measure of passengers' satisfaction with their local bus service for a representative sample of journeys and are a trusted source of information and insight for bus operators. Overall, these results show that Liverpool City Region is one of the highest performing areas across all the areas surveyed by Transport Focus, offering customers more value for money and has some of the best drivers in the UK.

For the City Region, overall customer satisfaction has increased year on year from 89%  to 90% compared with average satisfaction rates of 85% in other metropolitan areas. Commuter satisfaction has increased from 85% to 86%, with satisfaction among this group 6% higher than other areas.

Satisfaction with value for money has shown a sharp increase over time, increasing from 62% in 2013 to 73% in 2016, compared with an increase from 63% to 66% in other areas. Customers are much more satisfied with their driver than in other areas with 91% vs 87% satisfied with their appearance; 73% vs 67% satisfied with the greeting they received; 76% vs. 70% satisfied by helpfulness and attitude and 79% vs 74% satisfied with the time given to take a seat. Satisfaction with punctuality has remained constant at 78%, 72% in other areas.

Taking action to improve customer satisfaction levels and increase bus patronage is a priority for the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance; a formal partnership between Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach; and members have welcomed these results. As a result of the introduction of a range of customer-focused improvements, including on board WiFi and USB charging points, the Bus Alliance is set to reach its transformational target (2013 to 2014 baseline figure) to grow fare paying patronage by 10% by 2017/18 following increases over the past 2 years of 9.7%.

Customers have benefitted from a number of fare reductions in the past 2 years including the £2 MyTicket for young people, half fare for all under 19s, a flat fare structure on the Wirral and a new One Day Solo product that gives bus users the freedom to travel on any bus, anytime, anywhere in Merseyside.

Merseytravel Committee Chair Cllr Liam Robinson, said:- "We are delighted to host Transport Focus' event and welcome the Bus Passenger Survey results announced today. These are important results as they come directly from our customers and therefore mean a lot more to us. We have been determined to reverse the historic decline in bus patronage by improving what's on offer and it's clear from these results that the collaborative work of the Bus Alliance is having a major impact as we are seeing an increase in both customer satisfaction levels and fare paying patronage. Customers are benefitting from improved customer focused bus services and offers including new buses, the £2 MyTicket, improved smart ticketing and on board cleaning. However, there is still more we can do and we will continue to work together to deliver an even better customer experience and get more people on board the bus as we look forward to all the options of the new devolved powers in the forthcoming Bus Services Bill."

Phil Stone, Regional Managing Director, Arriva said:- "We are delighted with the Transport Focus results. Once again these are further proof that working together as an Alliance is the best way to deliver a better service for our customers."

Rob Jones, Managing Director, Stagecoach said:- "We are focused on delivering practical improvements for customers, we continue to invest in new vehicles for local people and have introduced a series of digital tools to make it even easier for customers to plan journeys, buy tickets and travel with us. These include our new smartphone app and mobile ticketing, with contactless payments to be introduced in the summer. It's pleasing to know that our efforts, and those of our partners in the Bus Alliance, have helped deliver such high levels of customer satisfaction and we will continue to work in partnership to deliver even better bus services for local people."

David Sidebottom, Director of Transport Focus, said:- "We are delighted to be presenting our latest Bus Passenger Survey (BPS) results with Merseytravel in Liverpool. It is particularly timely as the Liverpool City Region is developing the alliance with Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach to further improve the passenger experience. Their use of the BPS survey results will ensure that their investment and focus make a difference for passengers."


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