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 Buses

Buses


Bus travel accounts for almost eight out of ten of all public transport journeys in Merseyside. Currently, this amounts to around 150 million passenger journeys each year.
 
Almost 90 percent of bus services in Merseyside are run on a commercial basis by operators including Arriva, Stagecoach, Avon, Halton Transport and others. They choose where to run their services and set their own ticket prices.
 
The remaining 10 percent or so are funded by Merseytravel and these are those routes where there is a gap in the network or where a significant social need has been identified, such as to and from healthcare or key employment sites. Merseytravel sets the fares on these particular routes. Any route that is funded by Merseytravel is clearly indicated as such on the public timetable.

Merseytravel work closely with bus operators in a bid to get the best deal for customers and to influence how they operate, but we do not control the network.
 
We have developed a Bus Strategy which sets out the importance of buses to the Liverpool City Region and our vision to make it a mode of choice rather than last resort, increasing revenue and driving investment.  You can find details of the Liverpool City Region Bus Strategy here.
 
Buses are vital to people in the City Region and its economy.  Every day in our region over 100,000 people use the bus to get to work and over 60,000 to get to education, so it is crucial that we have a thriving bus network which supports this.

 

Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance

The Bus Alliance is an agreement between Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach to improve bus travel for people across the Liverpool City Region. In time, it is hoped that other bus operators will join the Alliance.

The Alliance’s ambition is for a thriving, affordable and sustainable bus network that offers the customer a value for money and hassle-free journey experience - leading to an increase in fare paying passengers. Since the Alliance agreement was signed in 2016 we have seen a significant increase in people using the bus locally, particularly young people, reversing a trend of decline seen over decades. 

Devolution and the Bus Services Act

The election of a Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, along with legislation called the Bus Services Act, gives the Liverpool City Region a number of different ways of delivering the best bus system for the region.

In April 2018, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority asked Merseytravel to undertake formal assessments of two of these options:
• Enhanced Partnership
• Franchising

In September 2018, notices were published which begin this formal process, with the two options identified being assessed against a 3rd option of retaining the Bus Alliance.
 
More information can be found here - www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreform

Tickets

There are two main categories of bus tickets – operator specific tickets and Merseytravel tickets. Merseytravel tickets such as the Solo, Saveaway and the Trio are accepted on all buses. ‘MyTicket’ allows unlimited travel for young people aged 5 to 18 across Merseyside and Halton and can be bought on board any bus at a cost of just £2.20 a day.

Our smart ticketing scheme, Walrus, was launched across the whole Liverpool City Region in March 2015. Saveaway and Solo tickets are now available on Walrus from Merseytravel Travel Centres and at any PayPoint outlet in Merseyside. Operator-specific tickets for Arriva and Stagecoach are now also available on the Walrus card and can be bought directly from the driver, along with our own One Day Solo ticket.
 
More information can be found at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/tickets

Bus stops and shelters

Merseytravel is responsible for the maintenance of the bus route infrastructure including timetable information. We encourage people to report any damage to a stop or shelter or any missing, damaged or incorrect information. 
 
You can find our contact details at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/about-us/Pages/Contact-Us.aspx  
Please provide as much detail about the issue along with the stop location.

Journey information and planning

Merseytravel produces bus timetables for every local bus service in Merseyside. It also prints and maintains the bus timetable posters at bus stops and shelters– around 6,200 across Merseyside.

Bus times tend to change on 4 dates per year – in January, April, July and September. We always try to display accurate and up-to-date timetable information, but timetable changes mean that several thousand stops might need updating at once. We try to make these changes as quickly as possible but there may be a delay in getting updated timetables displayed at some stops.  The website is the place to go for the most up to date information.

The Merseytravel mobile journey planning app is available in both the App Store and Google Play store and our online journey planner can also be accessed from our website – these will help you to plan journeys across all buses, trains and the Mersey Ferries. Real time journey planning also can be undertaken via Google maps, whilst Arriva and Stagecoach have mobile apps for their own services.

Some Real Time Passenger Information screens have also been installed at key sites across the bus network.

Bus Network Reviews

District-focused Bus Network Reviews are carried out every three years across Merseyside and are coordinated by Merseytravel.  These reviews are to consider the commercial bus network and the supported as a whole, reviewing how the network best reflects current working and living patterns and new developments and how they are served.
Part of the review process considers the need for services publically subsidised through Merseytravel, ensuring how a very limited public resources can be focused where there is the greatest need.

A consultation process involving members of the public and key stakeholders, which sees a number of drop-in events and an online survey, helps to shape the reviews.

The reviews endeavour to ensure that everyone living in a built-up area is within reasonable distance of a bus service which connect them to healthcare, fresh food, healthcare and the rest of the transport network.
 
You can find out more about our bus network reviews at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview

Quality Bus Network

Some services on the bus network are now part of a Quality Partnership between Merseytravel, the bus operators and the local councils.

The full range of Merseytravel Solo, Trio, Saveaway, MyTicket and free travel passes are accepted on all buses as usual.

These routes aim to make bus travel more convenient and quicker by:
• Making buses more regular during the day by coordinating timetables between different operators
• Improving facilities at bus stops, providing better information and improved access.
• Ensuring drivers can accept daily and weekly tickets from other bus companies on Quality Bus Network routes
• Working with local councils to make improvements to the highways

You can find more information about the quality bus network here - Quality Bus Network