Arriva UK and Parkeon continue to set new standards in the way that data and real-time communication are being harnessed to transform operational efficiency and enrich the experience of bus passengers.

The two companies have been collaborating on fare collection, validation and real-time information over many years, with Parkeon equipping Arriva’s entire UK fleet of 4,000 buses with ITSO-enabled smart ticketing technology and playing a prominent role in supporting the Arriva Bus App innovation.

For example, Arriva uses the inbuilt RTIG over-the-air functionality of Parkeon’s Wayfarer200 ticketing platform to collect schedule information and precise vehicle GPS location data, enabling customers to receive real-time journey information. In addition, the data collected by Parkeon’s on-vehicle systems supports the feed to Google Transit maps that enable customers to view exact vehicle location on their smart phones. Arriva is the first UK bus operator to offer passengers the benefits of Google Transit real time mapping.

“All these innovations empower our customers and enable them to make more informed decisions around travel,” says Mike Woodhouse, Arriva Senior Marketing Manager for digital channels and customer relationship management.

Arriva’s Mike Woodhouse

Increasingly this information is being placed directly in the hands of consumers, most recently via Arriva’s Bus App. To date the App has been downloaded over 750,000 times onto iPhone and Android smart phones.

“We’ve had some excellent reviews,” says Mike Woodhouse. “Customers can see in real time where their bus is – it means they can make best use of their time, and optimize when they leave the house, the office or wherever they happen to be, to perfection.”

Now Arriva has created deep links between the real-time information App and its m-ticketing App, by presenting the appropriate zone and ticket options available. This integration means that customers can move easily from journey planning to the m-ticketing App and make an instant ticket purchase.

“We wanted to improve the user experience and the styling to replicate the branding that we use elsewhere,” says Mike Woodhouse. “We were aiming for consistency and now both Apps have the look and feel of the Arriva bus website and other customer facing channels and publicity materials.”

Arriva and Parkeon are currently considering integrating open payment systems such as contactless EMV, and mobile payments such as Apple Pay or Android Pay. In the meantime, the companies continue to collaborate on the rollout of ITSO concessionary and commercial smartcard schemes across the country.

“Arriva continues to push the boundaries of technology and the application of data,” says Gavin Trimnell, Head of Sales and Marketing at Parkeon. “We share the same ethos for developing innovative systems that create value, whether at an operational level or by putting information and decision-making in the hands of users. It’s been a highly successful partnership and one we look forward to continuing.”