Bus passengers who purchase the Merseytravel Solo ticket will benefit from improvements to bus travel from next month when the bus-only ticket becomes Merseyside-wide.
Monday 3rd April 2017 will see the removal of ‘zones’ as all Solo ticket types will be valid for use across Merseyside. This will mean that bus users will be able to travel on any bus, anywhere for one price, giving them greater freedom to travel across Merseyside as many times as they want with one ticket.
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.
The new fare structure means that fares would be up to a third cheaper for people who currently buy all area tickets, resulting in significant savings for those customers.
In terms of the new price structure, seven out of eight one area prices will increase in line with inflation to a maximum of 0.3 per cent above or below RPI (set at 1.9 per cent) 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 Merseytravel agreed to freeze these prices to avoid two price increases for Solo products during 2017.
Customers have already been benefitting from the prices being maintained at 2016 prices for the first three months of 2017.
Bus users who buy a One Area Adult Four Weekly Solo on a Walrus Smart Card 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 four week period.
A Young Person’s Four Weekly ticket will also be introduced to support young people and 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.
This follows on from the recent introduction of a Merseytravel Solo Day Ticket, which enables bus users travel on any bus, anywhere in Merseyside for £4.70 and is available to purchase on the bus – unlike the Saveaway which covers buses, trains and ferries.
Merseytravel Committee Chair Cllr Liam Robinson said: “This is another innovative step forward in improving the bus offer for the City Region and not just for existing users but for encouraging potential new users to give it a try.
“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– and aim to get more people travelling by bus which drives up investment potential to benefit all who use them.
“We know from the Transport Focus Bus Passenger survey results announced yesterday that the new customer-focussed improvements, including onboard WiFi, that have been introduced are having a positive effect. The changes to Solo are another way of driving up customer satisfaction levels and fare paying patronage by encouraging more people to try the bus.”