Having begun 2015 with the awarding of a 5-year contract to operate bus services in Nis, the largest city in southern Serbia, Arriva went from strength to strength, increasing its presence in Central and Eastern Europe with the acquisition of two bus operating companies in Slovakia, and established Slovenian bus operator Alpetour, which saw Arriva double the size of its operations in the country.
In Southern Europe, Arriva was proud to be named the official transport provider for the 2015 Milan Expo – a multi-national trade exhibition which attracted over 22 million visitors. This was a major win for Arriva’s Italian business, with the contract operated jointly between Arriva-owned operators SIA, SAIA Trasporti, SAL and SAB Autoservizi.
In Northern Europe, Arriva’s growth story continued with the awarding of a £1.4 billion contract to operate buses and trains in the Dutch province of Limburg. This lucrative contract came only six months after Arriva began to operate an eight-year and a 10-year bus contract in the Brabant region, while a four-year contract win to operate buses in Southeast Friesland and on the Waddeneilanden islands further cemented Arriva’s position as one of the leading transport operators in The Netherlands.
Meanwhile in Denmark, Arriva officially launched its ground-breaking DriveNow programme in Copenhagen – the world's largest 100 per cent electric city car concept. While DriveNow is already operating successfully in several major cities in Europe and the United States, Arriva’s was the first city car concept to be integrated with public transport in a metropolitan area.
In the UK, Arriva announced an investment in excess of £45 million to facilitate a major upgrade of its UK Bus fleet, including the roll-out of more than 230 new environmentally friendly vehicles. This commitment to more sustainable fuel and energy brought our total investment in the UK fleet to over £500 million since 2008 and saw Arriva London operate the capital’s first fully electric bus route in September.
October saw Arriva-owned Chiltern Railways launch its Oxford to London service following a unique £320 million investment – the first new line to link a major British city and London in more than 100 years. And to round off a great 2015, in December it was announced that Arriva had secured one of the UK’s largest rail contracts – Northern – adding another 5,000 people to our 55,000 workforce until 2025, with a £1 billion investment to transform rail travel across the North of England.