Driving innovation

Our key competitor is one of the most popular forms of transport ever invented – the car. While we accept that cars have their place in the transport mix, we want to encourage people to travel by bus or rail where it makes sense to do so. That takes creative thinking and expertise.

Staying ahead
Arriva is one of the few companies with experience in delivering services across different European countries. This makes us well placed to develop systems that are specifically suited to each region.

We are also happy to take on big challenges – often ones that few other companies could handle. We do this by applying an innovative approach to our vehicles, technology and customer services.

Innovation in service delivery

  • Much of Arriva’s UK bus fleet is fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to help monitor punctuality, refine timetables and manage congestion.
  • Our London control centres have real-time information on the location of our 1,600 buses, alerting drivers to traffic problems and advising on the best routes to follow to keep services running on time.
  • In Portugal, TST is implementing a €2.1 million Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system, with solar-powered bus stop display panels providing customers with real-time data and audio updates on expected arrival times.
  • TST passengers are also benefitting from a new contactless ticketing system as a result of a €5 million joint investment by TST and central government.
  • We have installed a system in Cremona, Italy, that not only tracks vehicles but is integrated into the management of traffic lights, giving priority to bus users.

Innovation in safety

  • We helped develop bus and train driving simulators, similar to the type used on aircraft, for use in driver recruitment and training - providing a more realistic driving experience for all learners.
  • Almost nine out of ten Arriva UK buses are now fitted with CCTV systems to protect our staff and passengers.
  • All CrossCountry trains are fitted with forward-facing CCTV, which can download footage directly to British Transport Police, Network Rail and the control centre in near real-time.
  • Our Fastrack rapid bus system in partnership with Kent County Council is one of the UK's longest bus priority schemes, making a major contribution to regeneration of the region and the UK’s Sustainable Communities plan.

Innovation in environmental sustainability

  • Our Aqualiner waterbus operation in the Netherlands is part of the EU’s Battery Boat Green scheme and is helping develop a fully electric Air Supported Vessel, which could become the future type of fast ferry.
  • Arriva operates the UK's first wirelessly-charged electric buses, which can run continuously for 17 hours at a time and potentially save around 600 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
  • In partnership with local authorities, we introduced the first electric buses in Denmark, in central Copenhagen.
  • At Arriva Portugal we have been trialling the use of B100 – biodiesel made from vegetable oil – to fuel 50 of our vehicles.
  • Arriva London won a Green Award in the Route One Excellence Awards for its work with manufacturer Volvo to establish the largest fleet of hybrid buses in London.

Innovation in energy and waste management

  • Arriva uses wind turbines to produce electricity at facilities across Wales and Portugal, with the turbine at Machynlleth running alongside solar water heating, efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting systems.
  • Arriva Portugal has invested €4.7 million in state-of-the-art headquarters and a central workshop with solar panels to provide water heating with construction designed to capture the sun’s rays for interior lighting.
  • At the same facility at Guimarães, oil is collected for recycling and 85 per cent of the water used in bus washing is also collected and recycled.
  • In Italy, SAB has invested €550,000 in a solar roof for its Sarnico depot, producing electricity that is returned to Italy's national electricity grid and is helping reduce CO2 emissions.
  • In Portugal, TST has partnered with Almada Municipal Council to provide safe sources of non-potable water for bus washing - reusing treated urban waste water and saving around 300,000 litres a month.

Take the lead in eco-driving

Driver training and the adoption of eco-driving techniques is central to our commitment to reducing fuel consumption. More than 9,000 of our buses carry technology that adjusts the rate of acceleration, replicating the driving style of a careful, economically-aware driver.

Training in eco-driving techniques is now extended across the business, with drivers encouraged to anticipate changes in traffic conditions and use gentle acceleration and braking to optimise fuel consumption.

In addition to fuel savings, reduced vehicle wear and lower emissions, our innovative approach leads to improved driver experience and more comfortable and safer journeys for our customers.

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