by CIO UK Staff

Arriva wins passengers from credit crunch and tech

Aug 27, 2009
IT LeadershipIT StrategyMobile

Increasing use of public transport and technology investments to improve the efficiency of public transport are paying off for transportation company Arriva. In its results for the first half of 2009, ending June 30, the company reported group revenue have increased by 10 per cent.

“Our passenger revenues in the UK have grown despite the recession, though at a slower rate recently,” said David Martin, Arriva chief executive.

Arrivahas been developing a series of technologies to improve the efficiency of its fleet and business. EcoManager is tool for its bus drivers to reduce their fuel consumption. Arriva operates public services in London, Kent, Yorkshire and other regions of the UK. A thousand busses have been fitted with EcoManager and a further thousand will be fitted with it by year end.

The Yorkshire and Kent bus networks have introduced mobile phone based ticketing successfully.

CrossCountry, the express nationwide train service Arriva won from Virgin Trains has been investing in its online ticketing, allowing customers to purchase a ticket as late as 6.00pm the day before travel. “We remain committed to developing and investing in technology,” Arriva said in its interim results.

Arriva, a CIO 100 ranked company,reported group revenues of £1,640 million, an increase of 10 per cent. It’s operating profit increased by four per cent to £88.7 million. The high oil prices cost the company £18m it said. Arriva has been working to improve its operating costs in train and bus networks, with the UK trains business reporting a 17 per cent reduction in central costs.

“Our underlying financial performance is strong in a challenging environment,” Martin said. “The higher fuel costs in 2009, a legacy of the peak in the oil price, will reverse substantially in 2010.

“Tight management of controllable costs across the group, and the benefits of our business development and efficiency initiatives, have contributed greatly to offsetting the increase in fuel costs.”

Arriva operating public transport services in 12 European countries from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The Arriva London bus franchise recently extended an outsouring agreement with Capgemini.