Case Study

How Arriva UK improved reliability and frequency using Optibus


Arriva used Optibus Planning and Scheduling and the platform’s rapid scenario creation tool to redesign its bus network in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, England. The results included a doubling of frequencies to most routes and simpler timetables. It is the first time a change to the network was wholly carried out in this way.


Arriva UK is the second largest public transportation operator (PTO) in London and the third largest PTO in the entire UK, servicing the Northeast, Northwest, and Southeast of England, Yorkshire, the Midlands, and Wales. Arriva UK is part of Arriva Group, one of the largest providers of passenger transport in Europe.

The Optibus impact: Better timetables and frequency; shorter waits

The network redesign went into effect in September 2023, offering a simpler timetable and more regular services, with a doubling of frequencies to most routes. 

Arriva says the results will include better connections in the area and more coordinated departure times that reduce passenger wait times. Buses will also run later in the evenings, thanks in part to late-night buses.

The changes were made with the help of the Optibus platform, which used demographic and bus tracking data to visualise real-world running times within various planning scenarios.

Matt King, network manager for Arriva, said: “We’re introducing a substantially improved bus network for High Wycombe, as part of our ongoing commitment to be the most environmentally sustainable transport option of choice for everyone in the town.

“We’ve analysed how and when customers use our buses currently, as well as looking at emerging and changing travel trends – so we’re bringing more buses, more often for most areas as our network grows and thrives.

“The conversion to a hub-and-spoke model with pulse scheduling reflect these changing travel patterns, promoting seamless connectivity across the town on more routes rather than on a small number of select corridors. This also allows for a greater flexibility of bus and driver resource.

In Optibus' Planning product, operators and agencies can create optimal timetables that meet their business goals, as well as optimizing for on-time performance (OTP) and service level needs.

“Improving timekeeping is a key tenet for future user confidence in any bus network, so we’ve compiled a year’s worth of comprehensive point-to-point running time data, customer recommendations and local feedback into realistic schedules that allow us to better plan our network to become more resilient. 

“This will transform and optimise our performance – all translated in a more user-friendly way within the Optibus platform.

“Our customers will benefit from boosts in frequency, better on-time performance, great value fares, all within a more efficient package.

“That’s fantastic – and we’re sure that this will be some welcome news for those who have been wanting to get back on board and save money.”

As published in Route One.

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