Arriva defends app-only offer to promote bus travel

An offer of free bus tickets from public transport operator Arriva has left some customers disappointed to learn it is only available through a mobile app.

The giveaway forms part of the company’s annual Catch the Bus Week, which this year runs from Monday through to next Sunday.

Though information released by the company on its website and to press suggested customers had to register for its ‘m-ticketing service’, one customer contacted HemelToday to say the offer was unclear and is only fine for those who own smartphones.

She said: “I spotted the story about free tickets for Catch the Bus Week and thought, great! I went to the website and couldnt find it so I messaged Arriva only to be told I had to download an app, which is fine for us who have smart phones. I feel a lot of people will visit the site, find nothing and think the usual – you never get something for nothing.”

Arriva spokesman Eve Parkin explained the offer – compatible with iPhone and Android devices – fits in with the growing culture of using mobile devices for everyday services.

She said: “Catch the Bus Week offers the ideal time to showcase just how easy using the bus can be, both in terms of it being a more cost effective and greener way of travel, but also just how much more accessible it is by using an m-ticket.

“A secure, quick, easy and convenient way to buy tickets, this app removes the hassle of having to rummage for change, and fits right into the everyday day lives of a growing number of bus users who already use their mobile phones to purchase a number of different goods and services.

“By offering a free travel with the m-ticket during Catch the Bus Week we hope to promote the bus as an accessible option for many more people, which is at the heart of what this national awareness campaign is trying to achieve.”

To take advantage of the offer, download the app to sign up for the Arriva m-ticketing service and use the promotional code 4343 when using to buy a ticket. Click here for more information.