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New digital platform for leading transport provider

"We chose to partner with DCX because they had a level of expertise that we didn't see in others. They'd clearly set themselves apart as a major player in our industry. They demonstrated that they understood the public transport industry. They were absolutely first class in their understanding of what the customer needs and wants."

Neil Shah, Arriva Customer Engine’s Delivery Director, Arriva Bus UK



Arriva Bus UK’s legacy digital estate faced many challenges. Its fragmented suite of journey planning and purchase tools focused on discrete tasks, which was difficult for the business to manage and for travellers to use.


  • The company had two separate bus mobile apps: one for planning and one for retailing.
  • Each regional operating company had its own dedicated web experience.
  • There were three separate web platforms for retail, planning and marketing content.
  • There was little to no correlation between the content across sites.
  • Any content management actions on the site required significant custom development and manual input.

The digital business was further affected by the legacy technology running the content and retail platforms, with two different versions of EpiServer in use. The retail platform version had not been upgraded since the original sites were created, and the website also experienced Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance issues. Finally, none of the digital platforms were scalable, with multi-day outages and problems caused by traffic spikes.

Arriva Bus turned to DCX for help.



We helped Arriva Bus develop its overarching digital strategy and roadmap, creating the commercial business case for change, defining, and scoping the digital ecosystem to support it, and then acting as system integrator (SI) to create the integrated digital marketing and retail solution powered by Acquia Cloud Platform and AWS.

To deliver the optimal solution, we engaged many stakeholders from across the Arriva Bus business, from commercial, customer experience (CX), and call centre leads, to regional managers, and central and regional marketing. We defined a content model and API architecture focused on giving users a connected experience; enriching journey planning, whilst providing retail and journey options to users as they browsed marketing content. 

With customer experience firmly at the forefront, our team identified and created five different traveller personas to understand their needs and what would drive channel shift. We also interviewed bus drivers to understand their view about the on-bus experience. Ultimately, we documented five distinct customer journey maps, which became the blueprint for the new experience.

Armed with prototypes of the new bus website and app, our team travelled to different Arriva Bus locations around the UK to test and iterate it with customers.

This method of guerrilla user testing allowed our CX designers to use customer feedback to change the prototype in real time and refine the experience. We also worked collaboratively with the Arriva Bus team in London and other locations within the UK to ensure business alignment.

We configured Acquia CMS to serve content through a number of headless APIs. This allowed a unique customer experience to be authored within the web application, with digital retail content (tickets, offers, journeys) positioned alongside relevant marketing information (routes pages). The headless API was also used to provide content for the native apps, allowing content editors to manage content for multiple client types.

This unique approach removed the need for the business to run two separate marketing and retail platforms and created a more seamless customer experience that converted at a higher rate. 

Acquia DAM was also deployed to help the central marketing team control assets used. This allowed Arriva Bus to import and migrate thousands of images and files, map them to the appropriate content and manage their use in offline and online campaigns.

The new technology has also given Arriva Bus the flexibility to change the content and the flows on the site and app to match changing customer behaviours. Its teams are now easily able to modify UX and customer flows to support each customer journey.


channel shift


monthly visits


year-on-year increase in revenue


Arriva Bus now has a single app and website using a core suite of components that have their content managed from one platform (Acquia CMS), where they can be reused and repurposed across each regional business. A more visual interface using maps with real-time journey data allows easy tracking of buses within their route and quick purchase through a streamlined booking flow.

The new platform launched in August 2020, achieving immediate, tangible results.

Revenues were in seven figures, with 30% channel shift in the first month alone and user visits totaling over 1 million by the second month.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the solution has continued to grow its user base, with visitors now over 2.6 million per month as of July 2021 and revenues up 32% year-over-year (allowing for the impact of COVID-19).


Do Transport. Better.