Arriva has launched a new minibus service in Kent called ArrivaClick. The on demand service takes multiple passengers heading in the same direction and books them into a shared vehicle. EVM converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter based minibuses from London Hire are used to run it. The operator created the specification with the hire company, which provided the lease package, with EVM building the vehicle.
ArrivaClick works via an app for iPhone or Android, with users selecting pick up and drop off points and being guaranteed a seat. It currently operates between Kent Science Park and Sittingbourne station on Monday to Saturday from 06.00 to 19.30. The vehicles have a maximum capacity of 12 and are equipped with leather seats, Wi-Fi and charging points. No cash is needed, with passengers being able to pay using their phone when booking a journey. Arriva plans to widen the geographic area of the service.
It was developed in partnership with US transportation solutions firm, Via, which provides dynamic shared ride services in New York, Chicago and Washington DC. The company has provided a custom built rider app, the Via driver app and backend technology to power the service’s routing and dispatch functions. It features an algorithm designed to enable passengers to be picked up and dropped off in an endless stream, without taking riders out of their way to accommodate other passengers, enabling the platform to move a high volume of riders while using a fraction of the number of vehicles utilised by other on demand car services.
Commercial Director UK Bus – Arriva Group, Alistair Hands, said, ‘The ArrivaClick app is the result of two driving forces, the first being the continued demand from existing customers to prioritise punctuality of service and frequency. The second force is a shift in consumer and market behaviour which has seen people expecting a service that is bespoke and tailored to their specific needs, whilst also being reactive and sitting in the palm of their hand. ArrivaClick delivers all of the above and is a totally new bus experience and a new way of travelling, appealing to people in a different way to bus travel of the past. We see similar ways of travelling on the continent and we believe there is a demand for this type of service here in the UK too. It’s also a demonstration of how our business continues to put customer needs at the centre of developments and drive forward with innovative services and the best use of technology.’