Arriva UK has launched a customer led demand responsive service. Arriva is the first national operator to offer this service and it is aimed to lead the bus transport market into a new arena. Currently, the service has been launched in in and around Kent Science Park and Sittingbourne. Arriva intend to extend the service area further.
“The ArrivaClick app is the result of two driving forces,” explains Alistair Hands, commercial director of UK Bus, Arriva Group. He notes that the first is “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.”
The ArrivaClick service was developed in partnership with American company, Via – a transportation solutions firm that provides shared ride services to US cities like New York, Chicago and Washington DC. “This is the first time Via has partnered with a transit organisation to provide a full end-to-end operating system,” said head of global business development at Via, Zachary Wasserman.
He continues: “we are really looking forward to following the success of ArrivaClick. So far we have enjoyed great growth in the United States that has seen us provide more than 12 million rides, and we’re looking forward to growing the service in the UK.”
The ArrivaClick service is to be used via the smartphone up that allows customers to request a smart minibus. The customer selects a pickup point, a time and a destination of their choosing. The journey will then be matched up with other customers with the same destination aim. Once booked, the customer’s seat on the bus is guaranteed and they can track its location. Customers are also provided with a proposed cost and ETA.
The ArrivaClick minibuses can carry up to 12 passengers and boast leather seats, use of tables, built in charge points and free WiFi. To start using the app, the customer just needs to download the app, create an account and buy some credit to pay for requested journeys.
ArrivaClick 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,” says Hands. “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,” concludes Hands.