Watford Borough Council will subsidise a demand-responsive minibus service to provide free transport to and from Covid-19 vaccination locations in the Hertfordshire borough.
Residents without access to a vehicle will be able to book the ArrivaClick service with a discount code through a smartphone app. If a passenger does not have a smartphone, the service can be booked on their behalf by a friend or relative.
Following the booking, which requires proof of an appointment letter or email, passengers are picked up at an agreed time from a ‘virtual stop’ in a covid-secure minibus.
All vehicles will have appropriate ventilation, with strict infection control measures in place to ensure they are operated with the highest levels of public health safeguards.
This includes a regular schedule of cleaning of the buses, a clear policy on the wearing of face masks, app-only payments, a maximum of six passengers at any one time and one passenger per row to ensure socially distanced seating.
Peter Taylor, elected mayor of Watford, said: “Thanks to the support of ArrivaClick, vulnerable residents who may otherwise be unable to attend their vaccinations appointments will be able to travel safely and at no cost to and from local vaccination sites.
“This offer provides residents with the opportunity to easily and safely access the vaccination centres at no cost during this economically challenging time, supports the council’s sustainability strategy and provides ArrivaClick with an opportunity to demonstrate the excellent service available for essential travel.”
The buses operating times are 6am to 10pm Monday to Thursday, 6am to 11pm on Fridays, and 8am to 9pm on weekends.
As previously reported by CiTTi, ArrivaClick launched in Watford in July 2020. The service has been developed by passenger transport operator Arriva UK using technology from ioki, Deutsche Bahn’s smart mobility business unit.