Sittingbourne has become the first town in the country to benefit from a new on-demand minibus service, operating throughout the day.
Launched today (Thursday) at Kent Science Park, which has been hosting a trial of the service, the new ArrivaClick smartphone app enables customers to request a high specification minibus – complete with free 4G Wi-Fi and leather seats – from their chosen pick up point at a time they want and to a destination in the town of their choosing.
Once booked, customers are guaranteed a seat on one of the fleet of five top-of-the-range minibuses. Their journey is matched with other people heading towards the same destination and they can track the minibus’s arrival on the app as they wait.
Oliver Monahan, Area Managing Director for Arriva in Kent and Surrey, said the app demonstrated Arriva’s desire to continue to provide innovative services.
“ArrivaClick reflects what we know about our existing customers who value timeliness and flexibility as well as recognising a shift in consumer and market behaviour which has seen people expecting a service that is bespoke and tailored to their needs, whilst also being responsive and sitting in the palm of their hand.
“ArrivaClick delivers all of the above and is a totally new way of travelling. 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. We hope that it will encourage people to try alternative ways to travel.”
Arriva UK Bus has been trialling the service between Kent Science Park and Sittingbourne rail station, and is now expanding the operating zone across the rest of town, as far as Iwade.
To encourage as many people as possible to try this new way of travelling, ArrivaClick is running promotional pricing which means journeys start from as little as £1 per mile, with each subsequent mile an additional £1 thereafter. For those bringing a friend or family member, the additional traveller travels for half price.
Patrick Benham-Crosswell, Site Director at Kent Science Park, said: “Kent Science Park was delighted to be chosen as the national trial location of ArrivaClick, which has proven to be a great success.
“More than 25% of employees here have used the app, reducing car journeys, congestion and emissions.
“Of course, as well as serving workers here ArrivaClick is also available to anyone in Sittingbourne with a smart phone.
“It is wonderful that the trial is now entering its second, wider phase. This means that it is available to almost all those who work at Kent Science Park, which should further reduce the number of car movements to the site.
“And of course it will make the service available to many more of the public which should have a significant benefit to Sittingbourne.”