Arriva, a leading pan-European passenger transport provider, has completed its first year operating ArrivaClick – a fully demand-responsive public transport service. This new dynamic service was piloted in and around Kent Science Park and Sittingbourne – an area under-served by local public transport connections – with discussions now underway to roll the scheme out to a major city in the north of England.
ArrivaClick sits between a taxi and local bus service. Customers pre-book using a smart phone app, reserve a seat and get a guaranteed fare and an estimated arrival time at a chosen pick-up point. Their journey is then matched with others heading to the same or similar location, with clever backend technology calculating the shortest and fastest route for all customers on-board instead of following a fixed route. The service is also personalised, with customers receiving text messages providing arrival time and the name of their driver.
The luxury, comfort and convenience of the ArrivaClick service, with free Wi-Fi, charging points and leather seats, is designed to make public transport more attractive to encourage people out of their cars, in turn helping to reduce air pollution and congestion in urban areas. Through the course of the pilot, more that 50% of customers have switched from using private car to ArrivaClick.
The flexible, on-demand service, which has catered for a wide range of journey types – from daily commuting to nights out – has been rated highly by customers for its convenience, value for money and the politeness of its customer-focused drivers.
This has been borne out by recent survey data, indicating high customer satisfaction with the new service as customers switch to a more flexible mode of transport. Successes include:
- The equivalent of 12% of Sittingbourne’s population have downloaded the app.
- Six in ten ArrivaClick customers (61%) use the service a few times a week or more, with just under half (43%) adopting the service for their daily commute.
- One third (34%) of customers used the service for leisure trips, while just over three in ten (31%) used ArrivaClick to visit friends and relatives.
- More than half (52%) of customers switched from private motor transport, including taxis (22%) driving their own car (18%) or being a passenger in a car (12%).
- Almost nine in ten (8.9/10) customers would recommend using the service to a friend.
Kevin O’Connor, Managing Director of UK Bus, Arriva, said:
“Demand Responsive Transport models, like ArrivaClick, present an exciting opportunity to meet the changing needs and requirements of customers and to offer a real alternative to current modes of transport. They have the potential to provide reliable and affordable first and last mile transport options and vital local transport links in underserved areas. With our plans to expand this award-winning service to other locations in the UK, we are excited about its future and the benefits it can bring to other towns and cities
“Through the successful ArrivaClick pilot in Kent we have also seen some really interesting and important behaviour change, with people ditching private car use to commute to work or visit friends and family in favour of this new customer-led public transport service.
“By integrating this new flexible, on-demand service with bus and train networks we can continue to play our role as passenger transport providers in helping to ease congestion and improve air quality in urban areas.”
With public sector budgets under pressure, the ArrivaClick demand-responsive model can also provide cost-effective answers for local authorities and commissioning bodies complementing existing transport approaches. Contracted community transport and subsidised services could be blended with the commercial service of ArrivaClick, to provide innovative, customer-focused public transport services benefitting communities and stakeholders.
Passengers can download the ArrivaClick app via the iOS or Android app stores.
To view how ArrivaClick works, click on our YouTube video:
 ArrivaClick customer feedback survey results, September 2017