Demand responsive bus service is latest scheme in Watford to promote alternative modes of transport

 
From today, the service will operate with three minibuses, at a reduced capacity of a maximum of four people at any one time

 
ArrivaClick has this week launched in Watford in order to deliver “a safe, reliable and sustainable mode of transport for essential travel in the town”. The service will be phased in, complying with government guidance and scaled up as the restrictions around COVID-19 are lifted.

ArrivaClick is a demand responsive minibus service that was initially launched in Sittingbourne, Kent, in March 2017. Subsidised by Watford Borough Council, the latest ArrivaClick service is priced between a bus and taxi fare and can be booked and paid for via a free smartphone app on www.watford.gov.uk/arrivaclick.

The service uses technology from ioki, which develops smart mobility solutions for the future. Customers can book from the comfort of their home and the service, responding to demand from passengers and the routes they want to take, will pick them up from a ‘virtual stop’ close to their starting point.

From today, the service will operate with three minibuses, at a reduced capacity of a maximum of four people at any one time. Service users will be asked to comply with the latest government guidance, such as the wearing of face coverings. A full cleaning regime will be in place and the driver will follow government guidelines at all times.

The buses will operate across the borough and to Warner Brother Studios and Croxley Park. Each bus will have comfortable seating, tables, free Wi-Fi, USB chargers and air conditioning ensuring a clean, comfortable and safe method of public transport.

Journey prices range from £1 to £2.50 per mile depending on the time of day and further discounts are available to regular users via weekly passes and credit bundles. The hours of operation will be 6am to 10pm from Monday to Saturday (extending to 11pm on Friday and Saturday evenings) and 8am to 9pm on Sundays.

It is important that we offer new ways to travel around the town so that we can cut congestion and make our air cleaner

“It is important that we offer new ways to travel around the town so that we can cut congestion and make our air cleaner,” said Watford’s elected mayor, Peter Taylor. “I am delighted to be launching a demand responsive bus scheme for Watford and am confident that ArrivaClick will be a real success in our town. I am looking forward to welcoming the first buses to Watford and joining people in our town using them to get around.”

Adam Toone, business development director at Arriva, commented: “It’s really important that public transport plays a key role as lockdown measures are eased. Customers can be reassured that we’re cleaning the vehicles thoroughly, using disinfectant and ensuring social distancing measures are followed at all times. We will continuously monitor the public health guidelines and ensure that we continue to keep our drivers and customers safe. We look forward to welcoming customers on board.”

The council’s ambitious goal is to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030 after declaring a Climate Emergency last year. This requires making big changes to the way everyone in Watford lives, travels and works. ArrivaClick is just one of the schemes in Watford promoting alternative modes of transport, along with the Beryl Bike Share Scheme, travelWatford app and EV charging points for electric vehicles across the borough.

 
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox. CLICK HERE to subscribe to our e-newsletter.