Following a successful trial in Sittingbourne, the demand-responsive service goes city-scale and is expected to utilise up to 25 EVM minibuses
Arriva has announced the expansion of its ArrivaClick Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service, which it expects to become operational in Liverpool from late summer.
The expansion follows a successful year-long pilot in Sittingbourne, Kent, and the company is now working with Merseytravel to roll-out the new cashless service later in the summer.
As in Sittingbourne, ArrivaClick in Liverpool will utilise EVM Low Floor Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 516CDi minibuses. Each contains 15 leather passenger seats and is specified with WiFi and charging points. The vehicles will also be constructed to allow space for wheelchairs and pushchairs where required.
The service is expected to initially use six vehicles, with a view to running 25 by summer 2019.
This would make it the largest commercial DRT operation in the UK.
The exact operating area of the vehicles is still being finalised, but an Arriva spokesperson confirmed to CBW that the service plans to include the city centre and Liverpool John Lennon airport, along with Liverpool Central station, Liverpool Hope University, Speke Hall industrial estate and the Walker Art Gallery.
During the pilot in Kent, more than 50% of customers surveyed switched from using private cars to ArrivaClick, with 61% of users using the service a few times a week or more. 43% adopted the service for their daily commute.
Kevin O’Connor, Managing Director of Arriva UK Bus, said: “The bus services we run in Liverpool are relied upon by thousands of customers every day, and we are proud to bring this innovative and complementary new service to the city.
“ArrivaClick will complement existing public transport in the region, giving customers more options to use shared transport and we have big ambitions to make this flexible, responsive service available for thousands more journeys.
“Liverpool is a city that embraces new ideas, so it was the natural choice for us.”