A new on demand bus service will launch in Ebbsfleet Garden City  next week.

Launching in partnership and funded by residential homebuilders Redrow and Henley Camland, landowner of Whitecliffe, Arriva will provide a new flexible bus service that can be booked when required, providing flexible and cost effective public transport with the convenience of a private taxi.

As part of the development of up to 15,000 homes in Ebbsfleet Garden City, residents and visitors will benefit from a new and more sustainable way of getting around, reducing the need for private car ownership.

The service is quick and simple to use through the intuitive ‘ArrivaClick’ App powered by technology from ViaVan (available via the App Store and Google Play).  Rides are booked directly from a smartphone by selecting a pick up and drop off location.  The app will enable multiple riders to share the same vehicle, directing passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off. This allows for efficient shared trips without lengthy detours.  The app will also display the price and time of each journey and allow tracking of the ride through the app

The service will run seven days a week starting at 06:00 and operating through to 01:00 (19 hour day), except on Sunday when services will stop at midnight.  Fares start from £1 and are based on trip distance.  Weekly passes and credit bundles are also available.

To celebrate the launch ArrivaClick is launching a special offer with first ride free and an additional 30% discount for concessionary pass holders who book through the App.

Adam Toone, Business Development Director at Arriva UK Bus, said: “We’re excited to be working with both Redrow and Henley Camland with the support of Kent County Council to launch ArrivaClick to the local Ebbsfleet Garden City community.  ArrivaClick will enable on demand commuter connectivity like never before, whilst providing the satisfaction of a greener way to travel.”

Ebbsfleet is the fourth region to receive this demand responsive transport solution, having first introduced it in the UK in 2017.  Arriva will provide up to three mini-buses, seating up to 15 people (currently a reduced capacity of six to ensure social distancing), operating within a defined operating zone.  All mini-buses are fully accessible, with space for pushchairs and front kerbside double door access and a low-level fold-out wheelchair ramp.  Passengers can pre-register as a wheelchair user.

Glenn Holliday, Technical Manager at Redrow South East, commented, “We are pleased to deliver ArrivaClick to residents at Ebbsfleet and the surrounding area. This new flexible service provides a sustainable alternative to private car journeys.”

Peter Nelson, Director of Henley Camland, said:  “We are delighted to provide funding for this innovative new on-demand bus service.  This provides a smart travel experience with a taxi-style service and we anticipate it will be a great benefit to the local community.”

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “This new DRT service represents the beginning of an exciting chapter for public transport in Ebbsfleet and the developing Whitecliffe community. As well as benefiting the new area of development, I am grateful that the service will also provide the links for existing neighbouring communities.”

Arriva Click currently operates in Liverpool, Leicester and Watford.

From Monday 30th November, Arriva bus services 484, 485 and 485A will be replaced with ArrivaClick.

ArrivaClick will operate in Ebbsfleet Green, Whitecliff, Greenhithe, Knockhall, Worcester Park, Swanscombe town centre and Bluewater Shopping Centre. The service also includes Ebbsfleet International Station, Darenth Valley Hospital, Springhead and parts of Northfleet, Northfleet Rail Station, Sainsburys, Springhead Enterprise Park, Northfleet County Park and Manor Business Park.