Arriva UK, part of the Arriva Group – one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe – and ioki, Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) business unit for intelligent on-demand mobility, are now joining forces on British roads: The two DB companies recently signed a framework agreement on cooperation in the field of demand-responsive transport solutions, thus laying the foundation for Europe-wide cooperation.
The promising cooperation will start with an on-demand service in Watford, UK, some 30 kilometres northwest of London. Here, three accessible minibuses, which can be ordered very conveniently via the smartphone app «ArrivaClick«, have been taking passengers flexibly from A to B since the beginning of July. Thanks to the digital application, even the stricter hygiene rules due to COVID-19 can be implemented without any problems. The app currently automatically limits the number of passengers per shuttle to a maximum of four. In addition, masks are mandatory.
The new service offers a simple and cost-effective alternative to travel – especially to your own car – and thus strengthens climate-friendly local transport. The innovative mobility concept is part of Watford City Council’s wider strategy to develop an integrated approach to improving sustainable transport opportunities across the city. It focuses in particular on optimising the link between Watford Junction – 20 minutes from London Euston station – and hubs such as the city centre and the tourist attraction Warner Brother Studios, where a studio tour will allow visitors to experience the making-of of Harry Potter films. The on-demand project, in which ioki is the technology partner, is initially scheduled to run for four years and will be extended for a further two years if successful. For Arriva UK it is already the fourth project of this kind since 2017, ioki celebrates its UK debut with Watford.
With more than 25 projects in the DACH region, ioki, together with transport companies, local authorities and companies, is already successfully shaping the mobility of tomorrow. At the side of the foreign railway subsidiary, which is active in a total of 14 countries and thus has a Europe-wide network at its disposal, existing synergies are to be strategically used in order to position itself jointly in other European countries and thus enrich passenger transport outside the DACH countries. Arriva is the operator while ioki provides the technology. Through customer-centric products, the partners want to use the opportunities of digitization to bring new compelling offerings to the market that not only improve the quality of mobility services from the end customer’s perspective, but also increase efficiency from the operator’s perspective.
«With Arriva UK, we have exactly the right partner at our side to now provide people with better access to mobility on an international level. We are delighted that Arriva has placed its trust in ioki as a tech enabler and that we can put our joint plans directly into practice with the launch in Watford,» says ioki CEO Dr. Michael Barillère-Scholz.