Arriva invests £600,000 in new buses with the X-Factor for Medway

Posted: 23 January 2012 | Arriva | No comments yet

Arriva has bought five brand-new buses for use on Service 116 in the Medway Towns…

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Arriva has bought five brand-new buses for use on Service 116 in the Medway Towns.

They entered service from late January on the popular route that runs between Chatham and Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, serving the Historic Dockyard, the Universities at Medway campus, Mid Kent College, Gillingham town centre, Medway Maritime Hospital, Rainham, Wigmore and Parkwood on the way.

Representing an investment of £600,000, these are the first buses of a new design built in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus, one of the UK’s largest bus builders, to enter service anywhere in the country.

The buses have light, airy and comfortable interiors and are fully-accessible, with stepless entrances incorporating a ramp which allows easy access when the pavement is low, a kneeling facility which lowers the entrance platform wjhen required and and no steps in the front half inside. There is also a space near the front of the bus for wheelchairs to park.

Like most Arriva buses, they are fitted with state-of-the-art digital CCTV cameras inside and out for the added security of our customers and staff.

Their engines feature the latest technology and are built to meet the stringent ‘Euro 5’ standard with very little exhaust emission and which will help to improve air quality in the Medway area.

The eye-catching buses are being used to re-launch the 116 as ‘X-BUS 116’, with prominent graphics to draw attention to the service which runs every 20 minutes for much of the day on Mondays to Fridays and every half an hour on Saturdays.

A new feature, and the first on any local bus service in Kent or Medway, is the fitting of free Wi-Fi to the new 116 buses and also to those used on the 101 between Maidstone and Medway.

This feature allows our customers to access the internet free of charge while on the move, either via smart phones or laptops, and lets them chat with their online friends, do some internet shopping, check emails or browse websites. We expect this to prove popular, especially with our younger customers.

Four of the new buses were lined up for inspection on the Parade Ground at the universities’ campus on Thursday 19th January, where they were officially launched by the Mayor of Medway, Councillor Ted Baker, in front of other invited guests which included Medway Council Members and Officers and representatives of the local tourism, retail and academic communities.

The buses went into use on the 116 the following day and the fifth one has now arrived.

Adding a splash of colour to the proceedings was Rochester Town Crier, Robin Burfoot, who, as well as acting as Master of Ceremonies for the event read out a poem which he had written for the occasion and which you can see by clicking here.

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