University of Kent

March, 2024

University of Kent
Location: Medway/Canterbury


Since 2012, The Kings Ferry depot has effectively managed the operation of university shuttles, catering to approximately 45,000 passengers annually. The University of Kent collaborates with National Express Transport Solutions to provide a complimentary coach service connecting its Medway and Canterbury campuses. This service operates exclusively during term time, seven days a week, with each journey lasting around 50 minutes. Accessible solely to University of Kent students and staff, it serves as a vital link between campuses.

The challenge

The University of Kent sought a reliable shuttle service to ferry students between its Canterbury and Medway campuses for lectures and activities. With numerous students residing in Medway accommodation, situated across the campus and nearby areas, facilitating their transportation to Canterbury became imperative. Operating from Monday to Sunday, the service operated hourly from 07:35 to 00:00 on weekdays, and every two hours from 09:00 to 02:00 on Saturdays and 09:00 to 00:00 on Sundays. This necessitates 29 transfers on weekdays, 18 on Saturdays, and 16 on Sundays.

The response

Maintaining seamless communication between the Account Manager and the University's Head of Traffic Management & Travel, Security & Transport Centre and Estates Department is paramount. This ensures prompt resolution of any service delays or issues. Additionally, we introduced a ticket booking system for students, allowing them to reserve their seats in advance, guaranteeing timely arrival for lectures. Moreover, this system provides valuable Management Information (MI) data to the University, offering insights into passenger numbers, and instances of students unable to board due to lack of pre-booking.

Collaborating with our operations team, we meticulously assessed campus and accommodation locations to identify optimal shuttle stops along the route. This strategic placement enhanced convenience and efficiency for students, streamlining their commute between campuses.

By adopting these measures, we not only met the University's transportation needs but also enhanced the overall experience for students and staff alike, ensuring timely and reliable access to educational resources across campuses.


Client Testimonials

“Kingsferry, part of National Express Transport Solutions, has been a core feature of keeping our students and staff moving between our campuses since 2012.

Our prevailing relationship with Kingsferry has meant that our students and staff are able to travel with the peace of mind of knowing that they are in the care of local and experienced drivers.”

Teresa Curteis
Head of Transport Planning & Operations
Security & Transport Centre Estates Department

Working as a Uni of Kent driver was great. I built friendly professional relationships with the students and the staff communicating on first name terms.  It gave continuity to my passengers knowing who their driver was. On occasions like Christmas, both staff and students would enjoy Karaoke during their commute. It was lovely to be a part of. The familiarity of having a set route was always enjoyable and working on a rolling rota allowed for forward planning and a good work life balance.

Kim (Private Hire Driver, Kingsferry)


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