Citymapper Enters The Public Transport Game With Its Own Night Bus

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 11 months ago

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Citymapper Enters The Public Transport Game With Its Own Night Bus

A few months ago Citymapper ran a short trial launching its own bus service in central London. With time to reflect on the results of that experiment, the team behind everyone's favourite travel app has decided to launch a bus for real this time. It's a weekend only night bus called CM2 - Night Rider (no David Hasselhoff jokes please. Oh go on then).

The bus is licensed by TfL, running between Aldgate and Highbury & Islington, via Shoreditch and Dalston. Why this particular route? The data Citymapper has assembled using their app, identifies it as a major gap in London's transport system.

It's certainly true that large swathes of this popular nightlife destination are skipped by night tube, but we wonder whether Citymapper has taken the upcoming launch of night overground into consideration.

So what does this mean in practice? It's a bus, like most other buses... except it's green. Also it has some fancy technology like smart displays and a system that regulates bus bunching. And each seat has a USB charger. So perhaps not quite like a London bus. But still very much like a normal London bus.

One piece of info yet to be disclosed — how much a trip will cost. You can pay via contactless or Apple/Android Pay, but for now we don't know how much that will be.

The bus is launching in late August or perhaps early September, because — in Citymapper's own words — "you know how it is". If that lackadaisical attitude carries over to running punctual transport system, we find it hard to imagine Londoners taking to the service en masse. Time will tell.

Last Updated 20 July 2017

Steven Henson

Much as I like Citymapper's app, I'm alarmed that the pricing of this service is unclear. If you ever venture outside of London, you can see what happens when bus operators are allowed to set their own prices. London has a fixed price for a bus journey and that needs to stay, otherwise we'll end up with affordable buses only on major routes and high-priced infrequent buses elsewhere.