Citymapper's making its own buses to completely reinvent London travel

Lynsey Barber
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London 2012 - London Transport
Citymapper thinks busses can be more efficient (Source: Getty)

Citymapper, one of London's star tech startups which provides users with real-time journey information at the swipe of a smartphone, has unveiled ambitious plans to reinvent bus travel.

It has launched its own smart bus to improve mobility in cities, working with Transport for London on a trial in the capital.

The buses will harvest route data with a view to helping improve journeys around the city and the goal of "reinventing the bus" .

"We’ve helped people figure out which bus to take. When it arrives. How long it takes. When to get off. Now it’s inevitable that we help make them work better," the startup said in a blog post.

A popup bus route will run on a circular route from Blackfriars to Waterloo Bridge for two days. The minibus-style vehicles will even have phone chargers for travellers, as well as displays with real-time information and its technology will collect information for passengers and drivers and to analyse how people travel.

The company said it's "reinventing the entire software stack for running and operating a bus" and that "smarter buses lead to better mobility and cities".

"We built software for everything, including real-time operational control to driver management to scheduling systems. We’re reinventing how to think about all of these in the real-time world. We’ve taken systems that haven’t traditionally talked to each other and integrated them.

"In the future, we’ll explain in more detail how smarter bus tech leads to better mobility and cities."

Based on its existing treasure trove of data, Citymapper said it can identify better routes that can help solve congestion problems and suggests that it its tech tool, nicknamed Simcity, can help run a more efficient bus network in London and beyond

"In the era of smartphones we can have responsive buses that react to real-time needs," Citymapper said.

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