Transport app Citymapper has been given the go ahead by Transport for London to run a commercial bus route in the heart of London.
Citymapper will launch the weekend night bus in East London following an initial one day "popup" trial earlier this year which signalled its intention to "reinvent the bus" and a major new direction for the startup.
The CM2 bus route will launch in late August or early September and run from Highbury to Aldgate via Dalston, Hoxton and Shoreditch betwwen 9pm and 5am.
Bus operator Tower Transit, which already runs several routes in the capital, will run the hipster route for CItymapper.
It may seem like a startup and a route in East London would be a bit of a stereotype, but, the huge trove of data Citymapper collects suggest there is a gap in services here and demand for transport.
"We found central London fairly well covered during the day by existing TfL services, but we identified bigger gaps in the night network," it said in a blog post.
"People in London are staying out later, especially in East London. For example there are more late night destinations on Commercial Road, without any night bus support. The emergence of the Night Tube has also encouraged late night mobility, but also exposed gaps in the supporting night bus network. We found Highbury & Islington Station (an important hub on the night Victoria line) with inadequate bus coverage linking east."
And in a jibe at the plethora of "mobility" companies popping up recently and Silicon Valley's jargon, it added:
"Note to Silicon Valley: it’s a social hyper-local multi-passenger pooled vehicle
Note to rest of the world: it’s a bus"
Citymapper's green buses are fully connected and collate data on journeys which the startup believes can be used to make services better and more dynamic.
Those riding the CM2 will get large screens showing detailed travel information and for smartphone addicts, a USB port on every seat to charge it. And, of course, the route will appear on the CItymapper app. It also plans to add innovative features such as a people counter so it can show seat availability.