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App meets bus in Citymapper's new hybrid bus-taxi service

23 February 2018
The network adapts around the evolving needs of the city, says Citymapper
The network adapts around the evolving needs of the city, says Citymapper


Following its trial of bus services in London last year, travel app Citymapper has finally launched what it terms ‘The Responsive Network: a  solution for dynamic shared transportation in cities’. The service is live in London, and is know as ‘Smart Ride’, and is already available via the apps.

Writing in a post on medium, Citymapper declares that they ‘design a network, not a route’. ‘Unlike traditional buses that are tied to a route, our vehicles are tied to a network and can thus move in multiple combinations. This means passengers can be taken all the way to the best spot for them on the network. Since it’s shared transportation, bus stops (pickup stops) still exist, and are used to coordinate multiple passengers.

The network adapts around the evolving needs of the city, says Citymapper. ‘We learn a lot about user needs and mobility patterns from our multimodal app. This helps us design networks that are best for the city. Networks can evolve over time to respond to the needs of a city, such as construction, disruptions, or new development. Traditional bus systems cannot do this at a reasonable pace, as they require lengthy update processes, as well as physical stops and advertising.’

Since all bookings require the app, we can match the right vehicles with the right people in realtime. ‘Smart Ride is live in London, with a full booking experience within our app, says Citymapper. ‘It requires an account and credit card so that we can make payments hassle free and rides safe. The service is limited to a coverage area governed by the network.’

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