It’s official: Citymapper is launching a commercial night bus in East London.
Earlier this week, Business Insider reported that the British transportation startup had been granted a permit to run an overnight bus service between Highbury & Islington and Aldgate East. On Thursday, it confirmed the news, publishing a blog post about its intentions.
“We found central London fairly well covered during the day by existing TfL services, but we identified bigger gaps in the night network,” Citymapper wrote. “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.”
Citymapper is best known for its eponymous app that helps users find their way through cities. But it’s now making moves into the transportation business directly.
In May, it launched a pop-up bus route in central London (CMX1) as a showcase for new tech it has been building to help plan and route public transportation.
It was free-to-ride — but Citymapper’s latest route, the CM2, will be a commercial operation.
Users can pay via contactless debit and credit cards, as well as Android Pay and Apple Pay, like TfL buses, and will offer USB chargers on seats. Otherwise it will be largely similar to a traditional bus (though Citymapper enigmatically promises that “the bus experience is long overdue some change”).
Oh, and the bus will be bright green.
“The buses are tracked with our tablets, commodity hardware that’s easy to setup and use, with screens, internet connections and the ability to use apps and update them as we learn. Unique to our buses, drivers will utilise our headway management system to keep buses running optimally. For example, we will solve for bus bunching, leading to more efficient services, minimised waiting times, and happier riders,” Citymapper said. “That’s the hope.”
It’s due to launch in late August, or maybe “early September.”