- Rob Price/BI
Citymapper has been granted permission to run a night bus in East London.
Transport regulator TfL (Transport for London) has approved the London transportation app startup’s application to launch an overnight bus route in the British capital, running between Aldgate East and Highbury & Islington.
It’s not immediately clear when (or if) the service will officially launch, or for how long it will run: Citymapper had previously indicated in its application it would begin on July 12, a date that has come and gone. (The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Citymapper is best known for its eponymous app that helps users find their way through cities. But in May the company took its first step into transportation itself with the launch of a pop-up bus route in central London.
The CMX1 ran for just two days around Waterloo and Blackfriars, and was a showcase for new tech Citymapper has been quietly building to help plan and route public transportation. (Business Insider had a ride when it launched, and you can read more here.)
The bright green hopper bus came with charging points beneath the seats and a big screen showing the route – but was otherwise largely similar to existing buses.
Impact Group, the transport firm that worked with Citymapper on its first bus, also put in an application for the route “CM2.” Starting at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays only, it would run every 12 minutes until 5.30am the next day, and would stop at Highbury & Islington Station; Dalston Junction, Kingsland Road; Shoreditch High Street; and Aldgate East Station.
TfL published its decision to approve the permit for the CM2 in its biweekly London Service Permit bulletin. You can read the full application for CM2, including its planned alternative routes in case of road closures, here.
Citymapper’s original plan for its first route (CM1) was actually originally rejected, a freedom of information request published online showed. TfL said it turned it down because it was “in a congested area which is well served by existing public transport,” it “would cause delay and inconvenience to other road users,” and it was “likely to cause confusion to passengers” over its ticket fees (in the end, the two-day pop-up was free).
The CMX1 route did not ultimately need a permit to operate because it was free to use, a TfL spokesperson told Business Insider. This suggests that Citymapper intends to charge riders a fee to use the CM2, like traditional buses.