The transport app Citymapper is piloting its own smart bus service in London which, it says, is, “reinventing the entire software stack for running and operating a bus.”
It says its experimental popup route CMX1 running around central London which, “runs on a fixed route. It uses bus stops. People can hop on and off. However, in time you’re going to see us ‘rethink’ how buses and routes operate and how to make them more efficient and useful in cities.”
It says the company has built software for realtime operational control to driver management to scheduling systems and is reinventing how to think about all of these in the realtime world, taking systems that haven’t traditionally talked to each other and integrated them.
Answering its own question, “why are we doing this?”, Citymapper says it first built an app to help people get around town, using open data, but that it found the data needed fixing, so built tools to do so. It then says it also built tools to analyse the data and learned a lot about how people are moving around, and when studying existing routes realised that they don’t always serve people best, nor evolve quickly enough to accommodate changes in the city, so worked out a way of improving routes or identifying new ones where demand exists.
Its announcement finishes with a call: “Londoners and others, come join us, watch an app company fumble around with learning how to run a service with real vehicles and drivers! Reinventing the bus is crucial for the future of our congested cities and infrastructure. Lets figure out how to make cities more usable.”