Screenshot 2014-06-29 21.38.12

Can Anyone Bring Citymapper Flair to UK Wide Travel?

Screenshot 2014-06-29 21.38.12I’m a real fan of Citymapper - for travelling around London it does a great job integrating all the trains, buses and the underground together in an easy to use app, a trick they’re repeating in other major cities across the world.

However there is one big issue, whilst I go into London, I don’t live in London, I live out in Berkshire. The app includes train services out as far as Reading, but if I want to take a bus to the station I need a different app like one of the Bus Expert apps to get me to the station. The only buses in Citymapper are those run by Transport for London, so even connections for the outer reaches of the London Underground aren’t included for where I grew up around Rickmansworth.

That’s not to say that there isn’t the real time data around, Citymapper make use of data feeds from Transport API, and their data covers a much wider area than just London, indeed you can find example sites and example applications that use their data on a wider level.

There is also the government backed Traveline websites which have a set of regional travel planning applications, each working and looking different and having been developed by different suppliers appointed by the various regions, and then Transport Direct offer a national route planning service, along with a mobile web site, but no equivalent app. All of the government apps and sites work, but they aren’t exactly the kind of modern web and app experience you get from an app like Citymapper.

Screenshot 2014-06-29 21.36.38One of the better UK wide route planning apps is a cut down version of the Rome2Rio app called UK Transport Search, it’s got a small footprint and is pretty quick to produce reasonable routes, however it lacks any of the realtime information that Citymapper has.

You can certainly plan trips and navigate around the country using a combination of apps, but nobody seems to have produced the kind of multi-modal public transport application that Citymapper have produced for London on a wider scale. We have all the bits, but nobody has actually pulled the whole thing together, so who is actually going to do it?

 

2 thoughts on “Can Anyone Bring Citymapper Flair to UK Wide Travel?”

  1. Try Moovit!

    FULL UK coverage – including real time data (both crowd-sourced and from bus companies API).

    The best one out there…

    1. Moovit would be good if it actually worked properly in the UK.

      I’ve run it for a while on my phone, and whilst it does get realtime departures for our local bus stop it doesn’t get the realtime departure information for trains – I’ve looked at it side by side with the other train apps and it’s showing the timetabled departures not what is actually happening. Even if you were just to use it as a route planner, there are also a couple of occasions when it’s come up with trains that don’t even exist – certainly not an app I’d be confident in.

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