Citymapper has been adding a multitude of transport options to its popular city transit app over the past few weeks, with dockless bikes and motorized scooters now appearing globally.
News first emerged a few weeks back that Chinese dockless bike giant Ofo had struck a deal with Citymapper, and keen-eyed Citymapper users likely noticed that a bunch more services were added to the mix, as well.
The available transport options will vary depending on where you are, but Londoners, for example, will now see Ofo and rival Mobike bicycles integrated into their travel routes around the U.K. capital, while electric scooter startup Bird, fresh from a mammoth $300 million funding round , will show up in San Francisco. Dozens of similar services will now appear in Citymapper apps around the world.
Citymapper rose to prominence in London back in 2011 for its easy-to-use interface that pools multiple transport options to find you the best route from A to B. Since then, it has landed in dozens of cities globally, including New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Tokyo, and the company has raised around $50 million in funding. Citymapper has also been experimenting with its own transport services, having introduced a commercial bus service and taxi-sharing service.
There has been a huge spike in dockless bike-sharing, ebikes, and scooters in recent times, with countless startups striving to get their piece of the urban mobility pie. The growing competition in the dockless bike-sharing realm, specifically, has led to complaints that cities have become flooded with bikes. But the appetite for bikes and the underlying platform that powers them shows little sign of subsiding — in fact, ecommerce giant Meituan-Dianping recently acquired Mobike for nearly $3 billion.
With that in mind, it makes sense to include these emerging transport options in a transit app like Citymapper. People don’t just use trains, buses, or cabs anymore — they combine all manner of transport to get where they need to go as quickly or cheaply as possible. Citymapper refers to these new options as “floating transport.”
“We don’t like calling the category ‘dockless’, since we feel it shouldn’t be defined by what it lacks, especially when what it lacks makes it better,” the company said in a blog post. “Existing transport is ‘fixed’, so we regard all modes that have changing physical locations as ‘floating’.”
As with the taxi-sharing service it launched in conjunction with Gett last year, this latest upgrade to Citymapper’s product offering reflects the ways people are combining multiple forms of transport to get around.
“The traditional transport system has been designed by people sitting in an office,” the company added. “Stations are fixed. Bus stops are fixed. Once set, they don’t change very often. Stability and predictability are important, of course, so they need to exist. But the city is an organism that changes day by day. Floating transport can respond more quickly and evolve with it.”