In a blog post entitled “Project Black Bus”, CityMapper say their new service involves “black cabs running like buses. In a cabby way”. What that actually means, theoretically, is that you’ll be able to “commute in a cab at the price of public transport”.
“We’re partnering with Gett, the UK’s black cab app, to launch a fixed route,” the blog explains. BB1 (also known as ‘Black Bus 1’) will run between Highbury and Waterloo at peak commuting hours (between 7 and 10am and 5 and 8pm). You’ll share your cab - just like you would a bus. Unlike buses, though, you’ll be able to get on or off anywhere on the route.
And the best bit: IT ONLY COSTS £3.
CityMapper created the route with the help of ‘Simcity’, its “route creation and evaluation software”. Simcity finds gaps in the transport network of a given city, based on “the mobility needs of city dwellers”.
Using this software, Citymapper found a gap in the network during peak commute hours - “the most congested time of the day, when public transport networks are stretched to their utmost.”
BB1 also connects Highbury to the south of London - something no tube line currently does, and a journey that normally requires about 3 buses or tubes.
“It serves one of the largest gaps in the tube in Zone 1: Angel to Farringdon,” the blog explains. ” It uses side streets that avoid jams and benefit from bus lanes- which may be particularly useful since Angel station is currently undergoing construction with major roads blocked.”
If the route is right for you, BB1 will show up in the app as the best choice.
“Taxis are existing transport infrastructure in the city. And taxi drivers have great hyperlocal knowledge. But they also have spare capacity (ie multiple free seats) that could be better utilised. The hard part is matching people together. Running fixed routes is one way to solve for this,” CityMapper explain.
“And that’s great for congested cities. Especially during commute times when a city is straining to service peak mobility.”