Thursday 11 May 2017

A New Idea Or The Same Old, Same Old?

A Green Bus in London
A Harry Potter tour timeshifted back to the days of London Transport green country bus operations? Maybe not! Maybe just the Potty tour bus becoming mixed up in a clutch of heritage buses at Watford Junction bus station. Thanks to correspondent Alan for the piccy.

So what is this green bus doing in central London?
It is the Citymapper service X1

Citymapper is an App which claims to provide the best possible transport information in the world's big cities, including ... ?
As is usual with journey planners, some of the results are, erm, interesting. fbb tried Battersea Power Station to Big Ben.
A whole variety of answers was offered including walk and one bus options (sensible); together with a three bus options (just plain daft!). fbb was, however, impressed with the fourth offer in a rail only list.
Citymapper have explained that they have had to modify and restructure the data to make it all work properly.


Anyway, the company has run a "pop up" bus service.
It has run for just two days earlier this week (that, apparently, is what "pop up" means?) to try out the company's flashy new software with a view to developing a "better bus service for London" as operations like Uber "have reduced the number of passengers travelling by bus in the capital"

The FREE demonstration route ran in a one way circular between Waterloo and Blackfriars.
The graphics show at least three buses on the circuit, but on line pictures only show one vehicle in operation. A video posted on YouTube suggests technology was not 100% finctional for "the experiment" ...
... but the cheery chappie managed to track down a bus using the web's map (as above).
The bus is equipped with "next stop" screens ...
... and Piotr, the driver, has details of where all the other buses on the route are, and how fast to drive to keep to time.
Regular London bus passengers may also say "Hmmm."

A Citymapper "lad", riding shotgun, explained that the company is staging this experiment to evaluate software and find out just what people want from a city bus service.
By the time you read this, the CMX1 will have popped down.

The ultimate aim of the software and the pop up experiment is to out Uber Uber by offering an App driven bus booking and hailing system. A sort of App-driven Dial-a-Bus?
fbb awaits conclusions and developments with interest and a little dash of cynicism.
Residents of the little 4mm community of Peterville have been terrorised by a giant cat; "As big, if not bigger than the church," quavered Maisie Thrucklebackit as she recovered from an attack of the "vapours" in the local hostelry.
Passengers waiting for the Peterville and District FLF bus at Church Square hid under the seats unsure whether they could escape.
The horrific beast remained peaceful and only minor damage was caused to a run of fencing and a tractor buried under the feline (?) posterior.

When the afternoon sun receded, so did the cat!
Some Belated Blogging (2) is postponed.

 Next Norwich News blog : Friday 12th May 


  1. It seems you need to have a word with your own pussy-cat, fbb.

  2. Cynicism because its not that app you keep hawking to all and sundry.

    The blog is the equivalent of your local corner shop doing regular reviews of big supermarkets and ripping them to shreds to try and drum up business for themselves

  3. There were three brand new green Bread Vans out on the road and the tech worked fine for me. I don't know why there's so much cynicism expressed here - it's a pretty damn fine app that is well ahead of the rest of the crowd!

    I think it's a tad disingenuous too to sneer at the fourth rail only option. Looking at the journey time it's simply doing Battersea Park-Clapham Junction-Waterloo-Westminster rather than all the way to Epsom Downs and back. However, no mention of the 'sensible' option, that is placed at the top of the options in the app, is made!

    We hear a lot about fake news, don't we...