City navigation and public transit app Citymapper is ending the program it called “Citymapper Ride,” which has gone through a number of incarnations since its introduction back in 2017.
Since then, the company has gone from running one bus route in London designed to supplement a need for customers that wasn’t currently well-addressed by existing transit options, to operating shared cab rides, and the program has been renamed from Smarbus to Smartride to finally Citymapper Ride.
In a Medium post detailing the decision to end the program, Citymapper noted a number of reasons why it’s shutting down the program and this line of product development. These include a mismatch with its mission in the evolution of the product from bus operation to shared cabs; a desire to focus on Pass, its subscription service that provides access to mobility services including public transit, bicycles and cabs for one fee; a desire to give its partners more emphasis rather than competing with them; economics that don’t make sense without focus specifically on making them work; and regulations that hampered some of its efforts, including operating bus lines.
In the end, Citymapper running buses and acting as a kind of Uber junior was always a bit of a weird distraction from its core mission, and it always felt experimental. The mobility market overall seems to be undergoing a maturation in recent years, so it makes sense for tech companies to be applying the learnings resulting from some of their more ambitious larks.