Frequently Asked Questions

What is Smart Ride?

Smart Ride is a new service that's reinventing shared transportation by taking the best pieces from all the different transport modes of the city.

It's like a bus - it has stops and takes multiple passengers.

It's like a cab - with a guaranteed seat that you can book, and better end-to-end support.

It's like a metro - it’s a network, and you can go anywhere within the coverage area.

Where can I use Smart Ride ?

Smart Ride is currently running in central London.

To see where it's running in London, click the 'Smart Ride' icon on the app homescreen to reveal the service area (which will change over time. Smart Ride will also show up in your A-to-B options when it is competitive.

Can I only use Smart Ride within the coverage area?

Yep, that's how it works. You don't try to take the tube to South East London, do you? (Sorry, South East London..

How do I book a Smart Ride?

Smart Ride is booked through our app (you'll require the latest version). If you don't have the app, you can download it on Android or iOS.

You will also need a Citymapper account to make a booking. If you'd like to set up your account before you book, tap the 'Menu' button at the top left of the homescreen and then tap 'Account' and fill in your details. Otherwise, you can fill in your details during your first booking.

Can I book multiple people at once?

We admire your enthusiasm, but multi-passenger bookings are not possible during the early weeks of the service. We hope to add them in future versions. For now, your friends traveling with you have to book a ride for themselves.

A friend booked at the same time but we've been assigned to different vehicles?

We hope to add multi-passenger bookings in future versions of the service. Until we do, the service will match each rider to the most appropriate vehicle, based on existing demand and capacity within the network.

Where do I wait for my Smart Ride?

The Smart Ride responsive network is filled with virtual stops, each of which is described .

Once you book, the app will guide you to your virtual stop for pick up. You will probably have to walk a little bit to reach your virtual stop, but that's a) good for your health, b) needed to help match riders to the same vehicle, which c) means you won't be taken off course on your journey.

How long should I expect to wait before my Smart Ride shows up?

The app will give you an ETA for your pick up, and will update in real-time in response to road conditions, etc. You will be able to see the vehicle on the map.

How will I recognise my Smart Ride vehicle?

All Smart Ride vehicles are 7-passenger Mercedes Viano vans (until the day we're allowed to use our smart minibuses).

A description of your vehicle, including the driver's name and license plate number, will appear in the app once you make a booking. The driver will also confirm your name before boarding.

Can I change my destination once I'm on Smart Ride?

No. You can get off Smart Ride at any time, but out of respect for your fellow passengers, who have been matched with you based on your respective final destinations, we don't allow you to change your destination once you're on board.

Our algorithm would also be very angry with you, and you don't want to see our algorithm angry. Trust us.

How many people can fit onto (or is that into?) a Smart Ride?

Hopefully lots, but the most strangers you'll have with you on a Smart Ride is 6. And everyone will have their own seat. It's not clowns and Volkswagen time we're talking here. Yet.

What happens if I miss my ride?

First of all, don't panic. You will be assigned to another vehicle, and your ETA will be updated accordingly.

And if you miss your second one? Come on, dude. All you had to do was wait in the same spot.

Who's doing the driving for Smart Ride?

Robots. They've won. Kidding. It's humans. The best ones. TfL-licensed and background-checked, trained by us, and with considerable experience driving London's streets. They're also really very nice.

How much does Smart Ride cost?

The price of Smart Ride is communicated in the app. Check there for the latest information on the service.

Why are you asking for a payment card?

Smart Ride is a paid service and requires registration (login and credit card) for regulatory and safety reasons.

What are your Conditions of Carriage?

Thank you for the question, inspector. Our terms of service for are posted in full on our website. (Tl;dr: If you want to Smart Ride, don’t do anything you wouldn’t do on any other transport service.)

Can I vape or smoke on a Smart Ride?

No vaping or smoking. But then you already knew that.

Can I eat or drink on a Smart Ride?

Not if it’s smelly, alcoholic, or likely to spill. But then you already knew that.

Can I bring my luggage on a Smart Ride?

Sure. But be reasonable. No 'going away to South America for 8 weeks, let's bring everything I own' suitcases. You should be able to carry it yourself and it shouldn't be dangerous, annoying, or obstruct other people.

Can I bring a child and a push chair on a Smart Ride?

As we're not currently supporting multi-passenger bookings, we'll have to say 'apologies' at the moment. But rest assured, this is something we plan on addressing soon.

Is Smart Ride accessible to people with disabilities?

Our hope is for Smart Ride to be fully accessible, and in a perfect world we'd be running it with our fully-accessible Smartbuses. But it's not a perfect world, yet, and regulation does not support using our accessible vehicles for the service.

Our drivers will do their best to assist you upon boarding and alighting. And assistance dogs are welcome along with their humans.

Can I bring an animal on Smart Ride?

Unfortunately, animals aren't able to Smart Ride. Yet. Unless they're assistance dogs, who are welcome to board with their human.

What if I lose something while Smart Ride-ing?

Don't panic! We've probably found it. Contact us at support (at) citymapper (dot) com. If it's non-perishable (like your collection of vintage stamps), we'll keep it around for at least two weeks and tell you how to retrieve it once we've verified that it's yours.

What on God's green earth is a 'Responsive Network'?

Great question, and one that isn't best answered in a short website FAQ. You can read about the Responsive Network at length here.

Why did you choose to run this particular network?

We designed this particular network because there are a lot of humans around to use it. And, if we're being completely honest, because it's not too far from our office, so we can keep track of things during the early days.

Wait, weren't you doing a Smartbus? What's up with that? Does this replace that?

Tl;dr: no. For a longer explanation, we've put together a handy three-part series on our bus journey. You can read that here: Part 1; Part 2; and Part 3.

Why are you using vans for Smart Ride, not your Smartbuses?

The current legislation does not allow for us to use our buses in a demand-responsive system like Smart Ride. Anything over 8 passengers is a bus and must run a fixed route.

I have some ideas about how to make this Smart Ride thingy better. Who do I contact?

We're happy to hear the good and the bad about your Smart Ride experience. Send us a note at support (at) citymapper (dot) com.


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