Citymapper is trying to make sense of London’s dockless bike mess

Transport is getting complicated. Standing on a London street corner, you could walk down the street to catch a bus, hop on the Tube, or hail a taxi. But it might be faster to order an Uber, grab a Boris bike, or hunt down a dockless bike — or some combination of the above.

Citymapper is hoping to unpick the mess of mass transit by including even more forms of transport in its journey planning app. The firm has long included docked bicycles such as London’s Santander Cycles — better known as Boris Bikes — as one of its transport options, but as some keen users have noticed, dockless bikes are now also being included, alongside dockless scooters, mopeds and other shared transport.

The past year has seen an influx of dockless bicycles. When oBike launched in London, one borough was so annoyed by the bikes littering the pavement it banned the company, demanding it come and collect the yellow bikes; another called it a “plague”. That startup has since been forced to pull out of Melbourne and its home turf of Singapore, and faces competition from a wide range of challengers, with 26 sharing schemes operating across the UK, up from 16 in 2016 according to regulator Como UK.

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