This August, London-based startup Citymapper launched its travel and navigation app for Stockholm. Since 2012, the app has been guiding commuters in London, New York and 35 other major cities around the world. In addition to public transport, the service also shows walking and cycling routes and accommodates other means of transport such as Uber, rental bikes and car-sharing services.

The fact that the popular navigation app Citymapper has chosen to cover Stockholm doesn’t quite follow the pattern of how this fast-growing tech company tends to choose cities. Compared to practically every other city in the app, Stockholm is significantly smaller, which means fewer potential users and a lower degree of complexity in the transportation system. In addition, several popular digital travel apps have long been available in Sweden.

- The reason why we still started in Stockholm is mainly user requests, but also that there is good open data available, says Claudia Bruyant Ndege, General Manager Nordic at Citymapper.

Claudia Bruyant Ndege, general manager Norden på Citymapper.

- Swedes are international and digital, so we actually had many Swedish users even before the launch. They had used the app when they were on holidays abroad, and wanted to be able to use the app at home as well.

In addition to qualitative open traffic data in Sweden, it is also important for Citymapper to have real-time information.

- We found Trafiklab who could offer multiple APIs from one place, including the real-time information we needed. Then we supplemented it with data from car sharing services. We want to include all the modes a traveller needs to get from point A to point B.

The fact that Citymapper includes more ways to travel than just public transport makes it different from other travel apps. In Stockholm, for example, it has included Uber, the Ikea bus and, until November, the Car2Go car-sharing service. In many other cities, rental bikes are also an option. Users can see in the app how long it takes to walk and to cycle with their own bikes.

A smartphone with the citymapper app

Since its launch, the app has become even more popular among Swedes. Despite only covering Stockholm, the app climbed high in the App Store’s Swedish charts immediately after launch.

- We are happy but we want to continue developing the service for Stockholm. At the moment we are keeping our fingers crossed to be able to add rental bikes and more detailed bus information, but we have not been able to get hold of that data yet. We just need the right data, then we’ve got the resources and expertise to develop digital services that make it easier for the traveller.

A screenshot from the citymapper app

FACTS ABOUT CITYMAPPER

Launched in: In Stockholm in August 2016, but the company was founded in 2012 in London by entrepreneur Azmat Yusuf who developed the app for more than 35 major cities. Awarded the Editors Choice Award by Apple UK in August 2016 and App of the Year from Apple in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Type of service: Travel and navigation app for Iphone and Android for public transport and other means of transport, such as walking, cycling, taxis, car-sharing services and rental bikes.

Data from Trafiklab: GTFS Sverige 2, SL Real time information 3, SL Service alerts

User count: No official number is available, but the app is high up on the charts for popular navigation apps.