Transport for London (TfL) has launched a new journey planning app – and it could make travel easier as commuters return to work in the capital.
During coronavirus lockdown, Tube use fell 95% and bus journeys were down 85% in the capital.
But as restrictions ease and more people return to office work, the transport network has released a new product to help.
The free to use app takes on well-established rivals in the private sector – from Google Maps to Citymapper – but TfL says its in-house design will offer travellers something different.
TfL Go – currently available for iPhone, but with an Android launch planned for autumn – updates the Tube map for digital use, letting users click and scroll.
Because TfL owns the rights for the iconic design, third party apps cannot use it in the same way.
There are also features designed with disabled Londoners in mind, including an option to plan step-free journeys.
Extra information, including live updates on lift breakdowns and toilet locations, will be added at a later date.
Kirsty Hoyle, chief executive of disability charity Transport for All, said London is an “often inaccessible city” that can be “fraught with challenges” for disabled travellers.
“This [app] will empower disabled people to make informed decisions about available travel options,” she said.
“We are hopeful that [it] will deliver real-time information in a dynamic and user friendly format that reduces barriers and increases independent travel.”
London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, praised the app for flagging the busiest times on the network, helping passengers avoid crowds and maintain social distancing.
“The rollout of TfL’s new app will help Londoners by equipping them with the information they need to make safe travel choices, whether it be for work or for leisure,” she said.
The app has no adverts and is not being run for profit. A TfL spokesperson said there were no plans for adverts, but the network may consider sponsorship opportunities in future.