Why I am addicted to Citymapper’s Smart Ride 🚐

I have been using Smart Ride since last spring and I could easily rank it as one of the best life-hacks I discovered this year! I am so enthusiastic about it I keep promoting the service at any relevant occasion. I had to write this blog post to share the love even further!

What is smart ride

Smart Ride is a new form of shared transportation ran by Citymapper, the go-to app whenever travelling around London or any city: Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, New York, Hong Kong, etc. If you don’t know Citymapper yet, it’s never too late to check it out, feel free to thank me whenever… Back to Smart Ride, Citymapper describes it as a ‘mix of a bus and a cab’ because like a bus it is affordable, it requires some walking, some sharing but like a cab, you can book it and it will take you anywhere on the network without having to worry about transfers. I understand the need of comparing it for the sake of making it clear to newbies but to me Smart Ride is something new, different and it rocks!

how to book it

You can easily book Smart Ride from the Citymapper app as it will show up when it makes sense for your trip and you can also access it directly from the home screen as you would access buses or tubes. The network covers Central London and Hackney and is extending every week. Payment is integrated in app where you can provide your credit card details or use Apple Pay. You have to confirm before you actually get charged and you can cancel any time before boarding without paying any fee (hello Uber!).

how do I use it

Having used Smart Ride for a few months now, I have experienced a wide array of its benefits and constraints and I have identified 4 occasions when the service is right on point to me!

When I need to work

With Smart Ride, I know I will get a seat in a premium vehicle with a charger for my iPhone. It feels safe for me to use my laptop and work. If I have to undertake a long journey taking me from Hackney to Central London and vice versa, I always book a Smart Ride as I know I will make the most of the commute getting ahead with work. If I may suggest one thing to the Citymapper team, WiFi on board would be awesome!

when i carry stuff

I travel to Paris and Amsterdam almost one weekend every month, when back at St Pancras, I find it quite handy to call a Smart Ride to carry my luggage on the last miles keeping me away from home. It’s definitely all about traveling with class too, hahaha…

when i am out with the clique

You can book a Smart Ride for up to 4 people including yourself. Extra cool when going out as you can catch up with the gossips of the week while traveling. One thing to consider here though is that you all need to go to the same place as you cannot set up different drop off points.


I stopped buying Travel Card since last spring as I switched to cycling, walking and using TfL services on a pay-as-you-go basis. As my monthly transport spending has decreased, I like to treat myself to a Smart Ride now and then. Who doesn’t like to seat in a premium vehicle?

when i don’t use smart ride

I won’t be too long on this one, I don’t use Smart Ride when I am not in the situations above or when I can walk (would be ridiculous to use it to go from home to my usual co-working space, which is 15-minute away by walk), cycle (disclaimer: I don’t do much cycling these days as I am waiting to bring back my bike from Paris) and when I am in a hurry (who takes a shared transportation service when in a hurry, duh…).

Oh and by the way…

Smart Ride is licensed by Transport for London (TfL) and Citymapper hires licensed and trained drivers, with reliable pay. I often discuss with the drivers and the many I asked about the service were quite happy with it and confirmed the pay was good. In addition to the lovely drivers, you also get to meet awesome people! I even met a same person twice and it was nice to catch up (hello Eden!). I love to use it for networking as it’s comfortable and rides are of a good duration for that. It’s easy to start a conversation, just ask if the person is using Smart Ride for the first time! Almost feels like professional speed dating sometimes (forget about LinkedIn)!


Do you use Smart Ride? If so, how? What do you enjoy the most about it? If you’ve never used Smart Ride before, it’s time to jump in! Check out Citymapper where you should already have a credit of £5 and add my promo code sophie0bn for an additional £5 on me! Try it out and let me know if you’re hooked too!