Citymapper launches ‘main road’ function to help you feel safe walking home at night

The update is in response to women's requests 

Sophie Gallagher
Friday 06 December 2019 16:39 GMT

Citymapper has launched a “main road” function for people wishing to stick to busier routes after dark.

The update was launched this week on iOS, and last week on Android, the app confirmed to The Independent.

The decision came after female Twitter users repeatedly asked the app to stop sending them through empty or unlit routes at night.

The app works by giving directions from a starting point to your chosen destination, which can include public transport, private taxis, or walking.

But, because the suggested journey is determined by an algorithm to work out the most efficient route, this can sometimes leave you walking through a park with no streetlights or down alleyways.

In the last 12 months multiple women have shared tweets detailing their negative experiences using Citymapper at night.

In April 2018 Twitter user @LilPatuck said: “I really love your app but you need a safe mode for late night travel.

“The route you gave me on Saturday was pretty ropey – luckily I hadn’t been drinking.

“Please don’t send women down unsafe alleyways late at night.”

Citymapper says the new function is live across all cities featured by the app, including Birmingham, London and Manchester.

To access the function, you’ll need to download or update the latest version of Citymapper.

Then when you set your destination you’ll be given the often of "fast route" or "main roads".

This isn’t the first responsive feature the app has launched: during the London underground strikes they had a "strike safe" route to avoid any modes of transport impacted.

And during the summer heatwave they had an "air con only" option.

The news comes the same day ride-hailing app Uber released their safety statistics: a total of 3,045 people in the United States reported being sexually assaulted during Uber rides in 2018.

The New York Police Department, which keeps a register of sex crimes and rapes that occur on public transit systems, counted 533 incidents in 2018.

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