New to Paris and looking to get around using public transportation? You may want to give Citymapper a try. The all-in-one travel planner, which previously has been available in New York City & London, combines all form of transit – Buses, Metro, RER, Velib (public bikes) – to provide a comprehensive, one-stop A-to-B travel planner.
Available on iOS & Android, as well as via their web app, Citymapper founder Azmat Yusuf raised a seed round from Connect Ventures in September 2012, led by partner Sitar Teli, and has been focused on developing the product, adapting & evolving it for each new market.
For those of you who have commuted around major cities like New York, London or Paris, you know that, beyond the ridiculous learning curve that tourists go through figuring out how to use the public transport, answering the simple question of “what is the easiest way for me to get to X?” is not as easy as it should be – at least not until Citymapper.
In Paris, Google Maps doesn’t contain all modes of transport, because the city of Paris won’t give Google access. The city’s public transport app (RATP), developer by Fabernovel, is heavy & slow, though admittedly is my default public transport app, despite the fact that it recommends you take the bus without giving you a map of where the bus-stop is.
CItymapper’s city-by-city approach has impressed me, going beyond Google Maps’ “everything is equal” policy for products and looking to tweak and improve the product for each new city – going so far as to localize certain easter eggs (hint: try using the teleportation function) in the product in order to make sure they are well received in their intended humor.