Strætó has announced that it will discontinue its night-time bus service in Reykjavík during the weekends, citing low passenger demand during a special trial period. Strætó is facing financial troubles following the pandemic, and recently, the capital area municipalities had to divert extra fund to keep the regional partnership company from insolvency.
The night bus returns
In early July, Strætó (the public bus service in Iceland) announced that the Reykjavík night bus, Næturstrætó, would return to service on July 9 following a two-year hiatus in response to low demand during the pandemic. During this hiatus, many capital-area residents had called for its return, arguing that it provided an affordable and safe alternative to taxis.
During a trial run between July and October of this year, however – when the night bus departed downtown Reykjavík every hour and stopped at the capital area’s seven suburban neighbourhoods – demand once again proved wanting. As noted in a press release from Strætó, an average of 15 passengers travelled aboard the night bus during each trip, which amounts to approximately 300 passengers over a weekend.
“In light of this, and given the finances, Strætó’s board has agreed that continuing night-time service during the weekends, now that the trial period has concluded, cannot be justified. The service will, therefore, be discontinued.”
As noted by Vísir, transportation options from downtown Reykjavík after the night clubs have closed during the weekend are limited; operating electric scooters while intoxicated is illegal and securing transportation via taxis often proves difficult.