Night Bus Service Returns to Reykjavík

The City of Reykjavík has signed an agreement with Strætó public bus service to begin operating night buses within the city as of February 24. Night buses from downtown Reykjavík were previously implemented as a pilot project but their operation ceased during the COVID-19 pandemic when overall ridership declined.

Four night routes will run from the city centre to the neighbourhoods of Breiðholt, Úlfarsárdalur, Norðlingaholt, and Grafarvogur on Friday and Saturday nights. The buses will only transport passengers away from the city centre, not towards it. Buses will leave the city centre at a specific time but will not be time-adjusted along the route, so travellers are encouraged to monitor the buses’ real-time location in the Klapp app or on straeto.is.

A single night bus fare will be ISK 1.100 [$7.60, €7.15] and specific tickets will be available within the Klapp payment system. Monthly and yearly pass holders can use their passes for night bus services.

Read more about public transport funding in Iceland.

Strætó’s Reykjavík Night-Time Service Could Resume Next Year

Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson has proposed allocating an extra ISK 51 million ($361,000 / €343,000) of next year’s budget to the operations of Strætó (Iceland’s public bus service), RÚV reports. The increased allotment is intended to cover Strætó’s night-time bus service in Reykjavík during the weekends.

An unsuccessful trial period

In early July, Strætó 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 in October, 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.

The mayor takes a u-turn

At a city council meeting yesterday, however – roughly six weeks after Strætó announced that it would be discontinuing its night-time service – Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson proposed allocating an extra ISK 51 million ($361,000 / €343,000) of next year’s budget to cover Strætó’s night-time bus service.

As noted by RÚV, Strætó’s night-time bus service was a key campaign issue for the Progressive Party, which went on to form a majority coalition, during municipal elections last spring.

Strætó Discontinues Night-Time Service During Weekends

Public bus in Reykjavík

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.