Night Bus Returns to Reykjavík after Two-Year Suspension

Public bus in Reykjavík

The Reykjavík night bus, or Næturstrætó, will be returning to service this Saturday, July 9.

Night service will include seven routes leaving from downtown towards the suburbs and neighbouring towns, but it will not be possible to take the night bus heading into downtown. A list of the routes can be found at Stræto’s website.

The Reykjavík night bus was suspended for two years in response to lower utilization of the service than hoped for. Residents of the greater Reykjavík area have been calling for the return of the night bus since its discontinuation, as it provided an affordable and safe alternative to taxis and driving for downtown nightlife. However, the return of service is only a trial run, and the usage will be reassessed in September.

The fare for the night bus will be the same as day fare, which can be seen below. As with day fare, travellers can pay with the Klapp card, Klapp ten, the Klappið app, cash, Strætó app, or Strætó card.

Individual night bus fares Price
Adults 490 kr.
Young people, 12-17 years old 245 kr.
Senior citizens, 67 years and older 245 kr.
Disabled * 147 kr.
Paid by credit card or cash 1,000 kr.

Fare table taken from Strætó.

However, the timetable for the Reykjavík night bus will differ from day service. Only departure times from Hlemmur and Lækjartorg B will be given, and passengers planning on catching the bus en route are encouraged to use the live bus tracking offered on the Klappið app, Strætó app, and Strætó website.

Strætó’s announcement comes in the wake of a taxi shortage in Iceland’s capital area.

 

Uncertain Future for Night Buses

The administration of the Strætó bus system is now investigating whether or in what form its night bus service will continue in the new year, RÚV reports. Strætó spokesman Guðmundur Heiðar Helgason says that night bus usage has been too low, an opinion echoed by Strætó director Jóhannes Rúnarsson, who said that he’d hoped to see more people using the night service.

Strætó introduced night service in January. Six routes – 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, and 111 – which all begin at Hlemmur bus station or the ministry offices in downtown Reykjavík and end in outlying suburbs, such as Breiðholt, and surrounding towns, such as Kópavogur, were chosen to be part of the year-long pilot program.

According to Guðmundur, there has been good usage of the 101 and 106 routes, which run to Hafnarfjörður and Mosfellsbær. The other four routes have been underutilised, however, and so which routes will be included on the 2019 night bus schedule is now uncertain.

Strætó has been reconfiguring schedules and service offerings a great deal of late. Per a newly proposed schedule adjustment, in fact, service on the 1, 3, and 6 lines will potentially increase to once every seven and a half minutes during rush hour starting in January 2020. The service increases were approved by the Reykjavík City Council in a meeting earlier this week, but still have to be reviewed by surrounding municipalities.