Woman complains after app leads her down a ‘creepy alley’ at night

Woman complains to Citymapper after the app’s route led her down a ‘creepy alley’ late at night – and calls for a ‘safe mode’ feature that female users can rely on after dark

  • Lil Patuck (@LilPatuck) took to Twitter to complain about how unsafe she felt
  • She was travelling home at night and app took her through a deserted London
  • To called for the app to have a safe mode on it for women travelling on their own  

Most of us heavily rely on apps today, especially when we’re trying to get home from somewhere that isn’t that familiar to us.

The same was true for one woman who was on her way home from a night out in London and was trying to get home after midnight. 

Lil Patuck (@LilPatuck) on Twitter, who lives in London, was using the Citymapper app, which gives you different routes to get from A to B. But on this occasion it left her walking around a deserted part of London, on her own.

The app told her it would be quicker to get on a tube, rather than a bus, but after walking through a deserted part of London she realised the station was closed. She then had to walk through a ‘creepy alley’ to find an alternative route home. 

Taking to Twitter she complained to the app about the predicament she was left in and asked why they don’t have a safe mode for situations such as this. 

The app told her it would be quicker to get on a tube line, but when she got there, after walking through a deserted part of London she realised she’d missed the last tube

Taking to Twitter she complained to the app about the predicament she was left in and asked why they don’t have a safe mode for situations such as this

 Lil posted on Twitter: ‘Hi @Citymapper, 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,’ she added, ‘luckily I hadn’t been drinking.’ 

‘Please don’t send women down unsafe alleys late at night.’

She then went on to explain what happened in a separate note: ’00:46 on a Saturday night in London. I could have gotten a night bus all the way home but you told me it would be quicker to get the overground then the district line.’

Lil Patuck (@LilPatuck) on Twitter, who lives in London, was using the CityMapper app, which gives you different routes to get from A to B

‘But it was the last district train of the night. If you had told me then I wouldn’t have taken this route, because I missed the transfer by a few seconds,’ she continues.

‘But it was the last district train of the night. If you had told me then I wouldn’t have taken this route, because I missed the transfer by a few seconds,’ she continues.

‘You then told me to walk through alone a deserted Central London for 10 minutes to St Pauls, but I got there and it was closed.’

It was after midnight when Lil was trying to get home and tweeted about how unsafe the directions were

She goes on to say that they then redirected her on another deserted route, via ‘dark creepy alleyways.’ 

‘Luckily I didn’t drink this evening and had enough sense to disregard your directions,’ she adds. ‘But what about everyone else?’ 

One of her followers agreed with her saying: ‘Yes to this. We need more women leading product decisions.’  

Lil agreed tweeting back: ‘Whoever leads, tech needs sensitive responsible design’ she said. ‘ie. rather than telling a user to ‘go catch this train’, also tell them: ‘it’s the last one – are you sure? Here’s a safe alternative.’

One of her followers agreed with her but she said more needs to be done, including having a safe mode option 

She told Femail: ‘While responsibility around technology should never be pinned on the user, I really believe that more apps could be safer if users (ie. real, breathing humans) were given more ability to make choices. 

‘Making room for user input doesn’t make an app any less intelligent or reliable. Even with a million clever algorithms, only the user themselves will be able to judge whether it’s wise to run for the last train in the middle of a dangerous city and weigh up the risks involved. 

‘Users should be given the correct information and context to make travel decision themselves, should they wish to. We now have the night tube, Uber and brilliant travel apps to help us get home, but we’re dangerously close to relying on these to the point that some users (especially after a few drinks) won’t think to question tech when it’s potentially putting them in danger. 

‘There’s no reason why an app such as Citymapper shouldn’t be offering a ‘safe mode’ or ‘late-night mode’ when they already offer ‘quiet’, ‘regular’ and ‘fast’ options for cyclists as well as ‘rain-safe’ travel. 

‘If anyone is worried about travelling late at night in central London, check out the app Safe & The City, which pinpoints areas where crimes have been reported so that you can avoid them on your route home.’ 

Source: Read Full Article