Ford to launch shuttle service, bike-sharing in San Francisco
Sept. 9th, 2016
Justin King
Left Lane News


Ford has announced plans to launch a shuttle service and partner with a bike-sharing company to help reduce traffic congestion in San Francisco.

Ford's Smart Mobility division plans to acquire Chariot, a local crowd-sourced shuttle service. The buyout will allow the automaker to get its feet wet in San Francisco before launching a global shuttle service business, aiming to add at least five additional markets in the next 18 months.

The Blue Oval has also partnered with existing bike-sharing provider Motivate, providing yet another form of urban mobility.

Ford is among several large automakers exploring alternative 'mobility' businesses, preparing for a shift away from traditional car ownership. The company suggests half the world's population already lives in cities, where such businesses are already taking off. By 2030, the ratio is expected to grow to 60 percent.

Chariot operates a fleet of nearly 100 Transit shuttles across dozens of routes in the Bay Area. Its routes are crowd-sourced and determined based on evolving demand. Ford plans to improve the service with algorithms to maximize efficiency and accommodate changing demand in real-time.

The partnership with Motivate will help the latter company expand its fleet to include 7,000 bicycles across the Bay Area by the end of 2018.

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