Ford Announces Smart Mobility Moves in San Francisco
Ford last week made three announcements pertaining to urban mobility in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ford announced plans to acquire San Francisco-based shuttle service Chariot as a means to better understand how to avoid or eliminate congestion in the city. The company currently operates a fleet of around 100 Ford Transit shuttle vehicles that cover 28 different routes in the San Francisco Bay Area. All 28 routes are crowd-sourced, determined by consumer demands, and future routes will be determined by data algorithms that determine more efficient routes in real time.
“Chariot’s mission from day one has been to solve the commute by providing a mass transit solution that is fast, reliable and affordable for people living in today’s cities,” said Ali Vahabzadeh, Chariot cofounder and CEO. “We started our Chariot service with Ford’s 15-passenger vehicles and continue to use Ford Transit shuttles to this day. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be Ford Smart Mobility’s first acquisition and leverage its leadership in transportation to fulfill Chariot’s goals worldwide.”
Ford also announced its collaboration with Motivate, the worldwide leader in bike sharing, to increase the number of bikes available to riders in the San Francisco Bay Area to 7,000 by the end of 2017. Motivate would make use of the Ford GoBike, which will be available to reserve through the FordPass platform.
“A transportation revolution is coming to the Bay Area,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Motivate. “This unique partnership with Ford shows that bike share is no longer alternative transportation; it is central to creating smart, on-demand mobility that represents our values for equity and sustainability. Thanks to the partnership of Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville, bike share will soon be available for all in the Bay Area.”
Finally, Ford announced that it is establishing a City Solutions team to create infrastructure within major cities that will allow the automaker to expand mobility services. Ford veteran John Kwant was named Ford City Solutions Vice President.