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January 11, 2019

Ford ride-sharing operation to close

More bad news for Ford, which yesterday detailed its plan to restructure its European operations and shed potentially thousands of jobs - its ride-share service Chariot is ending operations in the US and the UK by the end of March.

By Olly Wehring

More bad news for Ford, which yesterday detailed its plan to restructure its European operations and shed potentially thousands of jobs – its ride-share service Chariot is ending operations in the US and the UK by the end of March.

Reuters reported the development, citing a Chariot blog post.

“In today’s mobility landscape, the wants and needs of customers and cities are changing rapidly,” Chariot said in the post.

“We helped Ford build their mobility business, and their experience with Chariot continues to inform their mobility efforts and design decisions for the future.”

Reuters described the move is a setback for Ford, which bought the San Francisco-based Chariot in 2016 to expand beyond auto manufacturing and take another step toward becoming a mobility company.

Chariot launched in London only last February – its first European ‘commuter shuttle service’ and approved by London’s transport regulator, Transport for London (TfL).

Fourteen minibuses were to operate four routes, use London’s bus lanes, offering Wi-Fi and aircon on board. The ride-share service was booked through an app with Ford saying the service was targeting ‘first- and last-mile commuting’.

It was also designed for those living in areas ‘currently underserved by public transport’.

The service was intended to enable passengers to complete the first and last mile of their journey faster and more comfortably by connecting them with nearby transit hubs and underground stations.

INTERVIEW – Sarah-Jayne Williams, Ford’s Director, Smart Mobility (Europe)

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