Smart Cities Dive:

What the closing of Chariot shuttles means for our progress toward new mobility


Despite the shuttering of Ford’s microtransit arm, strategy director Nathaniel Giraitis believes efficient and on-demand shuttles are here to stay — they just have to find their path.

Recently, Ford announced they are shutting down Chariot, leaving some to question the role such services might have in the future.

Dynamic shuttle services are now more important than ever, especially considering congestion attributed to the huge increase in single-passenger on-demand journeys. New York City, for example, has seen the number of ride-hail vehicles on the streets increase in one decade from 13,000 yellow cabs to over 100,000 vehicles with the addition of Uber, Lyft and others. Clearly, we need solutions that are more efficient than giving everyone in the city “your own personal driver.”

In this opinion piece, Nathaniel unpacks the challenge at the ‘economy’ end of the transport spectrum, explores the unique power of shared destinations to build camaraderie amongst strangers, and wonders if collaboration with public transit is the only way forward.

So what does this mean for the dense urban use case for dynamic shuttles? It might mean that this space is better tackled through collaboration with — dare I say it — the public transit authorities.

Nathaniel Giraitis 

Read more in Smart Cities Dive on how we can make on-demand shuttles work.

Feb 2019