Chariot (company)

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Chariot Logo.png
A turquoise-and-black-painted van on a city street
Chariot van in San Francisco in January 2019
SloganSolving your commute, one neighborhood at a time.
HeadquartersSan Francisco
Service area
Service type
Chief executiveAli Vahabzadeh

Chariot was a commuter shuttle service owned by the Ford Motor Company. The company's mobile-phone application allowed passengers to ride a shuttle between home and work during commuting hours. Chariot operated in cities in the United States and Europe. New routes were determined based on demographic information and crowdsourced data.[1][2] The company ceased shuttle operations in February 2019.


In March 2014, co-founder Ali Vahabzadeh established Chariot after leaving a job at a real-estate start-up. After a summer in the nonprofit Tumml incubator, Chariot graduated from the program and expanded San Francisco coverage to the Marina, Financial District, SoMa, and Pacific Heights.[3]

On September 9, 2016, Ford CEO Mark Fields announced that the Ford Motor Company would be acquiring Chariot Transit Inc via their subsidiary Ford Smart Mobility for an undisclosed amount (reported to be $65 million[4]). In 2018 Ford Smart Mobility appointed Dan Grossman interim CEO while Ali Vahabzadeh continued to be involved in the company's progress as a Board Member. [5]

On January 10, 2019, Chariot announced that it would be ceasing operations as of March 2019.[6] The final day of operations was January 25, 2019 in the UK and February 1, 2019 in the US.[7]


The company operated 14-seat passenger vans along specific fixed routes, operating during weekday morning and evening commute hours only. As of June 2016, the company operated twenty-five routes.[8]

A commuter could access Chariot via a mobile web browser or its iPhone or Android mobile apps. After signing up and purchasing Chariot credits, they used the map to find a pickup stop. The commuter's boarding pass was displayed in the app in the form of a flashing code. As of May 2016, passengers had the option of pay-as-you-go; multi-ride packs of credits, such as $100 in credit for $95; or an all-access pass for $119. There are also pass packages for AM-only riders or off-peak riders from $68 and $89 respectively.[9]

Chariot also offered charter and enterprise commuter services.


In the United States, Chariot operated in Austin, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colorado;[10][11] Detroit, Michigan; Lake Tahoe, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; San Francisco Bay Area, California; and Seattle, Washington.[12]

In Denver, the University of Denver (DU) route wa deemed a success. The other route, between downtown, Capitol Hill and Cherry Creek gave only 110 rides over 2.5 months; the city paid $250,000 for six months of free rides on this route.[13]

In February 2018, Chariot Transit UK Ltd launched four services in Greater London in Kidbrooke, Belvedere, Battersea and Wandsworth.[14] A fifth service to Stockley Park was proposed later in 2018. Due to poor uptake, Chariot announced that the London services would end in January 2019.[15]


  1. ^ Cutler, Kim-Mai (10 Nov 2014). "As A Cohort of Bus Startups Emerge, Chariot Looks To Source New Routes Through Crowdfunding". TechCrunch. Retrieved 1 Dec 2014.
  2. ^ Suzdaltsev, Jules (10 Nov 2014). "Crowdsourced Bus Lines: A Viable MUNI Alternative?". The Bold Italic. Retrieved 1 Dec 2014.
  3. ^ Brownstein, Ronald (30 Oct 2014). "Forget dating apps. These millennials want to save the world". CNN Money. Retrieved 1 Dec 2014.
  4. ^ Ford is making a big change to its shuttle-bus service Chariot — and it could mean a huge new business opportunity, Business Insider
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Rodriguez, Joe (January 10, 2019). "Private bus company Chariot to cease operations by March". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "Chariot". Chariot. Archived from the original on February 27, 2019.
  8. ^ "In San Francisco, private transit that follows public routes — at a higher price". Associated Press. May 17, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015 – via Omaha World-Herald.
  9. ^ Lawler, Ryan (January 26, 2015). "How SF-Based Shuttle Startup Chariot Crowdsourced Its New Commuter Route". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
  10. ^ "You can now take a 'Chariot' in Denver". KMGH. 2018-10-26. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  11. ^ "Denver, Transportation Solutions, Cherry Creek Business Community & Chariot Pilot New On-Demand Shuttle Service". 2018-10-25. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  12. ^ "Chariot - Cities". Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  13. ^ "Private 'transit' company Chariot is going out of business and so is the short-lived shuttle between Cherry Creek and downtown". Denverite. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  14. ^ City AM
  15. ^ Telegraph

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