Ford buys shuttle service as part of new mobility push

Markets Associated Press

This Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, photo taken in San Francisco and provided by Ford Motor Company shows a Ford Transit passenger van operated by Chariot shuttle service and a bicycle operated by bike-share company Motivate. Ford Motor Co. announced ... Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, it is buying the app-based shuttle service Chariot and is partnering with bike-share company Motivate as part of its ongoing effort to expand its traditional business. (Tommy Lau/Ford Motor Co. via AP) (The Associated Press)

Ford Motor Co. is buying an app-based shuttle service and partnering with a bike-share company in an effort to expand its traditional business.

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Ford is buying Chariot, which currently operates 100 14-passenger Ford Transit vans in the San Francisco Bay Area. The shuttles determine their routes by users' needs. Ford says it plans to expand the shuttle service to five more cities over the next 18 months.

Ford isn't saying how much it is spending for Chariot, which will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Ford also is partnering with Motivate, a New York company that runs bike-sharing programs in 11 U.S. cities and in Melbourne, Australia. Ford says it plans to increase Motivate's San Francisco bike fleet from 700 bikes to 7,000 bikes by the end of 2018.