Ford expands Chariot shuttle service to New York

Ford’s (NYSE:F) shuttle service, Chariot, will expand to New York City this summer, the automaker announced on Thursday.

Earlier this year, Ford said it planned to bring Chariot to eight new cities in 2017, as the company continues to explore new transportation services. The ride-sharing shuttle already operates in San Francisco and Austin, and Chariot added Seattle in June.

When it arrives in New York, Chariot will run two pre-planned routes in the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn for a flat rate of $4 per ride. Additional routes will be crowd-sourced once Chariot’s Ford Transit vans hit the road. Chariot maps out routes based on the locations of its users, who use a mobile app to book rides.

Ford expects to have 60 Chariot vans in New York by the fall. Each Chariot vehicle can carry more than a dozen passengers at one time.

“We know how important it is for everyone to be able to get around effectively – especially in densely populated places like New York,” said Jessica Robinson, director of Ford City Solutions. “Chariot is one way we’re trying to help cities accommodate their residents and ensure people aren’t sacrificing their needs as a result of limited mobility options.”

Chariot says many passengers use the service to travel to or from public transportation. In San Francisco, one of every five Chariot rides start or end at a public transit stop, according to the company.

Chariot noted that its service has partnered with commuter benefits programs, so New York riders can pay for rides with pre-tax dollars.

In addition to its consumer service, Chariot will offer transportation for businesses and charters.

Ford has accelerated investments in new transportation services, especially in urban areas where fewer people own cars and public transportation routes are congested. The company’s Ford Smart Mobility unit, launched more than a year ago, acquired Chariot in September 2016.