Ford ride-share solution starts targeting businesses

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Ford has expanded its Chariot ride-sharing shuttle service in London as it extends the focus to companies and campuses in Europe.

Ford has expanded the Chariot ride-hailing minibus service to cover the Stockley Park development

Ford has expanded the Chariot ride-hailing minibus service in London to cover the Stockley Park development

Already available in the US following Ford’s acquisition of the San Francisco start-up more than a year ago, the service launched minibuses on four routes in London in February, in a move to help commuters plug gaps in public transport.

Now, Ford is expanding its focus to serve companies and out-of-town campuses and has partnered with sustainable transport group, easitNETWORK, to launch the first new Chariot route under the plans.

The partnership will provide a pre-bookable shuttle service for people working at the Stockley Park west London business park near to Heathrow Airport, which accommodates more than 7,500 employees from a variety of major businesses including IBM, Apple and BP.

The service goes into full operation on 3 September and will be free to anyone with the Chariot app installed on their smartphone until 1 December, after which it will only be available to easitMEMBERS.

Ford said the new scheme could bring valuable efficiency and eco benefits to businesses.

“Companies know that a good daily commute can make a real difference to their employees’ quality of life – and the quality of their work,” said Sarah-Jayne Williams, Ford’s director for Smart Mobility in Europe. “With Chariot we’re providing a comfortable, modern and efficient transport service that we think will benefit staff, their employers and – by helping to reduce traffic – the city around them.”

Plans for further scheme expansion have not been announced but Ford has previously said it’s “constantly exploring new opportunities to fulfil its mission”. The carmaker also said it was exploring opportunities in London for enterprise and charter services, currently only offered in the US.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.