Chariot Expands to Austin

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Chariot’s second city: Austin, Texas!

As one of the country’s fastest-growing and most vibrant cities, Austin faces congestion challenges with the continued growth of its population and cars on the road. Working with local transportation leaders and community partners, together we recognized that Chariot can provide a unique mobility solution to Austinites, starting with the daily commute.

We’re proud to establish Austin as our first market outside our home of San Francisco. Starting today, users will be able to sign up to bring the first Chariot shuttle routes to their neighborhoods in the coming weeks. Here’s how Chariot’s crowdsourcing works:

  • Chariot offers fast, reliable and affordable shuttle routes with fixed stops in neighborhoods and transit hubs.
  • Routes are launched based on where people commute from, and where they need to go. Often, people use Chariots as part of their commute for their last mile of their trips to or from public transit stops.
  • If there’s not already a route serving your area, your sign-up counts as a “vote” to launch one in your neighborhood. You can increase the votes by sharing with friends, colleagues and neighbors doing a similar commute to “crowdsource” your own route.

In partnership with the City of Austin, Rocky Mountain Institute, Movability Austin and CapMetro, we’re proud to announce that Chariot will also roll out an initial service offering starting Monday in the 6th Street Market District serving the hundreds of employees at Whole Foods Market and GSD&M. These initial routes will be downtown circulators that pick up employees at the MetroRail Downtown stop and Republic Square for CapMetro buses. Chariot will bring riders the rest of the way to their offices in the West End, and then back at the end of the day. This partnership is a new model we’re working on that demonstrates how employers can band together and aggregate demand through Chariot’s commuting solutions.

“This is exactly the kind of tech-enabled transportation option that’s going to give Austinites more ways to get around town in a way that will address traffic congestion,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “Hats off to Whole Foods and GSD&M for supporting for their employees, and a big Austin welcome to Chariot. By helping people get to work, they are helping Austin move in the right direction.”

As part of Ford Motor Company’s City Solutions effort, our shared goals are to create a better commute for employees, help solve Austin’s mobility challenges, and develop more efficient, convenient, clean and affordable transit options for the city of Austin.

Going out with a group with friends or colleagues, and want a designated driver? Beyond the commute, we’re also launching its Chariot Charters service where you can directly book a comfortable 14-passenger chariot and ride in style. Find more info here.

To debut the service, we’ll be running special pop-up routes for people going to and from the Austin City Limits festival this weekend. Open the app on Friday after 2:30pm, or Saturday and Sunday mornings anytime after 10:30am, to sign up for Chariot and grab a complimentary seat. (Demand will be high and seating will be limited, so we recommend you book your seats early!)

We thank our partners in Austin for the warm welcome, and look forward to meeting you on your next ride!

Ali Vahabzadeh

Chariot CEO & co-founder

Chariot Joins Ford Smart Mobility

A little over two years ago, we started Chariot here in San Francisco. Our service on day one consisted of paper punch card passes, a few 15-seater Ford Econoline vans, and the idea that we could solve the commute by creating a new form of transit that was fast, reliable and affordable.

Since then, we’ve grown to 100 Chariots that provide thousands of rides each day, and have built an experience and technology that’s reinvented how people get around the city. Today, we’re excited to share that we’ve joined Ford Smart Mobility as their first acquisition, which will allow us to expand our service offerings, build out our dynamic routing technology, and bring this new form of transit to cities across the world. We couldn’t be more excited to leverage Ford’s leadership in transportation to fulfill our goals worldwide, and look forward to sharing this journey with our amazing community of drivers and riders. You can learn more about Ford Smart Mobility and our plans for moving people in cities together here.  

What does this mean for you? The Chariot you know and love will continue to operate without interruption, and our chariots (which are Ford Transit vans, a happy coincidence) will still look the same. Our friendly Chariot drivers, many of whom have been with us since the early days, will remain employees of the company. We will have exciting changes ahead, including continued expansion of the service in the Bay Area, and your friends in other cities will be able to try Chariot even sooner. We’ll be starting service in our next market in the coming weeks!

Thank you for your ridership and support, and we can’t wait to start this next chapter. We’ll also be ramping up our hiring: if you’re passionate about what we’re doing, we’d love to meet you.

Ali

Co-founder & CEO