Ford has launched a shuttle service in london, called Chariot.
It is the latest of Ford's European initiatives to accelerate the development of its smart mobility technologies.
Accessed via an app and equipped with 14 fuel-efficient minibuses, the service will run up to six shuttles per hour at peak times.
The app enables users to search for a nearby route and the closest available transport hub address. It will locate the nearest convenient pickup point, and then allow seat booking and live tracking.
The 14-seater passenger shuttles will be able to use London’s bus lanes, offer Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and overhead storage for laptop bags and briefcases.
Selected shuttles will be wheelchair accessible at launch, and the professional drivers will be trained to assist passengers with special needs.
The service runs on four routes designed to connect commuters in densely populated areas to existing transport networks.
They are as follows:
- The Battersea Bullet will serve the recently opened Battersea Power Station mixed-use neighbourhood and the Nine Elms area – yet to be fully connected to the main transport networks – and connect to the Victoria Line, in Vauxhall and the Northern Line, at Kennington
- The Wandsworth Wanderer will link residents living in new developments, such as the Riverside Quarter complex in Wandsworth, with Clapham Junction allowing them to transfer onto National Rail, London Overground and Gatwick Express services
- The Nuxley Navigator will connect the increasingly popular residential areas of Belvedere and Nuxley Village to Abbey Wood station and National Rail services to London Bridge, as well as the forthcoming Elizabeth Line
- The Shooters Hill Shot will connect residential areas of the Royal Borough of Greenwich to North Greenwich Underground Station for easy access westbound to Canary Wharf and central London and eastbound to ExCeL and City Airport, as well as nearby major attractions like the O2
Ford Mobility’s president Marcy Klevorn said: “Cities globally are dealing with increased congestion and environmental issues.
“Ford is helping to alleviate these challenges by developing mobility solutions – such as Chariot – that are finely tuned to the unique challenges of commuters in different locations, addressing gaps in transport systems and completing their travel with first- and last-mile additions.”
Ford Smart Mobility Europe’s director Sarah‑Jayne Williams said: “As well-served as London is by public transport, the daily commute can still be a bit of a slog for some in the city.
"Chariot is one way of providing residents with reliable, safe and affordable transportation.”
From now until Feb 14 commuters will be able to use the service for free, on a first come first served basis, by inserting voucher code HELLOLDN in the payment section.
Then, with a monthly pass, single journeys cost from £1.60, with single pay-as-you-go rides £2.40.
In addition to a commuter service, Chariot is exploring enterprise and charter services in London and has also been accredited as a Living Wage Employer by The Living Wage Foundation.
The voluntary commitment will see everybody working at Chariot in London, regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff, receive a minimum hourly wage of £10.20 – significantly higher than the statutory minimum.