Ford to acquire, expand SF shuttle company Chariot

Ford Motor Co. is expected to purchase the San Francisco-based shuttle service Chariot and plans to expand the business to at least five different markets within the next two years, the company said Friday in a news release.

The acquisition is part of the company’s push to fill in gaps in transportation throughout the Bay Area as the population increases. Launched in 2014, Chariot runs shuttles on more than two dozen routes in the Bay Area based on rider demand.

In San Francisco, the service brings riders from outer districts like the Richmond and Sunset to downtown. Last month, the company introduced a new service that deviated the shuttles from fixed routes, allowing riders to enter specific destinations.

Ford is also working with Motivate, the operator of Bay Area Bike Share, to add new stations and increase the number of bikes in the system to 7,000, according to the release.

The program will no longer be called Bay Area Bike Share, but “Ford GoBike.”

Chariot stirred some controversy in April when San Francisco’s Department of Public Works determined the sandwich-board signs it placed on city sidewalks were unpermitted and illegal.

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