Car Industry

Ford's Chariot shuttle service crosses the pond

Its London service marks the first time Chariot expanded beyond the US.

Ford

In 2016, Ford's mobility arm acquired the Chariot shuttle service, and now, it's headed to Europe for the first time.

Ford announced today that Chariot will make its international debut in London, a city known for lots of congestion and expensive city congestion tolls. It's starting small, with just four initial routes assembled by analyzing areas that traditional public transportation might not reach.

A bit prettier than the bus, this.

Ford

Here are all four routes, if you're in that neck of the woods:

  • Battersea Bullet: Covers the Battersea Power Station neighborhood and Nine Elms with connections to the Victoria Line in Vauxhall and the Northern Line at Kennington.
  • Wandsworth Wanderer: Covers new developments in Wandsworth with Clapham Junction for easy trafers to the National Rail, London Overground and Gatwick Express.
  • Nuxley Navigator: Covers Belvedere and Nuxley Village with connections to the Abbey Wood station and National Rail.
  • Shooters Hill Shot: Covers Royal Borough of Greenwich with connections to the North Greenwich Underground station.

During peak times, Chariot will run up to six shuttles per hour. Chariot sounds like a hell of a better ride than the bus. Its modified Ford Transit vans can fit up to 14 passengers, and they come with lovely amenities like air conditioning, overhead storage and, for the commuter who needs to stay connected, Wi-Fi.

Trips are free until Feb. 14 with a voucher code. After that, riders can choose between a monthly pass or paying as one goes. With the monthly pass, each ride will start at £1.60 ($2.28), while a la carte riders will have to pony up £2.40 ($3.42) at the minimum. Rides can be booked using Chariot's free app.

While you might be geeked to replace your bus ride with Chariot, don't get ahead of yourself. Ford is quick to note that Chariot is not a replacement for public transportation, but rather a better method of dealing with first-mile and last-mile travel -- not everyone lives within walking distance of a bus stop, after all.