Chariot, which ferried commuters in Ford-made vans in cities like San Francisco and Austin, will soon shut down, the company announced Thursday. Ford bought the Y Combinator-born startup, which allowed users to vote on which shuttle routes it would launch, in 2016 to help kick off a push into urban transportation services. But Ford found that to be a tough business.
Chariot founder Ali Vahabzadeh left the firm early last year, while the company faced slow ridership demand in cities like New York, Streetsblog reported. Now, “in today’s mobility landscape, the wants and needs of customers and cities are changing rapidly,” Chariot wrote in a post on its website.
Meanwhile Ford hasn’t given on its push into urban transportation but is taking a new tack. It recently bought Spin, a scooter rental firm, for instance. It had a large display featuring new transportation services like Spin at its Consumer Electronics Show booth this week. It surely hopes to have more luck with Spin than it had with Chariot.