Chariot, the public transport à la carte


In the times, the darker of the history of the automobile, there were manufacturers who did everything possible so that public transport networks were unattractive, inefficient, or were directly deleted. The famous cable cars of San Francisco were victims of this policy of eliminating competitors to the cars.

But this model is fully expired. Accumulates more population in the urban areas, they can’t all have a car in the property, and it is absurd the scene of regular traffic jams full of cars with an average occupancy of 1.2 people. public transportation is an option, yes, but not for all the world, or routes, or frequencies, or schedules.

The service more convenient is the taxi, a chauffeur takes us from one point to another, but it is an expensive service to use it daily. In fact, less than a third of the Spanish we use more than one taxi a month, is a sporadic rather than a substitute for public transport or the private car. However, there are more possibilities, and Chariot is a good example of this.


Chariot was born in the united States as a company more than mobility services. Was devised as a mix between the taxi service and public transportation, that is to say, you had to find out what were the movements common to the people, to try to create a route tailored to their needs.

Chariot means “cuádriga”

The first minibuses started functions in April 2014, four rental units, which began to provide services to first users. In less than two years had been made to 50,000 trips in a single month, and only within the area of the bay of San Francisco. In may of last year had already 100 vehicles performing the routes.

Such was the potential of this company, which Ford announced its acquisition in September 2016, embedding it as a service more than mobility. In another era, Ford would have bought Chariot just to dismantle the company and remove its trace, but we are in 2017. This year they started to operate in Austin (Texas) and you will see in cities such as London short-term.


Chariot works in a very similar way to Uber. Passengers indicate what their usual routes, and the company tries to adapt the routes of the minibuses to meet the needs of the users. It is everything that the public transportation has wanted to be, but door-to-door, and with the schedules more realistic.

The price is variable, it is not the same to ask for a trip in rush hour that in hour valley. Also have manures, to have discounts on travel usual. Anyone can ride a Chariot, and the payment is not made in hand, everything is via the app. drivers do not have to extend tickets or to make turns.

on the other hand, Chariot will also be responsible for resolving transportation needs of companies or trade fairs. Sure that on more than one occasion we have seen buses chartered to take employees to a large company, as can be HOME, or Endesa. Each van Chariot can eliminate the need for up to 25 cars, with all that that implies.

Yes, it is more environmentally friendly than the Ford Transit go with 10-15 people, although the engine is a thirsty V6 petrol, if that it suppresses the movement of several cars. In the end, the passengers are always less than the weight of the vehicle by itself, most of the fuel consumed in carrying its own weight. Yes, it is ridiculous, but this has been done for decades.


Chariot is in the phase of expansion. Ford earns money with this business, actually has more margin to sell cars in the times of vacas gordas. In principle, everyone comes out ahead, the passengers obtain a transit much more custom at a reasonable price, traffic is reduced and the promoters obtain benefits.

Not be ruled out that this kind of companies end up coming to Spain, always and when they fulfil the long list of legal requirements, tax and labor that imply this. Almost everyone has a mobile phone, the application can end up revealing valuable information of what should be the routes of public transport.

The main reason why we use our private vehicles is for convenience. If it is possible to have that kind of comfort at a lower price, and without the need of driving, since then a few thousand people are going to rethink their means of transportation. Chariot can mean a real plunked in the medium term.