Simons said it will work closely with Ford on research and development for the bikeshare program, and use the auto company's technology to improve the overall experience. "Now, we want to work with communities to offer even more transportation choices and solutions for people". The company's routes are based on rider demand.
Today, the CEO announced the automaker is acquiring crowd-sourced shuttle company Chariot. The shuttles now operate on 28 routes based on rider demand, but in the future, Ford will run the shuttles based on data algorithms that map the most efficient routes on a real-time basis. Business Insider reports the all-cash deal, which is for an undisclosed sum, is the first step in Ford's plan to immediately expand what is now a San Fransisco-only service to five other cities - at least one of which, according to the Chronicle, is to be outside the U.S. - within 18 months. Ford says it plans to increase Motivate's San Francisco bike fleet from 700 bikes to 7,000 bikes by the end of 2018. "Shuttles offer taxi-like convenience at the cost of mass transit". For every one dynamic shuttle that is placed into service during peak travel times, urban congestion could be reduced by up to 25 fewer vehicles, according to a private study for Ford conducted by KPMG.
Echoing Lee's comments, San Jose Mayor and MTC Commissioner Sam Liccardo explained, "San Jose is committed to working regionally to implement smart, sustainable strategies that invest in our urban cores and transit corridors, and promote walking, bicycling and transit ridership". When it launches next year, Ford GoBike will be accessed by users through the FordPass platform.
"It's going to have a profound impact on how people move around the Bay Area", said Motivate spokeswoman Dani Simons of Motivate.
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A bike sharing program led by Motivate (maker of the Citi bike program in New York) was also announced Friday.
And for the first time, the bike-sharing program will come to the East Bay, with locations planned for Oakland (850 bikes), Berkeley (400 bikes) and Emeryville (100 bikes). This could include real-time data, such as weather conditions, usage patterns and bike availability, to optimize commutes.
"No one has really stood back and thought of the city as a system like the electrical grid or the internet", Fields says. Through a joint discovery process, Ford City Solutions will work with municipalities to propose, pilot and develop mobility solutions tailored to the community.
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford sees the startup as the path forward for its fledgling mobility company, which was officially incorporated in March, and so far has generally stuck to more limited-scope tests of its offering, mostly in partnership with academic institutions. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.