Could this 'minivan as a service' be a solution for NYC's transit problems? - Technical.ly Brooklyn

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Jul. 28, 2017 12:59 pm

Could this ‘minivan as a service’ be a solution for NYC’s transit problems?

Ford-owned startup Chariot wants to bring Uber-type software to mass transit.

Chariot wants to bring Uber-type technology to mass transit.

(Image via YouTube)

A company called Chariot thinks it can fix your L train desperation.

Announcing its operations in New York yesterday, Chariot is van as a service, which will run like buses in that the vans will have specific pickup and dropoff points but differ from the MTA in that its points will be created based on the demands of riders using the app. By streamlining the efficiency of the pickups, Chariot sounds like it will sit somewhere between MTA bus service and the Lyft Line. With a price tag of $4, it’s an interesting proposition.

Chariot has a focus on what some riders might find lacking with MTA buses, what founder Ali Vahabzadeh calls CX or “Cabin Experience.” With a Chariot, riders can reserve a seat and, like Uber, see where their van is in real time on the app. Unlike Uber, it employs all its drivers, as the Observer reports in a good piece on the company.

Founded by Vahabzadeh, Chariot went through Y Combinator before being acquired by Ford. Vahabzadeh says he thinks having the might of the Ford Motor Company behind it will allow the company to scale its fleet as quickly as possible.

Rides will start in NYC in August. Let’s see how this goes.

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