Ford's Chariot Resumes San Francisco Shuttle Service After Failing Inspections
The Chariot failed three consecutive California Highway Patrol inspections.
Ford's Chariot shuttle service is back on the streets of San Francisco after a temporary suspension due to failed safety inspections. The California Public Utilities Commission pulled Chariot's operator license after three consecutive failed inspections by the California Highway Patrol.
CHP re-inspected Chariot and Friday and the service passed, Chariot CEO Ali Vahabzadeh wrote to customers in an email (via TechCrunch). He said Chariot has "resolved the situation" and the company does not expect any further interruptions.
Previous inspections found that some Chariot drivers did not have the required California Class B licenses needed to drive for the service. Chariot's Ford Transit vans are considered passenger buses under California regulations, meaning drivers must have Class B licenses.
Chariot launched in San Francisco in 2014, and was acquired by Ford late last year. The service bills itself as a more flexible alternative to public transportation that still takes advantage of the efficiencies of shared rides. Rather than taking individual Uber or Lyft cars, riders share a van that runs on a flexible route determined by their final destinations. Chariot also allows riders to suggest new routes.
In addition to San Francisco, Chariot currently operates in New York, Seattle, and Austin. Operations in those cities were not affected by the California regulatory snafu.