Visitors and patrons of downtown Ferndale will soon have an easy new way to get around. The City of Ferndale has announced a new partnership with microtransit service Chariot, a division of Ford Mobility, launching September 20.
The City will partner with Chariot on a 6-9-month pilot program that provides services connecting Ferndale’s downtown and Livernois business district to the surrounding community, neighboring city of Pleasant Ridge, and high-profile events, such as DIY & Funky Ferndale and the Royal Oak-based Arts Beats & Eats.
The project uses Chariot’s service to address the first- and last-mile transit challenges during planned development work. The 7-passenger, wheelchair-accessible Ford Transit vans are driven by Chariot’s W-2 employee drivers. Passengers are encouraged to download the Chariot app, available via iOS or Android, to book their seats.
“The service will be a welcome addition to downtown Ferndale, particularly during the current and upcoming development work,” said Assistant City Manager Joseph Gacioch. “We’re in a place right now of making the updates and additions necessary to create a safe, accommodating downtown for all, and Chariot will be a great addition to our temporary parking solution plan while our city undergoes these changes.”
Beginning August 20, the route will include eight total stops between Pleasant Ridge and Ferndale and will be free to all passengers. One Chariot will run from 4 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday, with a second Chariot operating during peak hours from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Special routes will also run for Art Beats & Eats, So’Fe Livernois Stroll, and DIY & Funky Ferndale. For a most up-to-date list of stops, download the app or visit Chariot.com.
“Chariot is designed to be a flexible, nimble solution to easing congestion and traffic challenges,” said Chariot CEO Dan Grossman. “Our Chariots will get Ferndale visitors and local residents to and from the vibrant downtown area safely, helping ensure that upcoming construction and parking restrictions will not keep them from attending community events and supporting neighborhood businesses.”
Chariot is reinventing transportation with a microtransit solution that is fast, reliable and affordable for people living in today’s cities. Riders can easily reserve a seat on a Chariot via the iOS or Android app, and hop on one of the company’s 14-passenger Ford Transit vehicles operated by friendly, professional employee drivers. After launching in San Francisco in 2014, the company participated in Y Combinator’s Winter 2015 class and was acquired in September 2016 by Ford Smart Mobility to serve as the cornerstone for its global shuttle services business. Chariot runs more than 100 daily routes serving San Francisco, New York, Austin, Seattle, Columbus and London. For more information, visit www.chariot.com.