Amid a broad corporate restructuring, Ford said on Thursday that it would shutter its Chariot commuter shuttle service that it once touted as part of a refashioning of its auto manufacturing business for the 21st century.
The commuter van service, operated in 10 U.S. cities like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, plus London, had provided customers with more than 3 million rides. Its last day of service will be Jan. 25 in the U.K. and Feb. 1 in U.S.
The news comes as Ford begins a massive overhaul that includes cutting thousands of jobs, ending the production of certain vehicles, and closing a plant in France. The company is facing a slowdown in car sales and the impact of trade tensions that has prompted CEO Jim Hackett to cut costs, including ending the production of certain cars.
Chariot, based in San Francisco, was founded in 2014 by Ali Vahabzadeh and Romain Di Vuolo to help provide alternative transportation options to ridesharing and overcrowded public transportation systems. Ford bought the startup in 2016 for a reported $65 million.
“In today’s mobility landscape, the wants and needs of customers and cities are changing rapidly,” Chariot said in a blog post announcing the shutdown. “We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause Chariot’s riders and our enterprise customers. We are committed to ensuring our customers are aware of the decision and have time to make alternative transportation arrangements.”
Other cities in which Chariot operates are Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Detroit, Lake Tahoe, Calif., Seattle, and Austin.