This is a critical moment in our shared history. We are facing a transportation crisis. It’s pretty clear that the transportation systems we developed in the last century are at a breaking point.
Let me give you some context.
During the next 60 seconds, motorists in cities across the country will spend more than 15,000 hours in traffic. That’s just 60 seconds, and it costs Americans about $149,000 every minute in wasted fuel — not to mention the loss of all that productive time.
In San Francisco, in the next minute, 30 percent of the traffic will result from people circling the block looking for parking. Nationally, this hunt for a parking spot will unleash 102 tons of carbon every minute.
And, unfortunately, the strain on our transportation infrastructure is only going to increase.
By 2030, the world’s population will increase by more than 1 billion people — the majority of whom will live in cities. This is a problem that is both local and global in nature.
At Ford, we pay attention to this. We’re thinking about it every day. And we believe it’s time for the next chapter in mobility.
That’s why, today, we are providing a first look into our commitment to developing first-of-its-kind public-private partnerships with cities around the world to change the way the world moves.
Ford is teaming up with major global cities — beginning with San Francisco — to help solve congestion issues and help people move more easily — both today and in the future. We are the first automaker to work with cities to tackle these new mobility challenges and we’re bringing our 100-plus years of transportation knowledge and experience to address them.
During the next eight years, Ford will invest in a number of transportation initiatives in San Francisco, all of which are aimed at improving mobility in the Bay Area. Our goal is to drive down the cost of mobility so no one gets left behind.
The first part of this plan is the creation of a shuttle service that can supplement and expand the reach of traditional mass transit. Today, we’re announcing that we are acquiring Chariot, a crowd-sourced shuttle servicebased in San Francisco.
Chariot shuttles complement mass transit with fast, reliable and comfortable service. Mass transit systems in cities around the world are under strain.
Here in the U.S., it’s a particularly distinct problem for underserved communities, where bus routes and subway lines aren’t always convenient. Getting to work or college can be expensive and time consuming, which is a silent barrier to progress.
That’s why we’re so excited about shuttles. They don’t require big infrastructure upgrades; they can rapidly adapt based on demand and they reduce the number of cars on the road in congested urban areas.
It’s also the ideal marriage of our core automotive business and our emerging mobility business as the Ford Transit van is the perfect platform for our dynamic shuttle solution. It shows the ways we are using our traditional knowledge base to solve new transportation challenges.
We plan to grow our shuttle service to at least five additional markets in the next 18 months.
But shuttles aren’t the only transportation solution we’re pursuing. We want to offer cities a suite of solutions because we know that no two cities are alike. What makes sense in San Francisco might not fit in Shanghai.
So, in addition to our new dynamic shuttles, we’re announcing that we’re partnering with Motivate to expand bike sharing in San Francisco with the new Ford GoBike. We have plans to add an additional 7,000 bikes in the Bay Area by 2018, all of which will be accessible through our FordPass platform.
We know bikes can be a fundamental part of the transportation solution in cities. Plus, they have no emissions, you get a little exercise, and it’s a fun way to get around.
What cities need now is a partner to deliver solutions for this century. Ford is deeply committed to being that partner.
We are in the midst of a transformational moment in the history of transportation. We understand the world is changing and we’re uniquely equipped to help cities, locals and travelers alike adapt to that change.
It’s an enormous business opportunity, but it’s actually something even more important than that.
Henry Ford drove a radical change at the start of the 20th century — a change that helped people all over the world follow their dreams and build better lives — through the freedom of transportation.
We see this moment — right here, right now — in the same light.
For more than 100 years, Ford has been part of the community and the trusted source for automotive transportation. Now, we want to work with communities to offer even more transportation choices and solutions for people for decades to come.
Editor’s note (6/27/17): Ford GoBike does not include technology that collects real-time data but the potential to do so in the future remains therefore the following text has been removed from this blog post in order to accurately reflect the program in its current state: “We will use traffic data collected from the bikes to build an interconnected mobility network. It will provide real-time data that helps plan your commute based on weather conditions, usage patterns and bike availability.”
We do believe that cities can derive tremendous value in insights that could come from capturing data from many forms of transportation system. We continue to work with our partners and with cities to determine the most effective means to create a truly data-driven transportation system.