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Chariot gets private transit permit from San Francisco

Chariot, whose turquoise commuter shuttles are a familiar fixture on San Francisco streets, has been issued the city’s first private transit operator permit, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said.

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Under the conditional permit, Chariot, a subsidiary of Ford Smart Mobility, will share GPS and passenger data with the city. It has already changed about 100 drop-off/pickup spots to legal curb spaces such as yellow and white loading zones, and must relocate another 9 percent of its 204 stop locations by late August.

“We are proud to have collaborated with SFMTA on the new permitting process, which will allow us to continue to provide a reliable, daily transportation solution that reduces congestion on our roads,” Chariot said in a statement.

Regulations enacted in October 2017 created the new permits for “privately operated transportation services that are open to the public, charge individual fares and generally operate on fixed routes,” Jose wrote. Chariot, which runs 12 morning routes and nine evening routes, is currently the only carrier that fits that description.

Previously Chariot operated in the city “with limited governance and oversight,” Jose wrote. The regulations were prompted in part by complaints about Chariot stopping in unauthorized locations such as crosswalks, traffic lanes and Muni stops. Chariot is regulated differently than the so-called Google buses, which carry workers from San Francisco to Silicon Valley campuses. Those corporate shuttles pay fees to stop at Muni bus zones. Going forward, the regulations require any new Chariot routes to complement, rather than compete with, public transit.


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London, ON, Canada

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