SOURCE: Chariot

Chariot

September 21, 2015 13:00 ET

New Chariot Experience Rolls Into App Store With Seat Reservations, Real-Time ETAs and More

App Immediately Includes New Routes, Sourced From Actual Commuters

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 21, 2015) - Chariot (http://ridechariot.com), the commuting solution whose shuttles offer a faster, more reliable and affordable way get to and from work, now lets passengers reserve seats and provides real-time arrivals through its first native iPhone app, released today. Chariot knows that predictability and precision are crucial to transit -- especially to start and end a work day -- and the updated app takes any anxiety about seat availability and wait time out of each rider's day.

"Chariot takes the pain out of commuting by making the process as reliable and hassle-free as possible. Allowing reservations and showing real-time arrival further that mission," said Ali Vahabzadeh, Founder and CEO of Chariot. "With Chariot, everyone gets a seat, pricing is predictable and stops are minimal. It's the best way to get between home, work and major transit hubs -- and it will continue to get better as more services and new routes become available."

The new app adds features that not only remove friction from commuting, but also add fun:

  • Rider Reservations: reserve a seat on any available Chariot within 30 minutes of arrival
  • Arrival Predictions: receive real-time estimates of arrival times
  • Messaging and Support: help is just two taps away
  • Charioteer Names: get to know drivers better

Chariot has already won over a diverse group of loyal daily riders that rely on its predictable, affordable, and reliable service: its on-time performance has been 95% and rides cost $3-5. The company employs full-time drivers, which not only ensures they know their way around the web of San Francisco streets, but has also created bonds between drivers and regular riders. Chariot's coordination with City Hall and Sacramento qualifies the service for transit vendor status, allowing riders to take advantage of their employer's commuter benefits and pay for Chariot with pre-tax dollars.

In addition to the new app, brand new chariots have rolled out across Chariot's routes, serving San Francisco residents in the Haight Ashbury, Inner Richmond, Japantown, Marina, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, and SOMA neighborhoods. Commuters from around the Bay Area also use Chariot as a last-mile solution to get them to and from BART or CalTrain and their workplace located in areas away from major transit routes.

New routes are crowdsourced and chosen based on the number of votes cast on Chariot's website. Recently rolled out routes include the "Pacific Rush" with service between Pacific Heights, the Financial District and SOMA, the "Richmond Racer" between Inner Richmond, the Financial District and SOMA, and "Fisherman's Flyer" shuttling East Bay commuters between Embarcadero BART to Fisherman's Wharf. A sample trending route on the verge of rollout is service between the Outer Richmond and the Financial District.

"San Franciscans need reliable transit options that meet their needs, and we're happy to be providing better solutions that are working for thousands of commuters every day," continued Vahabzadeh.

About Chariot
Founded in April 2014 by Ali Vahabzadeh, Chariot is the world's first crowdfunded network of commuter routes. The company employs Charioteers who drive brand new 15-passenger vans between popular residential and work districts and commuter hubs like BART and Caltrain. Chariot has seven routes, providing 8,000 rides per week with an 85 percent long-term retention rate. The company crowdfunds new commuter routes based on user demand, allowing the public to efficiently fill in transit gaps. Riders can use their commuter benefits to pay for their tickets with pre-tax dollars.

Chariot raised a $3 million seed round and graduated from Y Combinator's Winter '15 batch. The company is fully compliant with California Public Utilities Commission and California Highway Patrol regulations.

Routes include:

  • California Dreamin': Service from the intersection of Haight and Clayton to Fourth and Brannan (Caltrain)
  • Chestnut Bullet: Service from the intersection of Chestnut and Divisadero to Hills Plaza
  • Fisherman's Flyer: Service from Embarcadero BART to Beach and Leavenworth
  • *New* Pacific Rush: Service from Broadway and Pierce to Fourth and Brannan (Caltrain)
  • *New* Richmond Racer: Service from the intersection of Geary and Funston to Fourth and Brannan (Caltrain)
  • SOMA Express: Service from the intersection of Chestnut and Divisadero to Third and Howard
  • West SOMA Direct: Service from the intersection of Chestnut and Divisadero to Fourth and Brannan (Caltrain)

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