It seems like Kansas City has it all. First it gets Google Fiber, and now Ford has teamed up with Bridj, an on-demand shuttle bus company, to provide rides throughout KC:
Ford, Bridj, and KCATA are pitching this project as the “first U.S. public-private collaboration [to] bring together a major US transit system, an automaker, and an urban technology company to enhance existing mass transit.” Robbie Makinen, president and CEO of KCATA, called the project “microtransit” insofar as it creates “a seamless and borderless transportation network for our residents that is easy to use, comfortable, and affordable.”
As I’ve pointed out, it’s interesting to see many of the major automakers exploring the traditional boundaries of transportation:
I’m not suggesting that Ford remove the “Motor” from its name, but I do think that they – as well as the other carmakers – should examine their place in a more connected (and thus, less wasteful) market. Automobile companies thrived when every family owned a car or two, but the model is shifting now that consumers leverage technology to remove inefficiency: namely, to carpool, to use Uber or Lyft or Silvercar, and eventually, perhaps, to enjoy driverless vehicles.
It’s interesting to see these automotive waters being tested, and it would be great to see these efforts expand beyond KC.
Disclosure: I hold shares of Ford. But not much.