Waiting for a bus is no fun. But residents of Kansas City will soon be able to hail one rather than standing in line — for a price, at least — thanks to a collaboration between Bridj and Ford.
Residents of Boston can already use the Bridj service to order an on-demand bus to pick them up near their home, rather than walking to a distant stop. Or, as our more cynical Alissa Walker put it, Bridj is “creating a new system of luxury buses which have perks like Wi-Fi to cater to commuters who want to fork out the extra money for comfort and convenience”.
Either way, the service is now headed for Kansas City, as Ford is teaming up with the bus service. Launching early March, the Ride KC: Bridj scheme will allow residents to hail a bus using the initiative’s app across a pretty broad sweep of the city, including downtown Kansas City, the near east and west sides, Hospital Hill, Crown Center, parts of Midtown, University of Kansas Medical Center and the Historic 18th and Vine Jazz districts. Initially Ford will supply ten 14-seater buses for a 1-year pilot. If ride demand proves high, the scheme will likely expand.
Ford is doing plenty of experimenting with the future of transport: Its autonomous car research is impressive and it’s even exploring the wider world of improving mobility via digital technology. Its collaboration with Bridj is another step in a direction which isn’t all about selling single cars to single people, but embracing the fact that we may be about to start using vehicles very differently.