Kansas City commuters will be first in the nation to test a unique solution for increased urban mobility. Urban technology company, Bridj, is teaming up with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) to launch Ride KC: Bridj, a pilot program using a network of locally built Ford Transit vans to provide a new way to access areas of Kansas City that are rich in jobs and housing.
This is the first U.S. public-private collaboration brings together a major U.S. transit system, an automaker and an urban technology company to enhance existing mass transit by providing greater mobility options to residents of Kansas City. By improving access to jobs, this one-year pilot program is hoped to be a catalyst for social and economic opportunity.
“Today, we are bringing another transit option to the region with the introduction of microtransit,” said Robbie Makinen, KCATA’s president and chief executive officer. “By combining the intelligence of Bridj technology with capable and flexible Ford Transit vehicles, we are creating a seamless and borderless transportation network for our residents that is easy to use, comfortable and affordable.”
“Bridj is thrilled to be the urban technology platform for Ride KC: Bridj,” said Matt George, the chief executive officer of Bridj. “Modernizing urban infrastructure will be the single greatest technology challenge of our time, and this pilot is part of the solution by significantly extending the current capabilities of Kansas City’s mass transit system.”
Ride KC: Bridj is scheduled to launch in early March. Powered by billions of data points, Bridj’s platform determines where riders want to go and how to get them there most efficiently. Using the Bridj mobile app, riders can request on-demand shuttle service that they can access via pop-up shuttle stations.
Ford was named as the exclusive vehicle provider for Ride KC: Bridj because of its commitment to developing smarter transportation systems through its Ford Smart Mobility plan.
“Our goal is to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves,” said Erica Klampfl, global mobility solutions manager for Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “The Ford Smart Mobility plan supports our commitment to innovation, and is aimed specifically at developing smarter mobility services. We are excited that Ford Transit was selected for Ride KC: Bridj because this is one of many projects that will help us gain insights into what works and develop smarter, more connected mobility solutions and service-oriented products.”