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THE MOBILITY PARADOX FOR CITIES
by Staff Report


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Here’s the reality: People keep moving to cities because they offer a wealth of cultural and entertainment options, places to eat, and a variety of ways to connect with others. It’s no surprise people want to move to places that provide fun and exciting things to do.

Here’s the reality: People keep moving to cities because they offer a wealth of cultural and entertainment options, places to eat, and a variety of ways to connect with others. It’s no surprise people want to move to places that provide fun and exciting things to do.

Half the world’s population lives in cities, a number we believe will top 60 percent in the coming decades. The increasing population means urban areas are struggling with transportation and infrastructure challenges to manage the sheer number of individuals needing to get around every day. Moreover, when people move to a city, they bring an ecosystem that supports and supplies their needs, including delivery services.

But people moving into cities is not the problem. Despite increasing populations, cities aren’t becoming larger, nor are they necessarily adding roads. Because the amount of space a city has is finite, adding an influx of single-occupancy cars to an already congested landscape creates more gridlock and frustration, and thus a greater need for transportation alternatives.

Last September, Ford created a City Solutions team to help analyze and solve urban transportation problems. Since then, we have been listening and talking to cities to identify potential solutions that fit into an existing transit infrastructure to move people around more efficiently and comfortably. Our team is working to accommodate urban development by making cities healthier and improving productivity.

We’re working with cities around the world, listening to the specific issues they face. We’re committed to delivering solutions that make sense for everybody, and part of that includes Chariot — the shuttle service we’re launching in Seattle.

Seattle marks the third market for Chariot. We’re launching there with its enterprise commuter shuttle service, which serves companies wanting to provide transportation solutions to their employees — from last-mile service, to and from Park & Rides and transit hubs, to providing direct service to and from underserved neighborhoods.

It’s vital employers and city government work together to start the conversation on transportation options, and our City Solutions team is engaging with companies to facilitate those conversations. Workers live and play in the city, and as companies increasingly commit to shrinking their commuter footprint, their input is key to making shared commutes more attractive. While some companies already provide a mobility benefit, we see this as a perk to be widely encouraged.
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