In the spirit of “there’s an app for that,” we’ve seen a lot of Muni alternatives come and go with varying degrees of obnoxiousness. Remember the doomed shuttle called Leap that tried to sell you cold brew but only if you don’t need wheelchair-accessible seats? That was pretty bad, but we just heard about a new move that might win the douche award.
Muni rider Erin L. told us that private shuttle service Chariot has been sending “brand ambassadors” to Muni stops to chat up riders to get them to quit public transit. She ran into these Chariot reps twice at the 38BX stop just last week on Sansome and Pine. The rep asked Erin whether she knew about Chariot and has heard about the app.
Ick, right? This feels more aggressive than the Lyft ads we’ve seen on Muni shelters (at least some of those make reference to the “last mile” problem). We reached out to Chariot last week but the company hasn’t returned our inquiry. However, on Chariot’s website, it looks like Chariot is ramping up their efforts of on-the-street advertising. The company is hiring more “energetic, outgoing” brand ambassadors to “spread the word about Chariot,” mostly in SoMa and downtown.