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Boston-based transit service Bridj shuts down

The on-demand shuttle service had to end after an issue with funding, the CEO said.
A Bridj bus. Flickr

Bostonians have one less transportation option to choose from after Bridj announced that it is shutting down.

Matt George, CEO of the Boston-based on-demand shuttle service, announced the move in a blog post on Sunday.

“Today, our incredible journey unexpectedly ends. After three years and millions of passenger miles as the largest operation of our kind in the country, Bridj is winding down,” he wrote.

George said that the company had been pursuing “a deal with a major car company,” rather than go after venture capital funding, but it didn’t work out.

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“This is sad and frustrating for all of us, but I firmly believe that letting pride and hope continue to push us forward in this situation would create an unacceptable level of risk for employees, investors, and customers,” he wrote.

Riders hailed Bridj through the app, reserving their seat on the eight to 10 person bus. The company would then match the user to the shuttle with the best route for their destination and the rider would walk to a pickup location to wait for their Bridj.

Bridj had submitted a proposal to the MBTA in November to use Bridj buses to provide late-night service for commuters in a partnership with the transit authority.

Bridj launched in Boston in 2014. The shuttle service worked with transit officials in Kansas City, Mo., to launch a pilot program there. Ridership there was low — less than 1,500 people took Bridj rides, according to Wired — and the project ended in March 2017, but transit researchers said they still learned from the experience.

“While we have been one small part of starting the conversation around mobility in the modern city,” George wrote, “we hope that you will continue to support innovators and leaders who will pick up where we left off, delivering on the promise of what cities can and should be."

 
 
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