RANCHO MISSION VIEJO, Calif., Nov. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting Monday, November 10, 2014, the new pilot program called "RanchRide" will offer a host of convenient transportation or "mobility" services exclusively to residents of the 4,000-acre Ladera Ranch community and the 6,000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo community, both in South Orange County, CA.
Originally introduced in late July during a test phase, RanchRide is a partnership between the Business Innovation group of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. and Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC, master planner and developer of Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo, the largest new community in California with up to 14,000 homes planned in several villages. The first village built on The Ranch is Sendero and its gated 55+ enclave of Gavilan.
A total of four different RanchRide mobility services will be included in the new pilot program, provided on luxury-style, 14-seat Mercedes-Benz Sprinter passenger shuttles. Passengers simply register on www.RanchRide.net to receive their RanchRide cards and either access the shuttles at key locations or they can pre-select their destinations on the RanchRide website and reserve their space on the Mercedes-Benz RanchRide shuttles of their choice.
Among the RanchRide mobility services to be offered in the pilot program are the following:
RanchRide Circulator: a fixed-route loop shuttle operating Monday-Friday within Ladera Ranch (and slated to be phased-in at Sendero-Gavilan). The Circulator's "Around Town" daytime loop will take residents to Ladera Ranch shopping centers and clubhouses as well as to The Shops at Mission Viejo.
RanchRide Destination: a daytime reservation-based destination shuttle service operating on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Based on input from Ladera Ranch and Sendero-Gavilan residents, the destinations will include Irvine Spectrum, Newport Center/Fashion Island, South Coast Plaza, and various beach communities. In addition, a "Friday Nights Out" reservation-based destination service will be offered to key locations in Ladera Ranch, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and The Shops at Mission Viejo on Friday evenings.
RanchRide Charter: a dedicated charter shuttle which allows Ranch residents to customize their own round-trip or one-day destinations anywhere in Southern California.
RanchRide Commuter Express: a dedicated shuttle service from Ladera Ranch and Sendero to partnering employer offices/employment facilities in Irvine Spectrum. Plans are still in the works for this service.
"RanchRide has been designed to provide convenient, easy, relaxing, and fun mobility services which address a number of key consumer travel patterns including around-town stops, key destination trips, individual and group excursions, work-week commutes, and so much more," said Rasheq Zarif, Senior Manager - Business Innovation who represents Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. "And, what really makes RanchRide so unique is that it allows us to test mobility services in well-defined suburban markets among our target consumer groups of young and mature families as well as active adults. This is a new market for us and we are very happy to be partnering with Rancho Mission Viejo to introduce RanchRide."
While passenger fees will initially be waived during the pilot program testing of RanchRide Circulator, Destination and Commuter Express services, fees will be charged for RanchRide Charter services. Maps, destinations, charter information and more are available on www.RanchRide.net.
"We are honored to be participating with Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. in this pilot program," said Richard Broming, Senior Vice President – Planning and Entitlement for Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC. "RanchRide allows residents of Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo to get where they want to go in comfort and luxury. Plus, since each RanchRide shuttle seats up to 14 people, we're helping to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions – which is good for the environment. And ultimately, RanchRide will help work-week commuters reduce the cost, time and stress associated with driving alone while also reducing trips to the gas pump, money spent on car maintenance, and even insurance rates."
Every RanchRide shuttle will feature free on-board Wi-Fi so RanchRiders can spend their drive time on their laptops, emailing, enjoying their morning coffees and breakfasts, or simply doing nothing at all. Plus, the RanchRide website (www.RanchRide.net) includes a special shuttle tracker map to help pinpoint shuttle arrivals and view current shuttle locations on computers and any mobile device.
RanchRide is a partnership between Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC and the Business Innovation group of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc., a Daimler Company.
About Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC
Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC is a privately held, family-owned and -operated company responsible for the ranching, farming, planning, development, and financial management of the 23,000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo (aka The Ranch). Since 1882, members of the O'Neill/Avery/ Moiso family have owned and managed The Ranch, which once exceeded 200,000 acres and now includes the family-developed cities and communities of Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, and Rancho Santa Margarita as well as numerous regional parks, wilderness areas and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Approximately 75% of the remaining Ranch is becoming The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo, destined to be one of the largest private open space reserves in California.
About Business Innovation / Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc.
Originally initiated in 2007, Business Innovation is Daimler's "think tank" for innovative solutions beyond the core business of car manufacturing. The team deals with future technological, social and cultural developments to create viable business models.
Tested and evaluated on a pilot basis, success stories like car2go and Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy started with this team as proof-of-concept projects and have subsequently become successful businesses. Business Innovation teams are located at the headquarters in Stuttgart, in Beijing, Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, and Sunnyvale, CA. Business Innovation at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. started in 2012 and the team recently launched "Boost," an innovative app enabled youth-shuttle services in California.
About Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo (villages of Sendero/Gavilan)
The master-planned community of Ladera Ranch has been honored by the prestigious Urban Land Institute as the nation's "Best Master-Planned Community" and is one of the most successful planned communities in the state of California. Ladera Ranch is home to thousands of young and maturing families and also offers three different 55-plus apartment neighborhoods. The first village of the new master-planned community of Rancho Mission Viejo is Sendero, which celebrated its grand opening in late June 2013. Already 75% sold out, Sendero includes 11 different residential neighborhoods for singles, couples and families of all ages. Four of Sendero's neighborhoods are situated within a 55-plus enclave called Gavilan. In the last year, Sendero was named America's "Master-Planned Community of the Year" by The National Association of Home Builders, "Master-Planned Community of the Year" by the Building Industry Association of Southern California, and, in September 2014, Sendero was voted the "Best Master-Planned Community" in Orange County by readers of THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Ladera Ranch came in second in that same category and contest.