After shutting down in April, transportation startup Bridj is getting resurrected more than 10,000 miles away from its founding city of Boston.
Bridj plans to relaunch later this year in Sydney, Australia, after it was acquired by Australian transportation operator Transit Systems, according to a message published to Bridj’s Facebook page on Friday. Bridj’s Twitter account and website also make references to Sydney, which is further supported by trademark and business filings in Australia. The company’s Facebook page said it’s also planning to relaunch in the United States sometime in the future.
A source familiar with the deal confirmed to BostInno on Monday night that the deal was an asset sale that completed sometime over the summer. Bridj founder Matt George later confirmed the deal in an email to BostInno on Tuesday. A spokesperson for Transit Systems in Australia has not responded to a list of questions yet.
Founded in 2014, Bridj gained national headlines for its concept of a data-driven shuttle bus service, even though the startup only ended up operating in a total of three cities, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Kansas City, the latter of which was for a one-year pilot program. Backed by more than $11 million from investors, the service would create central pickup and dropoff points based on route requests made on its app.
Bridj shut down in April after an investment deal fell through with Toyota, The Boston Globe reported in May. At the time, transportation experts said the company likely wasn’t able to sustain itself due to high costs and a large number of public transit alternatives. In August, national transportation planning firm Wells + Associates acquired BreakShuttle, a provider of college break transit services run by Bridj that had been profitable.
Filings with the Australian Business Register and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show a business associated with Transit Systems changed its name in late June to Bridj Pty Ltd, which appears in the source code for Bridj’s recently updated website. The same Australian entity has also filed a trademark for Bridj.
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that Bridj never expanded to a fourth city. Bridj had announced it was expanding to Austin, but it never started operating there.