Cars in Philadelphia and Austin are at risk of being impounded for sharing.
If you believe in the sharing economy the time has come to lend your voice. Please sign our petition to support the right to share resources in Philadelphia, Austin and elsewhere.
Please sign our Change.org petition.
Yesterday we received a cease and desist letter from The Austin Transportation Department that alleges SideCar is violating city code by operating as an illegal taxi company. We also learned recently that the Austin City Council will vote tomorrow on a law that would make it a crime to share gas money for a carpool. This law will allow local taxi regulators to file criminal charges and impound the vehicles of anyone who shares a ride and exchanges compensation of any kind.
We firmly disagree with The Austin Transportation Department’s contention that SideCar is an illegal taxi service or that people who use SideCar (or carpools for that matter) to get matched for a shared ride are criminals. Here are copies of the memo and letter we submitted addressing Austin’s City Transportation Code. SideCar will continue to operate in Austin as scheduled.
SideCar is not a taxi company. SideCar is a smartphone app that instantly matches people for peer-to-peer ridesharing. SideCar drivers are regular, everyday people willing to give rides to people who need them. People pay what they want and drivers choose when they drive, how often they drive and where they go. Drivers love SideCar because it helps them pay the costs associated with having a car.
We’ve had a busy week. Last weekend SideCar was the target of an orchestrated sting operation conducted by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA), which regulates taxis.
SideCar leads a movement to build a transportation sharing economy that results in a cleaner, greener and a more socially connected community. We believe that having the right to offer a technology platform that enables the sharing of resources is an important principle for the entire sharing economy.
Innovation is under attack. Innovators have always faced opposition from traditionalists who are threatened by new ways of thinking. Battles may ensue but in the end innovation will win.
Transportation is too important to close the door on innovation. We created SideCar because we have a vision to leverage technology to empower communities to solve their own transportation problems. We have a vision for transportation that is more affordable, sustainable and fun. Ridesharing isn’t a commercial transaction – it’s the community pulling together to fix transportation. The question is will the community stand up for what is right and not let the buddies of taxi companies run the show?
Innovation will not happen if government regulators are in charge. Imagine this: What if “meter maids” ran Twitter?
Politicians care about how their city is viewed by the rest of the world. With enough signatures and calls, they will take action to give sharing a chance.
1) Please sign our Change.org petition.
2) Email Mayor Lee Leffingwell or call his office at (512) 974-2250.
Leave a polite, but firm message that you support the sharing economy and to please give innovation a chance to flourish in your city.
Please share this blog post on Twitter and Facebook:
Do you believe in sharing? We need your voice: http://chn.ge/YAQYag #defendsharing
Thank you and
SideCar Technologies, Inc.
SideCar’s mission is to make transportation safer, sustainable, fun and better for our communities. We’re surprised and disappointed to tell you that the defenders of the status quo aren’t quite on board yet in Philadelphia.
On Saturday, SideCar was the target of an orchestrated sting operation conducted by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA), which regulates taxis. Three everyday drivers in our community were given hefty citations and had their cars impounded, leaving them alone in the dark and cold in need of a ride home. The citations wrongly assert that SideCar and its community of drivers and riders is an “unauthorized service provider.” SideCar is a technology platform that enables peer-to-peer ridesharing. Our smartphone app instantly matches people who need a ride with regular, everyday drivers who are willing to give them one. With SideCar, payment is voluntary and you pay what you want. SideCar is safe. We run more checks on our drivers than taxi or limo services. Plus, all matched rides are recorded and GPS tracked for safety.
Transportation is too important to blindly close the door on innovation. The actions on Saturday night will not distract us from our important mission to revolutionize a transportation model that hasn’t innovated in almost half a century.
SideCar chose Philadelphia as its first East Coast city because of its reputation as a center of innovation and its forward-looking government. We remain confident these characteristics of this great city will prevail over the defenders of entrenched interests threatened by progress and the unknown.
The success of the emerging sharing economy depends on the ability to share resources with others using technology. SideCar is a leader in this new space. In less than one year we’ve become the largest instant rideshare community in the U.S., matching more than 100,000 rides. We understand that the sharing economy is new to regulators and that some will misunderstand the model or perceive it as a threat to the companies they regulate. As we sort things out with regulators, SideCar will continue to operate in Philadelphia so its citizens can continue to experience the benefits and joys of rideshare.
We look forward to continuing and expanding our conversations with city and civic leaders.
CEO, SideCar Technologies, Inc.
Getting around Austin, Philadelphia and Los Angeles is getting sweeter this weekend. Beginning at 5pm Friday, SideCar will be available in these cities every weekend until 3am. You can catch a SideCar ride in West LA, Santa Monica, Venice and Culver City for now and we’ll expand to the rest of LA soon. Downtown Austin and Philadelphia, we’ve got you covered. Chicago, New York, Boston and Washington DC, you’re next!
Tell your friends to download the app and use the promo code “FRIENDS” for $10 off their first ride.
Want to give rides? Sign up at www.side.cr/drive.
SideCar is a smartphone app that matches regular drivers in their own car with people nearby who need a ride. Think of us as matchmakers for the perfect ride – right when you want it, good for the economy, good for your wallet, good for the environment and fun! We’re committed to empowering YOU to help solve the transportation problems that plague our cities. SideCar is taking true rideshare, and all the benefits it brings, nationwide.
The SideCar Team