Archive | April 2013

Which is the Hottest Hood in SF? You Decide… With Rides

versus

The “best” neighborhood for nightlife in San Francisco is a long-debated topic. Where one hood may reign in awesome dive spots, another may rule in delicious cuisine, while a third may be rocking the cheapest drink specials in town. Still another may win for the evening if your desire is simply to dance the night away.

Well, this weekend is the time to choose your favorite hood once and for all! We’ll be pitting four of SF’s liveliest neighborhoods against each other in a race to see which has the most going on, and the winning neighborhood will receive free SideCar rides home for everyone out in that hood!

The Rules:

  • The Hoods: Polk Street, SOMA, the Mission, and the Marina
  • This Friday and Saturday, we’ll track each neighborhood to see which had the most SideCar drop offs. The more rides you take (and encourage friends to take) to your hood of choice, the more likely your ride home will be free!
  • At midnight each night, we’ll tally up the numbers and announce which neighborhood received the most inbound rides for the day
  • From midnight to 4am, SideCar Riders will be able to take a free SideCar ride home from the winning neighborhood!
  • Friday and Saturday will run as separate contests, so prepare for revenge on day two!

Riders will be notified via the app when the winning neighborhood is announced, but you can also follow along on Twitter (@SideCarSF) to keep track of which neighborhood is in the lead.

Even if your neighborhood doesn’t win, don’t worry! We’ll be running this contest again with other legendary SF neighborhoods and perhaps even in our other cities. (And feel free to let us know on Twitter or Facebook which ones you’d like us to include next time!)

#RideOn

Legal Mumbo Jumbo: The winning neighborhood will be the one with the most inbound SideCar rides completed between the hours of 12:01am and 11:59pm on Friday, 4/19/13 or Saturday, 4/20/13. The neighborhoods competing include Polk Street, SOMA, the Mission, and the Marina districts in the city of San Francisco as defined by their respective zip codes. (In Pollk Street, that will include the Polk strip through Russian Hill, Nob Hill, and some of the Tenderloin.) The winning neighborhood during that time period will be announced at 12:00am, and SideCar riders in the area will qualify for one free SideCar ride home from the winning neighborhood (up to $15 value). Pickup pin must be placed within the winning neighborhood to claim offer. This offer is good for four hours and will expire at 4:00am the morning on Saturday for Friday’s competition, and on Sunday for Saturday’s competition. 

It’s Time to Reclaim Rideshare

We founded SideCar with a vision to rethink transportation and make it better for the environment, the economy and our communities through smartphones and shared rides. This idea is so disruptive the taxi industry and established companies like Uber are validating it by following our lead and changing their business models.

Uber recently announced its foray into rideshare by using unlicensed commercial drivers in many of the new markets in which we operate. But Uber is not rideshare. Uber is a car service that dispatches vehicles like a taxi. It doesn’t matter if the car is a limo, a taxi, or an unlicensed cab – it’s all just a variation on the theme. By calling their new transportation service “rideshare,” Uber hopes to pollute the term for regulators to protect their business. We hope regulators don’t take the bait.

Ride Match

Match v. Dispatch

SideCar and Uber are as different as Match.com and arranged marriage. SideCar matches people for shared rides. Uber dispatches rides.

SideCar was inspired by casual carpool and ridesharing, which are rides with shared destinations. What distinguishes SideCar from digital dispatch services like taxis and Uber is destination and choice. SideCar requires that riders enter where they are going when they request a ride, so drivers can choose if a shared trip is convenient and makes sense for them to accept.

True rideshare reduces emissions that cause health problems and climate change, reduces traffic and makes more efficient use of publicly funded infrastructure. We only get these benefits if the driver can plan the trip, which requires he or she know where the rider is going in advance. Without destination and choice, drivers accept ride requests blindly, not knowing whether they are going to some place on their way or across town. Simply put, rideshare is not rideshare if the driver doesn’t know the destination in advance.

It’s Time to Reclaim Rideshare

When Uber, a company in the business of chauffeured vehicles, joined the “rideshare” movement it became obvious the term has been polluted. One could even argue digital dispatch services like Uber increase the amount of cars on the road and are part of the environmental and transportation problem we’re trying to solve.

We need a bright line between ride matching services that allow the sharing of resources and dispatch services like taxis and Uber. This bright line should be based on passengers entering destination and putting a cap on the amount a driver can earn annually from the maximum rideshare vehicle. This is less than $12,000 dollars a year in California – too small to make a living, but enough to cover the annual cost of vehicle ownership. Rideshare has the potential to transform transportation for the better. But there must be a clear set of standards across jurisdictions so true rideshare, and all its benefits, can continue to flourish.

Transportation Innovation Can’t Wait

We have a vision to reinvent transportation and offer a fundamentally different model for addressing the critical environmental, economic and quality of life issues that face our nation. Transportation is too important to sit idly by waiting for change. While others sit on the sidelines waiting for a green light to innovate, we’ll continue to blaze the trail and defend the principles behind rideshare in the cities in which we operate, the nation and the world. We believe ride match is the future of transportation, and SideCar will lead this movement.

The Innovation Delay at SFO

In March we received a cease and desist letter from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) that cites SideCar and its drivers for operating illegally and without a permit at the airport. SideCar is 100% legal and we’ve responded with a letter clarifying what we do.

SideCar is a technology platform that enables peer-to-peer ridesharing. Our smartphone app matches people for shared rides. We’re not a taxi service – we don’t dispatch drivers to pick up or drop off passengers in any location, including SFO. 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 and where they go.

SideCar leads the movement to build a transportation sharing economy that results in a cleaner, greener and a more socially connected community. As the instant rideshare leader we’ve become a target for regulators who don’t understand what we do and are threatened by a disruptive technology that has the potential to reinvent transportation.

We’ve received letters to cease and desist in Philadelphia, Austin and California. Our driver community was a target of a sting operation in Philadelphia. We’ve sued the city of Austin for the right to continue rideshare there – a position we’re prepared to defend in court April 10. In California, we’re actively engaged with the California Public Utilities Commission to modify existing transportation regulations to accommodate smartphone app companies like SideCar.

We’re spent more than half a million dollars and countless hours defending our position to regulators and it’s a distraction. Big transportation problems face our nation. Rideshare is a great solution. SideCar has the potential to transform and offer a fundamentally different model for addressing critical environmental, economic and quality of life issues across our nation. We believe the right to share resources is an important principal for the entire sharing economy so we’re pushing on. We’re going to defend the right to share resources to regulators, in court, to SFO and anyone else who stands in the path of innovation.

Ride On!

Nick Allen
CFO, SideCar Technologies, Inc.

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