Hey @MikeBloomberg, NYC Wants You to #DefendSharing!

SideCar is the #1 instant rideshare community that uses smartphones to match people who need a ride with everyday drivers willing to give them one. As our community knows, it’s a safe and reliable way to get around town, meet new people and help keep more cars off the road. Ridesharing helps reduce carbon emissions, decrease air pollution, reduce traffic congestion and helps people save money. New Yorkers want rideshare! 83% surveyed think New York City is a good candidate for a new rideshare program.

Unfortunately, New York regulators view rideshare as competition to taxis and want to shut SideCar down.

Sharing resources is not a crime – it’s a solution for a better and more sustainable way of life. The future of sharing in New York City is at stake. Join thousands nationwide and support ridesharing with these two steps:

  • Call Mayor Bloomberg at 311  (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) and tell him that SideCar is a safe, affordable and reliable form of transportation, and that you want to keep it in New York City!
  • Click the button to send Mayor Bloomberg a customized Tweet:

Click to support SideCar on Twitter

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 that the taxi industry has taken extreme measures to stop rideshare from flourishing in New York City.

The TLC Targeted SideCar Drivers

Last weekend, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) cited two women in SideCar’s brand ambassador program as part of a sting operation. After completing a promotional ride near Webster Hall in Manhattan on Friday night, police vehicles blocked Sandra’s car while two officers interrogated her. At least one of them wore a bulletproof vest. Her keys were taken, she was issued a citation and her brand new car was impounded. Sandra works at Lutheran Augustana Center as a resident clothing handler. She is saving to return to Borough Manhattan Community College as a nursing student next summer.

SideCar community driver Kristy’s stopped vehicle was surrounded by five police officers on 440 East 56th Street on Saturday night. She too was interrogated, not allowed to make a phone call and forced to sit in the back seat of her car while officers checked her license and registration. She was eventually allowed to return home. Kristy is a full-time history student saving for grad school. She is also a tutor for kids in Long Island. With car payment, insurance and gas she estimates she spends about $1000 a month on her car. She wants to earn money by promoting new ride match services like SideCar while also covering the cost of owning a car in New York City.

Sandra and Kristy are extremely shaken up by the aggressive actions of the TLC. Sharing resources is not a crime and these women didn’t deserve to be treated like criminals.

Ride Match is Legal in New York City

We’ve been having active conversations with the TLC since launching SideCar in New York City. We are extremely disappointed that the TLC enforcement division ignored our dialogue about rideshare and chose to conduct a sting operation targeting two women in our community. SideCar and ridesharing are legal activities in New York City:

  • SideCar is a technology platform that matches people for shared rides. SideCar is not a “for hire” transportation service.
  • The TLC regulates “for hire” vehicles. SideCar does not dispatch drivers or mandate shifts. Drivers are not employees and their cars are their own.
  • There are no meters or required fees, payment is entirely voluntary and the amount donated (including nothing) is at the total discretion of the passenger.
  • The City Code regulates vehicles that operate “for hire.  Members of the SideCar rideshare community pay what they want and it’s 100% voluntary.
  • SideCar is protected under Federal law.
  • The TLC’s licensing requirements and regulatory barriers are designed to shield taxi companies from competition.

Transportation is too important to close the door on innovation. Despite the TLC’s extremely aggressive enforcement action this weekend, we will continue to work for the right to share resources and bring the benefits of rideshare to New York City. What happens in New York City has implications for the entire sharing economy.

Ride On New York City!

Sunil Paul
SideCar Technologies, Inc.

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