The Sharing Economy is part of a huge cultural shift. Millions of people around the world are using their smartphones and their computers to swap ownership for access. Cars, homes and bicycles are being shared instead of owned. Airbnb is a pioneer of this movement and its biggest success story to date. We are very disappointed by a judge’s ruling today implying Airbnb is illegal because it violates the city’s “hotel law.”
Sharing resources is not a crime. This decision is anti-competitive, anti-innovation and bad for New York.
It has become clear that New York City regulators are protecting their own interests rather than those of the public. In the last 30 days Sidecar, as well as car-sharing service RelayRides, have received enforcement action forcing us to suspend service in New York City. Three Sharing Economy companies cited in ONE month – not because of public complaints, but because they have the potential to disrupt the hotel, taxi and insurance industries.
The people of New York City are missing out on the opportunity for three great innovations that make the state and the city more sustainable, more affordable and more connected.
We stand by Airbnb. We stand up for sharing in New York City. Stand with us.
Click to #defendsharing on Twitter:
You already know that ridesharing with SideCar is the safest, greenest and most fun way to get around Boston, NYC and Washington, DC. At the touch of a smartphone button, our friendly drivers are ready to take you wherever you need to go — what could be better than that?
Starting today, SideCar is also free in these cities. Heading to the BoSox game? Free. Hitting up karaoke at Recessions? Free. Need a ride home to Brooklyn, NOVA, Brookline or Silver Spring? That’s right, totally FREE.
Why would we do such an (awesome) thing, you ask?
- First of all, we want to reward you, our incredible communities for the warm welcome we’ve received in our newest cities. Your support makes all the difference in helping us get the word out that SideCar is a safe and fun way to get around town, meet new people and take more cars off the road.
- Secondly, we’re actively meeting with officials in these cities to educate them on the environmental, economic and community benefits of rideshare. While these meetings are underway, we’ve decided to make SideCar free so everyone has the opportunity to try SideCar and experience the joy of rideshare.
- Last, we want you to try SideCar! Free is a great incentive to give rideshare a spin for the first time. Once you’ve taken a ride with SideCar, we know you’ll love it so much you’ll ride with us again and again.
SideCar is reinventing transportation and making it better for the environment, better for people’s wallets and most of all, FUN! So start planning your weekend now, and be sure to let your friends know that you’ll all be traveling in style this weekend… FREE style, that is:
The Boston, NYC & DC SideCar Teams
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:
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!
SideCar Technologies, Inc.