Today marks a big victory for rideshare. We’ve reached an agreement with the California Pacific Utilities Commission (CPUC) that supports Sidecar’s continued operation in California and removes all citations and fines imposed against our company.
This agreement with the CPUC is seven months in the making. Even though the CPUC and Sidecar have shared goals for protecting safety and encouraging innovation, we felt it was important to wait to sign this agreement until it allowed us to work together while preserving the principles of rideshare. SideCar is a technology platform that enables peer-to-peer ridesharing and should not be regulated as if it’s operating a dispatch transportation service.
Thank YOU, our community of riders and drivers, for supporting Sidecar through this process. Your voice has helped us get to where we are today.
We have a vision to reinvent transportation through smartphones. We believe that one day you won’t need a car, because your phone is all you need to get around. This vision will only be realized if regulators open the door to innovation and innovators resist the status quo. This agreement between Sidecar and the CPUC is a win for California AND innovation.
We built Sidecar with the safety of our drivers and riders in mind. In fact, we have many safety measures in place that make Sidecar safer than taxis:
- $1 million dollar insurance coverage per incident
- Background checks on all drivers
- Zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy
- A rating system that makes it easy for you tell us what you love and what needs work
- A cashless experience – you pay with the app
- GPS tracking of rides and the ability to share your journey details with friends
When regulators and innovators work together people win. We look forward to continuing to work with officials in all nine cities we operate to reinvent transportation and make it cleaner, greener and better for our communities.
Ride On California!
Sidecar Technologies, Inc.
The last few months have been quite a ride. Since our official launch in San Francisco less than a year ago, we’ve expanded into eight additional markets, doubled our employee count, acquired HeyRide in Austin, broke records at SXSW and have emerged as the #1 rideshare community. Our CFO Nick Allen played a pivotal role in our rapid expansion; under his fearless leadership Sidecar LA, Austin, Philly and Chicago surpassed San Francisco growth milestones in less than two months.
Today we look forward to the future with the addition of two company leaders who will help us build our brand visibility and prepare for global expansion – Gregory Boutte, Chief Revenue Officer and Robert Wong, EVP Product.
Gregory joins us from eBay where he was Vice President of eBay Electronics and eBay Motors, two of eBay North America’s largest businesses. Previous to that he served as managing director of eBay France and VP of Southern Europe managing eBay operations in ten European countries. Under Gregory’s leadership, eBay became the number one ecommerce site in France. As Chief Revenue Officer, Gregory will be responsible for managing the company’s rapid expansion and marketing, growing both our driver and rider community and overseeing Sidecar’s penetration into national and international markets. Gregory has a reputation for leadership and execution. His depth of experience in two-sided marketplaces and international operations will be key to Sidecar’s global acceleration.
Robert is a renowned industry product executive with the strategic and tactical expertise to take a breakthrough idea mainstream. He was previously VP of Product at Hulu where he led design, product management, editorial and customer support for Hulu and Hulu Plus. During his five years at Hulu, Robert grew the product team to more than 100 people, drove the launch of the Hulu Plus subscription service, directed the product design for Hulu beyond the computer to more than 300 million Internet-connected devices, and led successful product redesigns of web, living room and mobile experiences. As EVP Product, Robert will oversee product management, design, user experience and Sidecar community vehicle branding to drive increased visibility.
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. We’ll do this by having the best ideas, the best product and the best execution. But we are a people platform first, and a technology platform second. In order to rethink transportation we must have the best leaders, the best team and the best community of drivers and riders. With these strong additions to our team, we are well on our way!
Sidecar Technologies, Inc.
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.
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.
DC meets SideCar tonight and we predict a perfect match. Beginning this weekend, SideCar is available every Friday and Saturday night from 5pm until 3am. SideCar is a fast, affordable and safe way to get around the Capitol, meet new people and help keep more cars off the road.
Did you know the Washington DC area’s love affair with rideshare dates back about 35 years? Each day, an estimated 10,000 commuters line up at pre-arranged locations where everyday drivers pick them up for a shared ride to or from work. This community driven instant carpool is called “slugging” and it reduces the amount of cars on the road and helps people save time and money.
DC loves rideshare. In fact, 93% of residents polled said DC would benefit from a new rideshare program.
SideCar is a smartphone app that matches everyday drivers in their own car with people nearby who need a ride. We’re like matchmakers for the perfect ride – right when you want it, good for the economy, good for your wallet, good for the environment and fun!
Haven’t tried SideCar? Download the app and use the promo code: FRIENDS for $10 off your first ride. Drivers love SideCar because it’s a great way to explore their own city, meet interesting people and earn some extra cash. Want to give rides? Sign up at www.side.cr/drive.
SideCar is also in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and Brooklyn, NY. We’re on a journey to take rideshare, and all the benefits it brings, everywhere. Jump in DC – let’s take this ride together!
The SideCar Team
Follow us on Twitter: @SideCarDC
Thanks to all who came out in support of SideCar at SXSW. What a wild ride it was! It started with us filing a lawsuit against the City of Austin to bring the benefits of rideshare here. We made a last minute decision to make all rides free rather than risk law enforcement actions that would derail our plans to help you get around the festival.
Word spread FAST in social media and on the street. We had a thousand ride requests within hours of rolling out Friday morning and 20,000 + requests by the end of Interactive Wednesday. We loved your Twitter shout outs for #SXSideCar and @SideCarATX and were super psyched to hear from many of you that SideCar saved you at SXSW. We’re glad we could help you get to and from the most awesome parties and events and meet great people along the way (like me shown here with Mayor Cory Booker and my dad, Dean).
This was SideCar’s first SXSW and it was amazing! This wasn’t just a drive through town for us – we’re sticking around. We’ve recently had productive conversations with city officials about the benefits of rideshare and we’re feeling good about a positive outcome in Austin.
SideCar returns this weekend in Austin and will be available Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm – 3am.
Thank you SXSW and Ride On Austin!
Justin Schmidt, Austin City Manager
Good morning Boston, Chicago and Brooklyn – say hello to your new ride! Tonight SideCar rolls into town giving you a more affordable, greener, fun and all around better way to get around town. Beginning this weekend, SideCar is available every Friday and Saturday night from 5pm until 3am.
Love SideCar? Help us spread the word. Tell your friends to download the app and use the promo code “FRIENDS” for $10 off their first ride.
Drivers love SideCar because it’s a great way to explore their own city, meet interesting people and earn some extra cash. Want to give rides? Sign up at www.side.cr/drive.
SideCar is a smartphone app that matches regular, everyday 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’ve matched more than 100,000 shared rides in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Come roll with us this weekend and find out why we’re on our way to becoming the #1 way to get around town.
The SideCar Team
Follow us on Twitter:
This morning SideCar filed a lawsuit against the City of Austin. We don’t think ridesharing is in violation of Austin’s Transportation Code and we’ve asked the court to decide so we can bring the benefits of rideshare to the citizens of Austin.
The future of rideshare in Austin is at stake. Help us #defendsharing and sign our petition on Change.org.
SideCar v. The City of Austin, Texas
We believe the Austin Transportation Department has misinterpreted its City Code and that rideshare is legal and protected under Austin transportation law. We’re going to defend this in court because:
- SideCar is not a transportation service. SideCar is a technology platform that enables peer-to-peer ridesharing.
- The City Code regulates “chauffeured vehicles”. We don’t own or operate vehicles, dispatch drivers or mandate shifts.
- The City Code regulates “chauffeured vehicles” for a fee. Members of the SideCar rideshare community pay what they want and it’s voluntary.
- SideCar is protected under federal law.
If the City of Austin moves forward with impounding the vehicles of our rideshare community, we think they’re the ones breaking the law.
This lawsuit is bigger than Austin, Texas. What happens here matters for the entire sharing economy. Sharing resources is not a crime – it’s a solution for a better and more sustainable way of life. Rideshare is good for Austin and we’re going to defend this position in Austin City Court.
Keep updated on SideCar in Austin, follow us on Twitter: @sidecarATX
Ride On Austin!
SideCar Technologies, Inc.
Last week, Austin City Council passed a law that would make sharing a ride in exchange for cash a punishable crime. This ordinance should not apply to SideCar. SideCar is legal and people who use SideCar’s app to share rides are not acting illegally. Sharing resources is not a crime and we’re prepared to defend this position.
Thousands of you agree. Please join us and sign our petition to support ridesharing in Austin on Change.org
We’ve reached out to city officials to get assurance people who use the SideCar app to share a ride for cash will not be cited or have their cars impounded. We’re still waiting to hear back. But SXSW can’t wait!
Say Hello to Your Ride #SXSideCar
SXSW – rides are on us! We’ve made a commitment to help you get around town and we’re keeping it. Every SideCar ride beginning today and ending March 17 is FREE. We’ll have more than 100 cars on the road ready to take you where you want to go. Take a ride, tell your friends and send a message to Austin City Council – Austin loves SideCar and SideCar is good for Austin.
Keep updated on SideCar in Austin, follow us on Twitter: @sidecarATX
Ride On Austin!!
We want you to experience the joy of rides matched through SideCar without having to constantly check your rear view mirror for overzealous regulators who don’t get what we do. SideCar is a safe, affordable and fun way to get around – 80% of people who try SideCar, try it again. Give us a shot for free and see for yourself!
In return, please help spread the word so we can bring SideCar to the innovative, forward-looking citizens of Austin and Philadelphia.
Please sign our Change.org petition and share it with your friends.
We’ve met with city officials in both cities. They’ve assured us they will not fine or impound vehicles if rides are free under our new brand ambassador program. Riders are not, and have never been, at risk for prosecution whether they make a donation or not.
SideCar operates in Austin and Philadelphia on Friday and Saturdays nights from 5PM – 3AM.
Ride on Austin and Philly!
Justin Schmidt, Austin City Manager
Steve Harrell, Philadelphia City Manager