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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.

SEA: Snow Day + SideCar + Giveaways = <3

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It is almost the weekend Seattle, and one blizzard of a weekend it is about to be! Well, at least for the 6,000 folks joining me and 162,000 lbs. of fresh, mountain snow in Seattle Center for Snow Day! I already know you’re taking a SideCar there, but don’t forget to drop in to the SideCar Lounge located in the Next 50 Pavilion to say “HEY-O!” to our team and take some photos in our photo booth. You’ll definitely want to catch up with me on Twitter as well so you can stay looped in since there is so much going down on Saturday. New riders use the promo code SNOWDAY for $10 in ride credit!

Since tickets to Snow Day have officially sold out, I’ve locked in a whole bunch of prizes for all of y’all that didn’t grab a ticket in time, too. All you have to do for a shot at winning is to ride with us this Saturday! THAT IS HOW MUCH I HEART YOU!

So here’s wassup: Every SideCar ride you take this Saturday (12a – 11:59p) = 1x your name gets entered to score some seriously rad prizes. That means the power to win is in your hands – the more rides you take, the better shot you have a winning! I’ll tally up your rides and put ‘em all in a hat, then draw winners next week. Ride. Win. Yay!

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The goods:

To make it extra sweet, the SideCar rider who takes the most total rides on Saturday will get $50 in ride credit and one of our brand spankin’ new t-shirts! We’ve got a whole bunch of rad, local drivers ready to get you around safely this weekend so start making those Saturday plans.

Until next time, #RideOn!

xo, Alex

P.S. Need somewhere to take your SideCar on Saturday night? Set your location drop to the Crocodile in Belltown where those wild and crazy Ben Union boys are celebrating the release of their latest album with a live show and a whole lotta whiskey. I’m heading there after Snow Day for sure. Tickets are still available, cop yours online here! You drink and we’ll drive.

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*See that glowing marquee up top? You can check it out in person at Snow Day. It was made just for us by Seattle TaskRabbit Madeline R. 

Seattle SideCar Fam Suggests: NYE Edition

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New Year’s Eve is just one weekend away y’all. Can you believe it?  To get ready, I asked the ultimate resource for finding crackin’ NYE parties – our Seattle SideCar fam! So here’s a list of where in the Auld Lang Syne our riders, drivers and pals are pointing you party people.

Don’t forget to use our app to get connected with one of the amazing Seattle drivers who are ready to help get you beautiful people around safely come Monday night.  Please don’t even think about driving yourself! SideCar newbies can use the promo code SIDECARFAMNYE for $10 in credit when you take your first Seattle ride!

Oh, wait… you want the chance to get extra credits when you ride with SideCar on NYE? I think I can handle that. Stay tuned cause tomorrow I’m going to tell you how you can!

Capitol Hill

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Rich Kids Brand & the Kingdom Saturdays Crew bring you Kingdom NYE at the Social

If you haven’t been to the Social on Capitol Hill since it’s re-launch back in October, you are definitely late to the party. Good thing one of our riders Mikey and his crew from Rich Kids Brand are teaming up with the DJs of the Social’s weekly Kingdom Saturday to throw you the richest bash around. You can dance it up with the Rich Kids’ crew in the Theory Vodka Lounge ft. DJs Charma, Henski & host McClarron (what doesn’t this guy do?!). You could also step on back to the main room and boogie down with all too cool host Whiskey Pete and resident DJs Sean Majors, BGeezy, Dr. Fever & friends. There are still some tickets available, but selling out fast so hurry the heck up!

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A very #MINTED NYE at Barboza

I like to imagine a world where every SideCar adventure I took had a live DJ. But, since such a traveling dance party would real hard to coordinate, riding straight to Barboza is the next best thing especially this week! Resident supah-star DJ Swervewon is bringing you a MINTED Monday like no other in this ultra special NYE edition! Swerve is teaming up with DJ Jeff Hawk, host with the most B.B. and all your favorite songs (duh!) to help you dance your way riiiight in to 2013. Buy your tickets ahead for $10, cause they’re going up to $15 at the door. Need a booth for you & your crew? Reservations start at $50 while available. You can snag tickets at MOE Bar or online here.

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Bring it Back to the HG Lodge this NYE

Did someone say free champagne? CHYEA. Resident Media did. It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a NYE party! Remember the HG Lodge? Well the sign out front may read 95 Slide now, but for one night only the RME crew is taking over and turning it back into to HG Lodge so we can celebrate the past, present and future of dancing on the Hill. Heck we love RME’s #GOODSaturday party so much, we even gave them their own promo code. It’s a sign pointing your night in their direction! DJs Soul One and Pat Nasty will be on the decks til the break of 2013, plus a live performance by Brainstorm of Dyme Def. Cover is $20 for singles & $30 for couples, and err’body gets champagne to drink.

Downtown

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Industry Standard NYE at The Hideout

Did you know one of our drivers doubles as funky-fresh Seattle DJ? It’s true! Next time you ride with Ben in his flossy BMW, ask him all about it. He is doing a private event this NYE but he did suggest you check out his friends downtown, at The Hideout.  Their new Monday night party, Industry Standard, is kickin’ it off big with a very special New Years Eve edition. Join DJs Introcut and Phat Stevens for St. Germain cocktail specials, $2 Rainier bottles (classy stuff, eh?) and the sweetest vinyl sounds around. This could be the start of many Mondays to come, guys!

Fremont

9 Mill NYE

Celebrate your survival at 9 Million in Unmarked Bills 

If you’re anything like me, you’re still tickled pink that the Mayans were wrong about the world ending. You’re also tickled pink that one of our riders, Alicia, works in the liquor industry and is full of party suggestions. This NYE, she suggests you get to 9 Mill over in Fremont and join them in celebration of: 1.) the survival of the end of the world according to the Mayans AND 2.) the survival of 2012. Yes, “The Mayans Were Wrong: WE SURVIVED”! The bartenderinos will be serving up $5 drink specials, plus a champagne toast at midnight. Oh and did I mention there is NO COVER?! Tack that on as a third cause for celebration.

Belltown

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New Year’s Eve 2013 at Tini Bigs & Hula Hula

Two bars, one cover, $10. Sold yet? What if I tell you this is another whiskey and bourbon themed suggestion from  our rider and Jack Daniel’s expert Alicia? If you’re in Belltown this NYE, cross Denny Way and head straight to the fine building on the corner that houses BOTH Tini Bigs and Hula Hula. They’ve got cocktail specials, karaoke, guest DJs and a view of the Space Needle – fireworks, helloooo! Karaoke starts at 8pm at Hula Hula, dancing starts at 9pm at Tini Bigs with an interior door between so you don’t have to pick between parties.

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Fox & the Law at Rendezvous 

Maybe hip hop isn’t your thing. Maybe EDM isn’t your thing either. How about guitar riffs and drum kits?! See, I know. Spend your NYE with a shot of Jack Daniel’s and some live music from the dudes (and our awesome friends!) of Fox and the Law at Rendezvous. Cover is a cool $7, because over paying is so not rock’n’roll. (Psst… prep your ears with some FREE tuneage courtesy of Fox and the Law’s SoundCloud!)

Pioneer Square

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Ring in 2013 at TRINITY

My girl Tina is a SideCar rider and much of the reason so many ride requests head to Pioneer Square for Trinity Thursday. You rule girl! But this ultra special Monday, she is recommends you join her while she gets her hostess on for one of the biggest NYE parties in the city at Trinity Nightclub. When I say biggest, I meeean it! I’m talkin’ about two levels, two dance floors and three rooms. The Trinity crew will be serving up champagne, party favors,  and a midnight balloon drop with KISS 106.1 FM‘s Tyler and DJ PHASE in the house broadcasting it all live. Buy your tickets ahead before they sell out!

U-District

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Diego’s Alter-Ego NYE  at Lucid

I have never met a theme I didn’t like, so clearly a masquerade is right up my alley. (The opportunity to run in to our friend David while he is in character as his alter ego, Diego, is also of great interest!) Grab your masks and buy your tickets to the very special and all-inclusive NYE event at Lucid. Open bar, comfort food (Parmesan & gruyere with gnocchi? Jerk-coconut chicken sliders? My mouth is watering from this menu…) and music all for under $70? Pay one price, and leave the rest to host Diego… or David? Someone report back and let me know ;). Tickets on sale through Sunday, friends!

WHEW. That is quite the list! Big thanks to everyone who contributed. We wish you a happy & safe night!

P.S. Feel like I am missing something? Shoot me an e-mail. I’m all about including the stuff our community recommends!

Alex, your Seattle City Manager

Space Needle photo credits to ex-Seattle, current L.A. blogger & photographer Bess Byers

#SideCarSanta Delivers Hundreds of Toys!

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Last week we wrapped our First Annual #SideCarSanta Drive for Toys.  Thanks to our amazing rideshare community, we donated over 250 toys to kids in need this year in San Francisco and Seattle!

And, as promised, we are giving iPad Minis to the rider & driver in the #SideCarSanta photo with the most Instagram likes.  This year the winners are:  @monfineis and @eric_n_northbeach!  Here’s the winning photo:

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To check out all the photos from this year’s Drive for Toys, click here.

Thanks again to all who participated and Happy Holidays!

The SideCar Team

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WHAT UP CHRIS! Your New San Francisco City Manager

Pleeeeease allow me to introduce myself…

What’s the good word, SF? My name’s Chris and I’ve joined SideCar as City Manager to help spread the awesomeness that is community ridesharing to the good people of San Francisco.

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I’m pleased as punch (tickled pink?) to be working alongside a team that’s going gangbusters on pitting cutting edge technology with the game-changing concept of collaborative consumption. And it’s all in the name of improving the way regular ol’ folks like you and me move around cities. Seriously, the SideCar Command Center is humming with activity ’round the clock.

Not gonna lie… we’re fired up! We are mobilizing people in a way that’s ­not only cheap and super convenient, but also social and fun. There’s a positive connectivity we’re bringing back into the community that darn near melts ma’ heart.

So who is this person going around town getting all misty-eyed about ridesharing you ask? Well, first and foremost, I am a community driver myself. I love to drive and I’m always down to lend a helping hand. In fact, I love driving so much so that earlier in the year I got in my car and drove across the country from my old home in DC to my new one here in SF. I saw some beautiful sights along the way and came close to rupturing my larynx belting out songs in my playlists at the top of my lungs. I also can’t sit still. I’m a thrill seeker, adventure junkie, travel nut and diehard sports fanatic. Lastly, I’m a man of the people. People rule.

As City Manager, I’ll be engaging with the lovely community of ridesharers in SF, looking to strengthen and spread the sense of community we all feel. We’re here for each other… that’s what makes this all work. I’m also happy to be closely aligned with the SideCar support team, who dedicate themselves to providing world-class support day in and day out. This gang absolutely ROCKS.

There we have it. Feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter (@SideCarSF) with your ideas and stories from the road.

Ride on!

Chris

Your SideCar San Francisco City Manager

@SideCarSF

HELLLLLLOOOOOO ALEX! Your New Seattle City Manager

Greetings and salutations darling Seattleites!

As you might have noticed from the recent tweet-splosion, SideCar Seattle finally found itself a little City Manager… ME! Aside from being stoked to be a part of the rapidly changing transportation scene in Seattle, I am super excited to get to know all of you. I am here to calm your ridesharing fears and grant your ridesharing wishes as we grow our SideCar family. Gush, gush, gush.

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Before I tell you a bit about me, I want to take a minute to rap at you about collaborative consumption and the shared economy. Affectionately hashtagged #CollCons, collaborative consumption describes the rapidly growing peer-to-peer marketplace where lending, sharing, trading, renting and swapping reign supreme. More or less, peeps reinventing the way they live by coming together in their communities to share resources. There is a whole crew of us all around the world who believe by doing this we can all live more effective, sustainable lives. I like to think of it as the case for collaboration.

Okay, now… drumroll… here are 10 facts all about me!

  1. I am a big sustainability nerd. I have worked at the EPA and Zipcar, and volunteered for a number of other orgs focused on preserving Mama Nature. Shout out to the Duwamish River Watershed and People for Puget Sound!
  2. I was born in Rhode Island, and miss it there wiiiiicked bad. I am also a big Red Sox fan and even ended a date early once after discovering he was a Yankees fan. (Don’t worry, after we got on the subject of Jeter he was ready to go home too.)
  3. I saw The Dark Knight Rises in theaters 3 times, and have watched it an additional 4 times since it came to DVD. I own a Bane mask and like to casually wear it around while I practice speaking in my Bane voice.
  4. I love shoes. When it comes to high heels, I believe anything below 4 inches just isn’t tryin’.
  5. It is very likely I was born in the wrong time period. Jim Morrison is my spirit animal.
  6. Before making almost all decisions, I ask myself: WHAT WOULD BEYONCE DO?
  7. The quickest way to my heart is through a meme. Or, delicious food.
  8. I once ate two pints of Molly Moon’s ice cream. Maybe I didn’t feel so good, but it didn’t change my affections toward Molly or her ice cream.
  9. Yoga is my thing. It keeps me grounded and it keeps me open. The first time I went to hauteyoga queen anne it changed my life! I also gotta thank the studio for helping me discover “The Four Agreements”. Read it if you haven’t.
  10. I consider myself an expert on the rules governing monsters. Zombies are my specialty so if you plan on surviving the zombie apocalypse, I am your girl. I have got a plan.

What can I say? I’m a mixed bag. I look forward to being the number one resource for y’all as you explore the wonders of SideCar and sharing here in Seattle. We have SO many great things in store. If we haven’t met yet, I look forward to the day that we do. Don’t hesitate to holler if you ever see me out and about! Until next time…

Ride on!

Alex

Your SideCar Seattle City Manager

@SideCarSEA

SideCar Community Driver of the Week – Nancy

Nancy has spent the last three decades adding color to the beautiful city of San Francisco. From Nob Hill to the Castro, she’s selected colors for homes and business with her consulting business . Through this business, Nancy and San Francisco know each other by heart. Needless to say, she is a huge fan of The City by The Bay — the design, the architecture, the character, the colors, and the people.

One day, Nancy’s friend Roberta told her about SideCar. For Nancy, her color consulting business wasn’t taking her around the city as much anymore, and she was looking for a way to reconnect with the city she loves.  She’s also been her own boss so she loved the freedom of being a community driver that sets her own hours. So, she decided to start sharing rides with SideCar.

Although ridesharing helped Nancy get back out into the city,  she also found it gave her something bigger. By sharing rides, she feels like she’s doing something good for her fellow San Franciscans.  And because she doesn’t have children, it also makes her feel good to know she’s helping many young people get around the city she loves.

Around 2:30 AM on Black Friday, Nancy helped a young retail professional get home after a very long, tiresome day. The young woman lived in the Avenues and couldn’t get a cab to take her home. Nancy was happy to help. By participating in this simple act of sharing, she felt like she was helping make San Francisco a better and safer place. 

Rideshare Rolls On… Your Voice is Being Heard

We are humbled by the amazing support we’ve received from people in San Francisco and beyond in support of ridesharing services like SideCar. Over 6,400 people have signed the Change.org petition to encourage the CPUC to support ridesharing and transportation innovation. We have come together in support of ridesharing and we’re pleased to report progress has been made on all sides. This morning the CPUC released an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR), a proposal to initiate a proceeding to modify the existing CPUC transportation regulations.

The CPUC staff stated in the OIR draft:

“Businesses like Sidecar and Lyft have presented the Commission with a situation not encountered before: the use of mobile communications and social networks to connect individuals wishing to offer and receive low cost and convenient, sometimes shared, transportation.”

Subject to final approval by the Commissioners, this proposal moves the focus toward a constructive dialogue with the Commission about how to apply CPUC regulations to these new business models and digital media.  You can find the full text of the OIR here.

A new medium needs new rules. New technology and innovation will always require regulators to review their policies. Your support has made a difference. With your help we’re now having a productive public policy conversation and we’re moving in the right direction.

We are just getting started. We may need your voice again so please stay tuned.

Ride On!

Sunil Paul

CEO | SideCar

Join Our First Annual #SideCarSanta Drive for Toys!

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The holiday spirit is in full effect at SideCar, and we’d like you to help us give back to the community through our first annual Drive for Toys. How many toys are we giving away?  Well, that’s entirely up to you!

How it works: Don a Santa’s cap*, snap a photo with your SideCar driver/rider, post it to Instagram tagging #SideCarSanta, and we’ll donate a toy for every tagged photo to a child in need. Share your photos to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr too because the driver/rider combo in the photo with the most Instagram likes will each get a shiny new iPad Mini!

*Holiday flair is optional but definitely encouraged.

The SideCar Drive for Toys kicks off today and ends at 11:59pm December 20. The iPad Mini winners will be announced December 24 here on our blog. Come take a ride with us, have fun and make this holiday season extra special for kids!

For more information on  how we’re donating, or to donate directly, visit:

San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program
Seattle Treehouse For Kids

Happy Holidays,
The SideCar Team

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*(update 12.12):  The tree is getting awfully crowded at SideCar HQ!

Presents

SideCar Community Driver of the Week – Camille

If you are a foodie, Camille is your new best friend. She knows all of the hot spots around town, whether you’re chasing Seattle’s best cupcake, exploring Seattle’s Vietnamese scene, or craving Indian food and a proper cocktail.

She is married with a son, and on those overcast Seattle days, she enjoys hanging out with the boys at home. When she leaves the house, you can find her owning the dance floor in Capitol Hill’s Century Ballroom or enjoying the crisp Seattle air while doing some sort of outdoorsy activity.

Here are a few of Camille’s spots that we’ve THOROUGHLY researched first hand:

Greenleaf, International District/Belltown (Vietnamese)
Walrus and Carpenter, Ballard (seafood, oysters, cocktails)
Tamarind Tree, International District (Vietnamese)
Tilth, Wallingford (organic NW fresh)
Altura, Capital Hill (amazing Italian)
Revel, Fremont (Korean fusion)
Sitka and Spruce, Capital Hill (NW fresh that day)
Matt’s in the Market, Pike Market (NW fresh)
Monsoon, Capital Hill (vietnamese)
Restaurant Zoe, Capital Hill (new italian)
Lecosho, downtown (meat focused)
Delancey/Essex Bar, Ballard, (wood-fired pizza)
Portage, Queen Anne (NW french-lite)
Shiro’s Sushi, Belltown
Trophy cupcakes (don’t bother with any other cupcake place, this is the one, moist and flavorful)
El Gaucho, Belltown (Swanky steak + seafood)
Salumi, Pioneer Square (Mario Batali’s dad’s deli-get a sammie here, try to come b4 lunch rush)
Pink Door, Pike Market (italian-American)
Wild Ginger/Triple Door is the lounge below-same food, downtown (pan-Asian)
The Harvest Vine, Madison Valley, (Tapas)
Crush, Central Dist near Capital Hill (inventive seasonal NW)
Poppy, Capital Hill (South Asian flavors done in an innovative way)

I should note that Camille is Seattle’s very first community driver of the week, ever… Congrats Camille, and thank you for being a part of the SideCar community!

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