Boston, Chicago & Brooklyn Your Ride Has Arrived!

Hey There Boston, Chicago and Brooklyn

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.

Ride On!

The SideCar Team

Follow us on Twitter:

@SideCarCHI
@SideCarBOS
@SideCarNYC

Our Case to #defendsharing

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!

Sunil Paul
CEO
SideCar Technologies, Inc.

SXSW – Your Rides are FREE!

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!!

Hey Austin and Philly, Ride Free Tonight!

free_ridesWe 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

@sideCarATX

Steve Harrell, Philadelphia City Manager

@sidecarPHL

Some Like It Hot -The SideCar Heat-Map!

SideCar Heatmap in action

Hey all,
It’s Jahan, for everyone here on the Product team.  I just wanted to make an announcement here about our newest feature, an intelligent demand heat-map for iPhone in San Francisco (Android coming soon).  We know our driver community has been asking for a way to understand where passengers are likely to be hanging out and needing rides.  We believe that our latest attempt goes a long way to allowing all of you to figure this out.  Here’s how it works:

Our servers are constantly collecting information about when and where people open the app, and when and where people historically order rides.  Additionally, we also know where all other available cars are, as well as where drivers that are on rides are headed (ahh destination :) ).

We take all of that data, put it through our top secret set of learning algorithms and filters (courtesy of Rob, our resident mathematical genius), and generate a personalized recommendation for where you should head to be closest to passengers that need rides.  So when you’re out using the map, just remember that everyone sees something different depending on where they are.

Please everyone, give it a try this weekend, and give us feedback, we’re excited to see how it works for all of you.

Ride On,
Jahan
Co-Founder, CTO @sidecar

Do You Believe in Sharing?

car getting towed

Cars in Philadelphia and Austin are at risk of being impounded for sharing.

If you believe in the sharing economy the time has come to lend your voice. Please sign our petition to support the right to share resources in Philadelphia, Austin and elsewhere.

Please sign our Change.org petition.

Yesterday we received a cease and desist letter from The Austin Transportation Department that alleges SideCar is violating city code by operating as an illegal taxi company. We also learned recently that the Austin City Council will vote tomorrow on a law that would make it a crime to share gas money for a carpool. This law will allow local taxi regulators to file criminal charges and impound the vehicles of anyone who shares a ride and exchanges compensation of any kind.

We firmly disagree with The Austin Transportation Department’s contention that SideCar is an illegal taxi service or that people who use SideCar (or carpools for that matter) to get matched for a shared ride are criminals. Here are copies of the memo and letter we submitted  addressing Austin’s City Transportation Code. SideCar will continue to operate in Austin as scheduled.

SideCar is not a taxi company. SideCar is a smartphone app that instantly matches people for peer-to-peer ridesharing. 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, how often they drive and where they go. Drivers love SideCar because it helps them pay the costs associated with having a car.

We’ve had a busy week. Last weekend SideCar was the target of an orchestrated sting operation conducted by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA), which regulates taxis.

SideCar leads a movement to build a transportation sharing economy that results in a cleaner, greener and a more socially connected community. We believe that having the right to offer a technology platform that enables the sharing of resources is an important principle for the entire sharing economy.

Innovation is under attack.  Innovators have always faced opposition from traditionalists who are threatened by new ways of thinking. Battles may ensue but in the end innovation will win.

Transportation is too important to close the door on innovation.  We created SideCar because we have a vision to leverage technology to empower communities to solve their own transportation problems. We have a vision for transportation that is more affordable, sustainable and fun. Ridesharing isn’t a commercial transaction – it’s the community pulling together to fix transportation. The question is will the community stand up for what is right and not let the buddies of taxi companies run the show?

Innovation will not happen if government regulators are in charge.  Imagine this: What if “meter maids” ran Twitter?

Politicians care about how their city is viewed by the rest of the world. With enough signatures and calls, they will take action to give sharing a chance.

1) Please sign our Change.org petition.

Austin

2) Email Mayor Lee Leffingwell or call his office at (512) 974-2250.

Philadelphia

2) Email Mayor Michael Nutter michael.nutter@phila.gov or call his office at  (215) 686-2181

Leave a polite, but firm message that you support the sharing economy and to please give innovation a chance to flourish in your city.

Please share this blog post on Twitter and Facebook:

Do you believe in sharing? We need your voice: http://chn.ge/YAQYag #defendsharing

Thank you and

Ride On!

Sunil Paul
CEO
SideCar Technologies, Inc.

Philadelphia: Give Sharing a Chance

SideCar’s mission is to make transportation safer, sustainable, fun and better for our communities.  We’re surprised and disappointed to tell you that the defenders of the status quo aren’t quite on board yet in Philadelphia.

On Saturday, SideCar was the target of an orchestrated sting operation conducted by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA), which regulates taxis. Three everyday drivers in our community were given hefty citations and had their cars impounded, leaving them alone in the dark and cold in need of a ride home. The citations wrongly assert that SideCar and its community of drivers and riders is an “unauthorized service provider.”  SideCar is a technology platform that enables peer-to-peer ridesharing. Our smartphone app instantly matches people who need a ride with regular, everyday drivers who are willing to give them one. With SideCar, payment is voluntary and you pay what you want. SideCar is safe. We run more checks on our drivers than taxi or limo services. Plus, all matched rides are recorded and GPS tracked for safety.

Transportation is too important to blindly close the door on innovation. The actions on Saturday night will not distract us from our important mission to revolutionize a transportation model that hasn’t innovated in almost half a century.

SideCar chose Philadelphia as its first East Coast city because of its reputation as a center of innovation and its forward-looking government. We remain confident these characteristics of this great city will prevail over the defenders of entrenched interests threatened by progress and the unknown.

The success of the emerging sharing economy depends on the ability to share resources with others using technology. SideCar is a leader in this new space. In less than one year we’ve become the largest instant rideshare community in the U.S., matching more than 100,000 rides. We understand that the sharing economy is new to regulators and that some will misunderstand the model or perceive it as a threat to the companies they regulate. As we sort things out with regulators, SideCar will continue to operate in Philadelphia so its citizens can continue to experience the benefits and joys of rideshare.

We look forward to continuing and expanding our conversations with city and civic leaders.

Ride On!

Sunil Paul

CEO, SideCar Technologies, Inc.

LA, Philadelphia and Austin, Say Hello to Your New Ride!

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 5.46.11 PM

Getting around Austin, Philadelphia and Los Angeles is getting sweeter this weekend. Beginning at 5pm Friday, SideCar will be available in these cities every weekend until 3am. You can catch a SideCar ride in West LA, Santa Monica, Venice and Culver City for now and we’ll expand to the rest of LA soon. Downtown Austin and Philadelphia, we’ve got you covered. Chicago, New York, Boston and Washington DC, you’re next!

Tell your friends to download the app and use the promo code “FRIENDS” for $10 off their first ride.

Want to give rides? Sign up at www.side.cr/drive.

SideCar is a smartphone app that matches regular 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’re committed to empowering YOU to help solve the transportation problems that plague our cities. SideCar is taking true rideshare, and all the benefits it brings, nationwide.

Ride on!

The SideCar Team

Follow us on Twitter
@SideCarLA
@SideCarATX
@SideCarPHL

SideCar Matches 100,000 Rides!

We just celebrated our 100,000th ride! As we pave the road for rideshare’s future, we thought it would be fun to take a look at rideshare’s past.

Infographic Small

Please feel free to share this infographic.

Ride on!

– The SideCar Team

San Francisco Feels Safer with SideCar

We recently asked SideCar riders where they feel safer – a taxi or a ride connected by SideCar? A whopping 71% said they felt safer with SideCar than taxis. We think the reason is that government efforts to protect public safety haven’t kept up with the innovations of the Internet, social media and smartphone apps. SideCar provides a 10-point safety system that includes community feedback on drivers, GPS tracking of the vehicles, electronic background checks and our unique ability to share details of a trip with others.

safety

SideCar responds to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

SideCar responded yesterday to the CPUC’s order to institute rulemaking on ridesharing “to protect public safety” and encourage technology innovation in transportation. In our comments and recommendations to the CPUC we argue that SideCar is not only safe, it’s safer than taxis and limos. We also point out that the current safety regulations for taxis and limos don’t appear to be based on data and are probably a result of historical, political and industry pressure.  For example, did you know drug testing is not required to become a cab driver in San Francisco?  Are you aware that a convicted felon can get a license to drive a limo in California because no background checks are required?

SideCar’s response yesterday lays the groundwork for the future of transportation. California is poised to become a global leader in the transportation information technology revolution but first we must figure out how to encourage innovation rather than stifle it. What works in California is often copied around the world, so these decisions have global implications. Here are highlights of our comments to the CPUC:

If you want safety, build community

Sidecar believes that the stronger our community, the better the safety. The SideCar community sets and enforces high standards for safety and quality. Drivers and riders rate one another and people with low ratings are removed from the SideCar community. We believe that by giving the community the capability to monitor itself we can build trust and safety to a level impossible to achieve through either the marketplace or government alone. The combination of these features and processes provides consumers with a greater degree of security and safety than taxi or limos.

A bright line needs to be drawn for rideshare

SideCar enables true rideshare because it is the only smartphone enabled transportation solution that requires destination at the start of a ride. Simply put, rideshare is not rideshare if the driver doesn’t first know where he or she is going. SideCar is the only service cited by the CPUC that enables its community to use the safe harbor of the ridesharing provisions because only SideCar requires destination from riders and shows it to drivers.  Setting a maximum amount of money that can be earned would also provide clarity for drivers and insurers.

Destination builds safety and trust

Unique to SideCar is that both passenger and driver know where the car is headed.  Drivers have peace of mind that they won’t be asked to drive somewhere they aren’t comfortable.  Passengers have confidence that the driver knows where they are going. And because destination is required, riders can share where they’re going and live updates of their trip with someone else.

The good of the nation requires destination

Ridesharing 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 destination from the rider. Without destination, a smartphone app for transportation is likely to increase emissions, congestion and overuse of public infrastructure.

SideCar has the potential to transform and offer a fundamentally different model for addressing critical environmental, economic and quality of life issues across California and our Nation. We are optimistic the rulemaking process will clarify the ridesharing law by drawing a bright line that distinguishes peer-to-peer rideshare platforms like SideCar’s and those companies who use smartphone technology to dispatch and provide transportation services.

Ride On!

Sunil Paul

CEO

SideCar Technologies, Inc.

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