The Internet has changed so many industries and the next one in line appears to be taxi cabs. A new website called SideCar allows commuters to use a smart phone app to find individuals to share a ride with. Imagine this scenario; you have a four door car and commute into the city each day from your suburban home. Rather than taking on the entire cost of your daily commute, you use Side Car to find individuals that will ride along and then make a 'donation' toward your expenses.
Although it was extremely low tech, I did this multiple times in college by posting flyers around campus offering to take passengers from Springfield, MO to Chicago. I not only covered my costs but pocketed a few extra bucks for my trouble.
What Is SideCar?
SideCar instantly connects people with extra space in their cars with those who need to get from one place to another. Like a quick and hassle-free carpool, SideCar offers an easy, safe, reliable, and completely donation-based way to get from here to there.
How Do I Know That My Community Driver Will Be Safe, Friendly, And Reliable?
Safety is our #1 priority. Not only must all community drivers have a valid driver's license, insurance and a good car in working order, but we also run background checks, conduct interviews and use GPS technology to track the progress of every trip. And, after each ride, passengers rate drivers 1 to 5 stars. Your ratings, both low and high, give SideCar drivers yet another reason to provide friendly, safe and reliable rides.
More SideCar FAQ's Click Here
Peer To Peer Ride Sharing is not without controversy, however. As you can imagine, taxi cab drivers are not the least bit happy about this new transportation option and are doing their best to put a stop to it. SideCar is facing challenges such as this one in Philadelphia.
SideCar uses many of the community features that sites like eBay make available. Drivers and passengers are rated by each other, the company does background checks on drivers, and passengers are required to verify their identity by adding a credit card to their account.
I think this is a fantastic idea and it appears that the company has come up with a reasonable system to deal with background checks and safety issues. I know that this change will not come easily as the taxi industry has enormous power in big cities. The cost of a taxi medallion in New York City is now more than $700,000, which makes becoming a completely self employed cab driver out of reach for the average American.
I am very curious to get feedback from anyone that has used SideCar or another ride sharing arrangement. Please use the comments section below to share your own story.
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