Taking the Muni or hailing a taxi to go to a specific location in The City isn’t always the best solution for individuals living or working here. Muni buses can be crowded or late, taxi fares are expensive, and driving your car can be a hassle because of traffic jams. So what other options are there?
A new start-up company, SideCar, has a unique solution for anyone in need of a ride in San Francisco. All you have to do is download the free iPhone or Android app, SideCar Passenger, and you’ll be able to connect to the SideCar transportation community.
How it works
SideCar’s idea is to facilitate a transportation social network in San Francisco. If a SideCar user has room in his or her car while driving to a particular location, any SideCar app user can hitch a ride via a request on the SideCar Passenger app.
SideCar explains it this way:
“The SideCar app connects everyday drivers who have a car with others in the community looking for transportation options beyond hired cars, taxis or mass transit.
“Riders place a request to rideshare by setting a pick-up and drop off location via the app. Once the request is confirmed, riders can view the driver approaching in real-time and see the driver’s estimated time of arrival.”
The app provides a voluntary “current community average donation” suggestion to the rider in order to reimburse the driver. But no one is obligated to pay the specific amount and can choose to donate or not. The rider can also rate their experience about the ride after the trip is over.
The SideCar concept started its beta testing in San Francisco in February 2012 and has amassed a total of 10,000 community rides since then. The company officially launched on June 26, and the reception to the SideCar experience has been positive.
Eric Janson, a SideCar user in San Francisco said:
“I love SideCar. I started out driving to cover the cost of my car but now I just love meeting all the interesting people this city has to offer. I often see the same people and I'm getting to know them. It’s more fun that you can imagine at first.”
Sunil Paul, CEO of SideCar, said that the social transportation community serves other purposes besides just ride sharing.
“With SideCar we can help reduce urban congestion, fight climate change and bring back a sense of community and connection to our cities. It’s an instant, cost effective, environmentally conscious and fun option for getting from place to place. And with the traction we’re seeing, people love it.”
Free app for you
The SideCar Passenger app is available as a free download at the iTunes Store or from Google Play for Android users.
For more information about SideCar, visit the official website at http://www.side.cr/
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