By Side.cr, LLC
SideCar is a ride-sharing app that pairs a traveler with a driver headed in the same direction. It’s free, but some think it comes with a risk.
The Recapp Rating
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We’ve all been there: stranded. In need of a ride and with no cash in hand to float a fare. Perhaps you can’t catch a taxi, get to a subway or jump on a bus.
These scenarios were the inspiration behind SideCar, an app created by the developers at Side.cr in San Francisco, where the service was initially offered. SideCar is a peer-to-peer ride-sharing service. It’s easy to use and super helpful, but it comes with its fair share of controversy.
To use SideCar, you’ll need to create an account and register a credit card. Once you have an account, set your pick-up location and enter your drop-off location. The app tells you how far away the closest SideCar-registered car is located, how long it will take to get to you and what the suggested donation amount is. Make a donation to your driver if you like, or don’t. This permutation is based on a ride-by-ride basis, and ride payments aren’t a rule; they are suggested.
If you want to become a driver, the process is a little different. SideCar’s app developers will perform a background check and make sure you have a clean driving record.
Another cool feature: You can watch your ride approaching in real time on a map.
The developers compare SideCar to a service like eBay or Craigslist, stating that it’s simply a platform offering a donation- (or free-) based service. They also tout SideCar as a green, convenient, social and affordable means of transporation. Still, various Livery and Taxi Cab Commissions, as well as some state governments, have taken issue with this. They claim that without regulation or proper licensing, the app is unsafe and further, undercuts their business.
But SideCar doesn’t look to be slowing down. They recently expanded to more markets and now serve San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago.
We give SideCar four stars for its innoative concept that seems to be taking shape in the industry (think: Airbnb). As long as SideCar sticks to its strict background checks for drivers, we can see the benefit in this app.
Reviewed: May 30, 2013 | P.K. LassiterAlso featured on: 5 Controversial Apps