Ridesharing has been a very popular means of transportation in Europe for many years, it’s just now starting to take off in the United States. Startups like RidePost, who recently graduated from the Iron Yard accelerator, and HeyRide have started a trend in peer to peer ride sharing.
San Francisco based SideCar has, by far, been one of the most popular ride sharing platforms to date. With SideCar you use the companies web based and app based platform to find someone “going your way” and then book a ride with that person. Unlike Uber and Halo users aren’t relying on pricey, already existing ride for hire drivers. Rather, with these kinds of apps you’re just looking for someone going the same place you are. These apps essentially take the ride bulletin board off the campus wall and put it in an app.
HeyRide, was a startup founded two years ago when the founders were embarrassed by the lack of adequate transportation in their hometown for SXSW. People were tweeting, updating their Facebook status and finding other ways to use the web to communicate the need for rides. The HeyRide team turned that need into an app that took off and quickly spread.
Now, with less than a month to go before SXSW 2013, SideCar has acquired HeyRide for an undisclosed amount.
“We’ve heard from people across the country and around the world that they want the SideCar community to take root in their cities and towns,” said Sunil Paul, CEO of SideCar. “Heyride’s talented team has developed a unique design and experience that will help take the rideshare movement we started here in San Francisco nationwide. We are thrilled to welcome Heyride to the SideCar family.”
SideCar and Heyride have a shared vision for empowering communities to solve transportation problems. Heyride’s world-class user experience and design team will join SideCar’s product team to focus on creating an outstanding experience for SideCar drivers and riders. Heyride’s assets include its critically acclaimed iPhone application for ridesharing available at Heyride.com.
During its initial launch phase SideCar will be available for drivers and riders Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm – 3am in West LA, Venice, Santa Monica and Culver City in Los Angeles; and downtown Austin and Philadelphia. Expanded hours and days will follow as the community grows. SideCar is actively recruiting drivers in New York, Chicago, Boston and Washington, DC. Drivers can sign up to be part of the community at www.side.cr/drive. SideCar’s free mobile application is available for download for riders via the App Store for iPhone and GooglePlay for Android users.
How SideCar works
SideCar matches everyday drivers with a car with people nearby who need a ride. It’s like getting a ride from a friend or a neighbor when you want it. Riders place a request to share a ride by setting a pick-up and drop off location using the SideCar app. Once the request is accepted, drivers can be viewed approaching in real-time. Riders can make a voluntary donation at the end of the ride.
SideCar has many features in place to keep riders and drivers safe. All SideCar drivers are pre-vetted for safety. All rides are tracked and passengers can share their progress and ride status in text, email and social media. Donations are made through the app, so the entire experience is cashless and hassle-free. 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. SideCar’s safety features can be found at www.side.cr/safety