SideCar App Simplifies Ride-Sharing

Hitchhiking goes high tech with the new SideCar app.

By Michelle Tolfa

0413essentialssidecar

April 19, 2013

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Did you know there are countless people—right now, in your very own neighborhood—waiting to take you for a ride? What might sound sinister is actually quite the opposite, thanks to the new smartphone app SideCar (side.cr). Based in San Francisco and launched in Seattle last winter, SideCar uses GPS technology to help subscribers coordinate car rides with volunteer drivers. Unlike taxis or the Uber on-demand car service, there is no fleet of cars, no staff and no set fee. Riders make a “suggested donation” to the driver via smartphone. The system is self-policing; drivers and riders give each other ratings, and several poor reviews may warrant removal from the rideshare community. SideCar drivers must submit to background checks and personal interviews, but locals love the sense of community and the eco benefits. Says driver Daniel Magpali, “If I can help those that don’t have cars (or choose not to drive) to get from point A to point B, I can help keep more cars off the road.”