Just two months ago, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ruled in favor of shared rides in California giving Sidecar the green light to expand statewide.

Since then, we’ve since seen a huge spike in driver demand and a 50% increase in applications. In the state of California alone, Sidecar now operates in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Diego.

As a two-sided marketplace, we walk a careful balance between meeting the needs of both our drivers and passengers. Our riders depend on Sidecar to be the most reliable and affordable way to get around town. Our drivers rely on us as a fun, interesting way to make some extra money with their car. As we grow, we’ve thoughtfully reviewed our business while collecting feedback from our community. Our drivers have told us loud and clear they would drive more frequently and take longer ride requests if they could depend on fair payment every trip.

So today, we are announcing our transition from donation to payments in the state of California. This move will benefit the entire Sidecar community, as it will result in happier drivers and more cars available to meet rider demand.

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Here’s how it works:

  1. When you book a ride, you’ll be shown the payment amount up front — before you even confirm the ride. No surprises from us!

  2. At the end of the ride, you’ll have the option to increase the payment if your ride is exceptionally awesome.

  3. The entire process remains cash-free and super easy! Payment is charged directly to your credit card via the app.

In San Francisco, Sidecar costs a little less than you would pay for a taxi. In cities like San Diego and Los Angeles Sidecar remains 20% – 40% less than a cab ride of similar distance.

As always, if a Sidecar ride doesn’t meet your expectation, riders can give feedback through our robust rating system, or contact customer support and we’ll make it right ASAP.

I’m also excited to announce that Sidecar was the first company to apply for a TNC license in the state of California. TNC, which stands for Transportation Network Company, is the new transportation category created in the landmark decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on September 19. (The move from suggested donations to payments is in California only.)

We will continue to work with city officials in every city we operate in to build the most awesome, efficient and affordable transportation network in the country.  Stay tuned. It’s going to be a great ride!

Ride on,

Sunil Paul
CEO, Sidecar