There is a new face in town and its name is Sidecar.
Over the past few years, Seattle’s transportation ecosystem has gotten a facelift. With the addition of the light rail, a plethora of taxis, the ride share revolution has only bolstered Seattle’s transportation system and vibrant city.
So What is Sidecar?
Sidecar is transforming the way people move.
Sidecar is moving transportation in a big, sustainable, community-driven direction — one ride at a time. Whether you’re ready to fill your car’s empty seats with new friends or need to get across town in a hurry, Sidecar connects you with just the person to help you out.
With the Sidecar application, you can hail a ride with a touch of a button on your smart phone. Open up the Sidecar application, choose your location on a map, and a driver will come pick you up. We tested out the application and the wait time is pretty fast at just around 10 minutes. This can make for a great option for a night out, a drop off at a sporting event, or even a ride to work.
We chatted with the team and here is what they had to say about their recent launch in the Emerald City.
How has the Seattle launch gone? When did you pick up your first passenger?
The Seattle launch has been fantastic! Seattle was the second market Sidecar launched after their home base of San Francisco, and it was really exciting to see ride-sharing spread across so many new markets after the success we had when we launched here last fall. Community is already a strong theme amongst Seattleites and I think Sidecar is a great example of how we can continue to build our community, thanks to technology bringing us together in new and innovative ways.
How is Sidecar different than a taxi?
Sidecar is a communications platform that connects people with space in their cars with people who need a ride. Our drivers come on board for a variety of reasons, often because they started out as riders who used the service to get around and wanted to have the chance to be a part of our community in a bigger way. Sidecar rides are all donation based – riders must enter their pickup and drop off destinations in order to book a ride. From there the app calculates a suggested donation which lets them know how much folks usually pay for a ride of that distance – drivers also see all of this information before they accept a ride, which helps keep our service all about choice! Our drivers accept rides that they want to accept, and riders always know what to expect. All rides are GPS tracked from start to finish, and at the end of each ride the rider ultimate decides how much to donate to the driver through the app (there’s no cash exchanged, ever).
We’re not just a way to get from point A to point B, we’re a tight knit community of people looking to live more efficient and sustainable lives by sharing resources.
Is Sidecar safe?
Absolutely! In addition to all of our rides being GPS tracked, each driver applicant must pass through a 10 stage vetting process that includes a driving record check and a criminal background check, as well as a series of interviews and vehicle standards before they are approved to use our app to connect with riders. We regularly interface with all of our drivers to make sure everyone stays just as awesome as they were at the very start, and drivers and riders rate each other to keep the community great; bad apples quickly get weeded out. Our drivers are regular community folks who participate in Sidecar because they want to. They really care about our riders and love meeting new people who join our community.
Can you tell us about a few of the drivers?
Our drivers are awesome! Where do I even begin… first of all, there’s Karaoke Kelli who has a full on karaoke system rigged up in her car through her iPad. Riders can pick songs and sing along throughout their ride for a full on party on wheels. There’s also Curtis, who has lived in Seattle for just about forever and knows the best way to get everywhere. Our driver Logan is a chef, and she recently helped us make a ton of salsa to give out to some local influencers on Cinco de Mayo. Beyond connecting over giving rides, our drivers are awesome people full of stories and laughs that really make “getting there” a blast. I love them all!
Want to try out Sidecar? Our friends at Sidecar hooked you up! To test out the application, just use coupon code: LYRIC10 when you sign up.
Let us know what you think of the service in the comments below!