Ridesharing service Sidecar is shifting its compensation model, moving from donations to payments. Starting today, passengers will have to pay a minimum fare for rides in serviced cities in California.
Announced in a blog post and in an email to its customers, Sidecar cites the move by regulators with the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) in favor of ridesharing as a reason for the company’s evolution. Its CEO Sunil Paul writes:
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.
What this means is that if you summon a Sidecar, you’ll do so knowing what the required payment will be up front. At the end, passengers can opt to increase the payment based on the level of satisfaction. As always, it’s all cashless and handled through the app.
Paul also revealed that Sidecar has applied for a Transportation Network Company license in California. This is a new process regulators have put in place that will further ensure that the company is operating legally.
Although it operates in six cities across the United States, this new payment model only affects rides in California, specifically San Francisco and Los Angeles.
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