If you want to beat traffic, you can leave early, stay late, or go around pulling the engine out of every car you see. Ease transportation woes with this Groupon.
- $9 for $30 worth of on-demand car services
Sidecar is a network of vetted drivers who volunteer open seats in their own cars to give people rides. Members download Sidecar's smartphone app which alerts participating drivers in the area to pick up riders and cart them to their destination. Once the ride is over, passengers make a donation to the driver through the app as payment.
Although founders Sunil, Jahan, and Nick technically created Sidecar, it was Nick's 80-year-old grandmother who thought of it first. To help offset the cost of her car, she started giving seniors rides. From this simple idea, the three friends set to work designing an app that pairs drivers who are looking to make extra money with riders in need of a lift, eventually earning them a mention in the Wall Street Journal.
But the real mission behind Sidecar is a bit more altruistic. For one thing, the owners hope the service will take excess cars off the road, saving on carbon emissions and cutting down traffic. Sidecar drivers use their own car, letting riders sit in the front seat and turn on their choice of music. The shared ride experience gives riders the opportunity meet and connect with others in their city.
The team has designed Sidecar for safety and convenience. All drivers undergo a rigorous background and driving-record check before joining the team. And, once riders have been dropped off at their destination, they make donations to the driver through the app, eliminating the need to carry cash or vanilla wafers for payment.