From Nick Barron. Follow him on Twitter @nbarron; email him at nick[AT]borderstan.com.
A new venture-backed mode of transportation is coming to DC, hoping to give everyone in our city access to a “friend” with a car.
SideCar, currently operating in San Francisco, where the company is based, and Seattle, is actively recruiting people in DC who have vehicles to be drivers. SideCar is a mobile application for iPhone and Android phones. Users request a ride from a driver through the app.
Though the company also published a job posting on LinkedIn for a DC City Manager, it declined to say when it would be rolling out in the nation’s capital.
“Once the request is accepted, drivers can be viewed approaching in real-time,” says SideCar in a press release. “Riders can make a voluntary donation at the end of the ride.”
While SideCar makes a tip suggestion to users within its app, there is no guarantee a driver will earn money for providing a ride. After all, don’t we all have that one friend who never chips in for gas money?
As for safety concerns, SideCar says it vets every driver, and every ride arranged through their app is tracked. Plus, donations from riders to drivers are made within the app, so there’s no need to carry cash.
Though SideCar will be competing against other transportation startups operating in DC, like HitchRides and Uber, perhaps the company’s closest competitor is DC’s famous Slug Lines.
SideCar was founded last year in San Francisco. The company completed a $10 million Series A financing in October, and just announced on Valentine’s Day it had purchased Heyride, another ride-sharing company serving Austin.
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