Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hitchin a ride

Side Car
Stick your hand out in San Francisco and it may become a tad tired.  No you are not competing to get the world record for keeping your arm out, but trying to hail a taxi.  Twenty minutes pass and nada.  Well low and behold if you have a smart phone (you do this is San Francisco) download the app Side Car.  Side Car is your answer to a taxi drought.  It is a community based service where prescreened, approved drivers use their own vehicles to drive you from point A to point B for a price significantly cheaper than taxis. 

So what you do is tell Side Car where you are, and where you are going.  It will then tell you the average community price and the closest driver.  When a driver accepts your route a picture of said driver and their vehicle will pop up.  Additionally, it will tell you how far away your ride is.  Gone are the days of sticking your hand out and in are the days when you know you can go back and grab a bottle of wine before your ride comes (true story).  When you arrive at your location, you pay through your phone and rate the driver.  The driver rates you as well.  How else will someone agree to pick you up next time, or you choose that driver if they don’t have stellar reviews.  If you pay the community average and are not a bumbling idiot you will get your four stars.

Skeptical?  So was I, but I just returned from San Fran and used Side Car the whole trip.  After dining with a friend who lived in town she suggested used Side Car to go get ice cream.  Since I was with a group, I agreed and the rest is history.  After our fabulous driver got us there safely I downloaded the app.  Because my friend recommended me, I got $10, and so did she.  Talk about incentive, especially since the average ride is around $10.  For the rest of the trip before heading to dinner we would tell Side Car where we were going.  In less than 10 minutes our clean, safe ride was there.  As I took my last Side Car ride to the airport I longingly hope for the day where Nashville is the next city they choose to start service. 

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