SideCar Offers Free Rides in Philly - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

SideCar Offers Free Rides in Philly

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Need a ride?  The makers of the SideCar smartphone app are offering them for free Saturday night.

The move follows a recent flap with the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) which put the kibosh on SideCar's operations after conducting a sting, where employees witnessed customers paying drivers for rides without the clearance to do so.  

PPA oversees cabs and limousine service in the city and regulates the business side of taxi-like travel.

The San Francisco-based app firm responded with to the city's cease and desist order not charging customers, for now.

A co-founder with the company confirmed the free rides Saturday night, meaning customers would not have to pay a suggested "donation" to their driver at the end of their ride.

Instead of collecting fees, SideCar users typically pay a recommended amount of money for a trip from Point A to Point B.

The app finds users via GPS and allows them to indicate their destination on a map.  A message is then sent to the nearest driver, shows their picture and the vehicle being driven.    

The digital map allows users to see where the closest drivers are in relation to their location.

The company says all drivers are screened via a background check. SideCar is operating on Friday and Saturday nights only for the time being in Philadelphia. 

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