Sidecar acquired its competitor, Austin-based Heyride and expanded to Philly, Austin and Los Angeles, it announced earlier this month. The app is like on-demand car service Uber, except that the drivers aren’t necessarily professional drivers and it’s cheaper (you’re given a “suggested donation” amount once the ride is over).
The Parking Authority fined Sidecar $3,000 for operating without the appropriate authorization, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Read the Philadelphia Magazine piece to hear how reporter Victor Fiorillo‘s three Sidecar rides went (not quite as smooth as Uber, he wrote).
Sidecar has two staffers on the ground in Philly, not counting drivers, according to a spokesman.
The spokesman with which we were communicating is out of the office today, according to an auto-response, and did not respond to initial requests for comment, but we’ll update the story if we hear back from him.
On Saturday, SideCar was the target of an orchestrated sting operation conducted by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA), which regulates taxis. Three everyday drivers in our community were given hefty citations and had their cars impounded, leaving them alone in the dark and cold in need of a ride home. The citations wrongly assert that SideCar and its community of drivers and riders is an “unauthorized service provider.”