August 3, 2012

Imagine a Whole New Way to Get Around Town

ONE OF the topics that gets discussed on the campaign trail is transportation. Questions often center around SamTrans, our bus system, and Caltrain. There is pretty widespread agreement that both those transportation systems could be improved.

What if a new idea that uses technology had the power to bring some innovation to our commutes? Imagine a whole new way to get around.

SideCar, an app that aims to connect passengers in need of a ride with drivers who have extra space in their cars. It's a "community-based, real-time ridesharing marketplace."

SideCar's drivers are not professionals. They are ordinary folks looking for a way to make some extra money or help their community.

How does the app work?

Passengers enter their pick up and drop off information.  SideCar then shows them the nearest drivers and their ETA. Another cool feature is that the user can view their driver on a map as they get closer to picking them up.

Making a donation to the driver is easy because the app uses a "community average" to determine an appropriate donation based on what other riders have paid for comparable rides.

The app also relies on a crowdsourced passenger and driver rating systems.

SideCar isn't the ultimate solution for San Mateo County's transportation woes but it's a creative step in the right direction. It uses technology and shared services to improve community.

Maybe some young developer could build a SideCar like app for the Peninsula?

Learn more about SideCar here >

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