It sounds like ridesharing startup SideCar is facing another regulatory challenge.
According to a company blog post, the Philadelphia Parking Authority cited three SideCar drivers and impounded their cars in an “orchestrated sting operation.” The citation supposedly describes SideCar as an “unauthorized service provider,” which the company says is inaccurate:
SideCar is a technology platform that enables peer-to-peer ridesharing. Our smartphone app instantly matches people who need a ride with regular, everyday drivers who are willing to give them one. With SideCar, payment is voluntary and you pay what you want. SideCar is safe. We run more checks on our drivers than taxi or limo services. Plus, all matched rides are recorded and GPS tracked for safety.
The company says that it chose Philadelphia as its first East Coast city for “its reputation as a center of innovation and its forward-looking government.” As for how SideCar is responding, the blog post says, “As we sort things out with regulators, SideCar will continue to operate in Philadelphia so its citizens can continue to experience the benefits and joys of rideshare.” Still, you have to imagine this is going to create a pretty big cloud over its Philadelphia operations unless it’s resolved.
I’ve reached out to the PPA for comment and will update if I hear back.