Sidecar Runs Into Regulatory Trouble

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4:56 PM EDT February 25th, 2013

The Philadelphia Parking Authority cited three SideCar drivers on Saturday and gave them hefty citations and had their cars impounded, according to SideCar. The company said the citations wrongly assert that SideCar and its community of drivers and riders is an “unauthorized service provider.”

“SideCar is a technology platform that enables peer-to-peer ridesharing,” the company wrote in a blog post. “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.”

TechCrunch reached out to the Philadelphia Parking Authority and reported the following: “Just got off the phone with Marty O’Rourke, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Parking Authority, who argued that it’s a pretty straightforward situation — these drivers aren’t licensed to be operating as taxis.

‘They’re passing themselves off as taxis and they’re not,’ he said. ‘It’s clearly not about technology. This is about public safety.'”

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