Hitching a ride using SideCar app - KMSP-TV

Hitching a ride using SideCar app

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Welcome to the 21st Century of hitching a ride: it's called SideCar, a ride-sharing smartphone app.

You plug in a destination and it tells you if someone can pick you up, suggesting a "donation" determined by the passenger.

"It's all cashless, it's done on a credit card so at the end of the trip the passenger simply selects the amount that they'd like to donate to the driver," co-founder Nick Allen explained.

What's different about this app is that the drivers aren't professional cabbies. Meaning, if I want to drive I could. All I need is a license, a car, and a clean background.

Allen said the company does background checks.

"We predominantly use Lexis-Nexis," he said. "We've given well over 100,000 rides and haven't had a single incident."

You can even check out your driver.

But that doesn't make it foolproof, said security expert William Vorlicek.

"Right now in my mind there's a lot of holes in this," Vorlicek said. "Somebody could use this to transport drugs."

Sidecar said its No. 1 priority is safety. But one obstacle in New York City could be the law.

The city's Taxi and Limousine Commission said that any driver accepting payment for point-to-point rides must be licensed with the TLC.

If anything, SideCar proves that people want choices, said Christina Warren, a tech analyst for the website Mashable.

"I think this is yet another example and proves the TLC needs to get on the ball, because this proves people really like other ways of finding and arranging transportation," Warren said.

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