SideCar Debuts Ridesharing App In LA

Need a lift, but don't have a car? Ridesharing app SideCar is the latest, peer-to-peer, smartphone-driven, ridesharing app to debut in Los Angeles, letting people find drivers willing to give them a ride around the city. SideCar--which quietly launched February 15--said it has begun accepting rides city-wide, teaming up app users with drivers who are willing to give other people a lift around town for a donation.

SideCar is one of a number of smartphone-driven shared ride and driving apps to target Los Angeles in the last year or so, including competing mobile app Lyft, which launched in January; Uber, the smartphone driven towncar service, which entered the market last March; car sharing firm Wheelz, which started targeting students here in October; GroundLink, a private car service which launched last May; and ZipCar, the car sharing firm which has been in the market since 2011.

SideCar's service uses your phone's GPS capability to locate people who are nearby who would be willing to give you a ride for a donation; the company said it's initially launching here in LA on in West LA, Santa Monica, Venice and Culver City, with expansion to the remainder of LA soon. The company--which also has operations in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Philadelphia--is run locally by City Manager Drew Crofton. SideCar might be familiar to the SoCal tech crowd just showing up today in Austin for SXSW--the company has been planning a big push at the tech/music conference--despite a legal battle in Austin.