Sidecar and Lyft switch from donations to minimum fares in California

The transport services made the switch Friday

A Lyft car sporting its standard pink mustache.

A Lyft car sporting its standard pink mustache.

People using the transportation apps Lyft and Sidecar in California will no longer be able to skimp on their fares, now that both apps have ditched their donation model.

Sidecar said Friday it was doing away with donations and instead introducing minimum fares. The changes apply only in California and take effect Friday on iOS and Android devices.

Sidecar rival Lyft reportedly made a similar switch. It will begin requiring users in California to pay a minimum fare some time in the next few weeks, the Los Angeles Times said.

Sidecar made the change to better support its drivers, CEO Sunil Paul said in a blog post. The company has seen a 50 percent increase in driver applications since September, he said, but it has also learned from drivers that they would drive more frequently and provide longer rides if they could depend on a fair payment, Paul said.

Previously, Sidecar suggested a donation amount at the end of the ride, but riders could still pay whatever they wanted. Now, when people book a ride they will be shown a minimum payment up front. If the ride was exceptional they can still pay a higher fare if they want to.

The payment will be determined based on distance, time and traffic. Sidecar says it currently costs a little less than a regular taxi in San Francisco, and 20 percent to 40 percent less in San Diego and Los Angeles.

Sidecar is also active in Seattle, Chicago and other locations, but the relationship between riders and drivers needs to be better if the service is to go mainstream, Paul said Thursday at a conference in San Francisco. Providing a better experience for drivers will be a goal for the company going forward, he said.

Sidecar cleared a major legislative hurdle in California in September, when the state's Public Utilities Commission approved regulations on so-called "transportation network companies," essentially legitimizing services from companies like Sidecar and Lyft.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesSideCarLyftmobilesocial mediainternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?