Have you ever opened up your ride sharing app on your smartphone and wished that you could chose the car you want, the driver you want and the available price you want?
Sidecar, one of the three major online ride companies, says three weeks of market testing in Los Angeles and Chicago prompted the firm to move "our entire service to this new model," according to a statement.
Here's the new deal:
With the relaunched Sidecar app you can now scroll through available drivers (with some of their background included), the make and model of the vehicle (with photos) they will be picking you up in, and their individual rates.
Sidecar never had the kind of surge pricing that got competitor Uber in trouble for ride bills that were in some occasions more than seven times the normal rate.
But now a driver can set a higher price, say, for Saturday nights, especially if they're busy. Sidecar spokeswoman Margaret Ryan told us:
... In this new model drivers set their own prices. We let drivers know a price based on criteria like previous rides and drivers can use the price multiplier to raise and lower the price based on their car, the time of day, amenities provided or if they are commuting and willing to accept a price because they are already making the trip.
Though "the new Sidecar" is a nationwide roll-out, positive metrics in L.A. helped make it happen, according to a company statement:
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Overall, we have seen more drivers on the road driving more hours. Driver hours are up 50 percent overall. Rides in Los Angeles are up more than 20 percent.
The company also announced it has received a second-round of investment worth $10 million.
It looks like your party ride options just got more diverse.