Today, we’re proud to announce a milestone agreement with San Francisco International Airport (SFO) that allows Sidecar to legally operate at the airport. As part of this historic agreement, SFO is California’s first airport to grant a permit to a Transportation Network Company (TNC), and Sidecar is the first and only TNC to receive such a permit in the state. We will resume operations at SFO within 30 days.
When regulators and innovators work together consumers win. We commend SFO for their forward thinking, and for developing a framework that will allow Sidecar to provide safe and affordable transportation to people who live in and visit our city. SFO is one of our most in-demand places for ride requests, so we’re excited and proud to work with them to offer riders safe and affordable travel to and from the airport.
We’re not the only ones who are excited about this historical agreement: airport authorities and Mayor Lee have also weighed in on the news today
“San Francisco is at the forefront of the sharing economy and companies like Sidecar are creating real jobs for San Franciscans and making easier to get around our City,” said Mayor Lee. “The sharing economy was born here, and I am committed to ensuring that San Francisco supports this innovation sector’s growth and success. Congratulations to Sidecar and SFO for reaching this historic agreement, the first in California, and one of the first in the United States.”
“This permit reflects our commitment to new business models at SFO, and ensures safe, consistent service for our customers,” said Airport Director John L. Martin. “I applaud Sidecar for taking the lead in their industry with the first authorized service at SFO. Their proactive approach sets an example for other transportation network companies to follow.”
This is a big win for Sidecar drivers and riders! But there is still work to do.
Shared Rides — where Sidecar matches you with a nearby rider heading your way and cuts the cost in half – is still forbidden at SFO. Despite the economic and environmental benefits, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) claims Shared Rides is illegal. Unfortunately, SFO won’t allow Shared Rides until this issue is resolved with the CPUC.
SFO granted us this permit as part of an extended pilot program so it can study its impact on airport congestion. Shared Rides is the solution to reduced congestion at our airports and in our streets! Innovation will always require regulators to review their policies. We hope the CPUC follows SFO’s lead to update its regulatory approach for continued transportation innovation in California.