By on July 9, 2012

On those long cross country rides, some of us may hope to pick up a hitchhiker, or hitchhikeress. Seems to be a dying breed though. An app will fill that gaping void. SideCar, an on-demand ride-sharing app, lets users request a ride by indicating where they would like to be picked up and dropped off”,  Reuters says.The app of San Francisco-based SideCar matches riders with drivers. The passenger can pay the driver, or not. Payment is optional. It’s more a social thing anyway.  “It’s fascinating the people you meet, and a lot of people are drawn to it for that reason,” says   Blake Wirht, marketing director of SideCar. “But there are a lot of people that drive for SideCar to offset their costs of vehicle ownership.”

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10 Comments on “Hitching A Ride...”

  • avatar

    I really liked the song from the first time I heard it in 1970. I hitchhiked the old fashioned way many times in the late 60s and early 70s. I didn’t like real hitchhiking as much as the song by any means, but this new system may cut down on the crazy a little.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    At my college there were paper maps and index cards for those wanting and giving a ride. The drawback was only one location on campus. This is just an electronic update.

  • avatar

    I’m not much of a Boston fan, but “Hitch a Ride” must have one of the best rock guitar solos ever:

  • avatar

    How do people deal with the liability issue here? The moment that you take any recompense for giving someone a ride, your auto insurance almost certainly stops coverage (since you’re now a commercial vehicle). I think that you also run afoul of the law governing commercial vehicles and licensing. The same holds true for AirBnB when renting a room in your home.

    • 0 avatar

      And welcome to what’s wrong with America. Forty years ago I hitch-hiked all over the eastern US. Occasionally picked up some good dope. Almost got busted once, fortunately my hitch hiking partner yelled fast as soon as the cops were slowing down. And the guy who later picked us up actually drove back to the place where the cops stopped us in the hopes that I could find that lid.

      America, you’ve become a nation of scared little children. The lawyers have definitely won. They’ve got us too scared to even be a good Samaritan anymore.

    • 0 avatar

      Clutch, those laws are made to regulate commerce, not criminalize you for accepting gas money for helping a “stranded motorist”, or taking your “aunt/sister/cousin” to the doctor. You might become a victim of an overzealous district attorney, but they’re mostly elected, and their electoral prospects might suffer a death of a thousand tweets, IYKWIMAITYD.

  • avatar

    Washington DC has an unofficial hitching program outside the office buildings where drivers pick up riders so they can use the HOV lanes. Many I spoke with use this every day to get to a train or bus stop, or even their homes. So far no one has disappeared without a trace.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      They’re called “slug lines” and the Pentagon even has a dedicated pick up area for drivers and slugs to meet. I never had to, always lived inside the beltway. On soap box: I think the Pentagon has a decent example of how slug lines, buses from all locations, and the Metro are combined to provide public transportation. Off soap box.

      Clutch, I think it’s nuanced between I’m driving to Chicago on this day and need 20$ for gas vice I’m going to Chicago over Thanksgiving break, gas money would be appreciated. Yeah I know lawyers will have a field day either way.

  • avatar

    I’ve been both a hitchhiker and the person giving the ride in the past 3 months, and I’m still alive and un-sued.

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