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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Are ridesharing companies in major cities losing power?

Ride-sharing services make it convenient for riders to travel around the city. No city benefits better with ridesharing than San Francisco. However, ridesharing companies have their hands tied with airport trips.

Recent ridesharing service policies introduced back in September 2013 restrict airport ride services. For the most part, ridesharing drivers are left unprotected. If their airport visits result in fines, arrest, and other adverse action, the ride-sharing companies may abandon them.

Lyft and SideCar compete against one another to land new passengers and maintain existing riders. It is obvious that there are more Pink mustaches floating around the city of San Francisco than orange side mirror covers. Lyft is dominating the ride-sharing business.

The fist bumping and Pink mustache company, Lyft, achieved their success through what we believe was Guerrilla marketing. Furthermore, Lyft held event functions in new cities to familiarize people with their brand and service. New passengers would receive riding credits to use this ridesharing service. Word of mouth marketing established Lyft as a major force in the ride-sharing world.

It is important to share that major ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and SideCar may now be experiencing conflict again from providing driving services at SFO. Because of ridesharing regulations in the state of California, we suppose permission must granted from airports to operate under their jurisdiction. As a result of this legislation, dropping off and picking up passengers at SFO may lead to legal problems.

Are ride-sharing drivers ready to accept the risk without financial backing from ride-sharing companies? We don't know whether Lyft is representing their drivers, but it is obvious that SideCar is unwilling to invest legal resources into their drivers. As a driver, you take the financial and legal risk driving passengers back and forth between the airport.

The next time you drive to the airport, just know that SFO officials may create potential problems for you. In light of this setback, definitely reconsider operating at the airport. Whereas taxi services have designated spots at SFO, ride-sharing vehicles do not. Use precaution to avoid potential legal troubles.