SideCar, an app that allows users to arrange shared rides, will introduce surge pricing in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve to encourage more users to drive.
From 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, users in the San Francisco Bay Area will be prompted to pay “suggested donations” twice as large as they usually are.
The SideCar app does not require riders to pay drivers the suggested donation. In fact, drivers are prompted to review riders before any money changes hands.
Apparently sensitive to Uber’s missteps over surge pricing, the company is pitching the pricing as a thank-you to drivers and is engaging with users with questions on Twitter.
“Extra donations will help mobilize an army of designated drivers to help you get safely where you want to go on one of the busiest nights of the year for transportation. There are plenty of things to do on NYE besides drive — why not sweeten the pot a little for drivers to keep them stoked on getting people around?” the company explains in its blog post announcing the pricing change.
It’s also responding directly to users’ questions about the move on Twitter.
It will be interesting to see how users respond to SideCar’s approach, and how many drivers are willing to stay sober on New Year’s Eve.
@ellenhuet We spoke with lots of drivers in our community and they told us that bigger donations would be a big incentive to drive on NYE.
— SideCar (@SideCarSF) December 28, 2012