Sidecar, the “car-sharing” service that paired taxi-hating customers with rando drivers, has ceased to operate in Philadelphia. Since February, when the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) shut it down after an actual sting operation, it’s been locked in a battle with the city, which claims SideCar vehicles are essentially an illegal, unregulated, uninspected taxi service. After a few months of wrangling, SideCar has now pulled out of its first-ever East Coast location.
So, what’s the narrative here? Rogue start-up trying to cut costs, blow through red tape, and flout the law? Or innovation-stifling bureaucrats loathe to upset the established order? Either way, the “sharing economy” that has given us Airbnb and Zipcar isn’t quite ready to revolutionize Philly. [Newsworks]