Last year, Uber introduced a “Safe Rides” fee that added a $1 charge to uberX fares. This fee, they said, was meant to help them cover the cost of background checks, vehicle screenings, and “the development of safety features.”
When Lyft introduced a similar fee, they dubbed it “the trust and safety fee.”
And now Sidecar — a perhaps lesser mentioned competitor in the taxis-that-aren’t-actually–taxis arena that we’ve come to call “ridesharing” — follows suit. Starting tomorrow, Sidecar will charge $1 more per ride for what they call the “RideSafe” fee.
So what does that buck cover? According to the company:
- A $1 million insurance policy on each ride (as personal auto insurance generally doesn’t cover commercial use)
- Background checks
- Regular vehicle records checks
Sidecar is taking on Uber et al. with an interesting tactic: Its prices will vary based on prices set by the driver, but the passenger gets to pick the driver based on the calculated trip price (or whatever other factor they care about, like type of car or estimated time of arrival) before they get in the car.
The new fee will automatically be tacked on to that trip price up front.