With BART workers on strike and a sweltering Monday made worse by a disrupted commute, there’s been a lot of grumbling about the Bay Area’s fragile public transportation system.
But the BART strike has been a boon to local start-ups that have often tangled with regulators. Ride-sharing services like Sidecar and Uber have seen an increase in demand for rides today, particularly from the East Bay.
In a blog post, Sidecar said that “in times of crisis, this is when alternative transportation services like Sidecar are at their best.” The San Francisco-based start-up has asked all of its East Bay drivers to turn on their driver app when they commute, so they can fill empty seats and help additional commuters get in and out of the city. And the company, which makes money by taking a cut of the fees that riders pay to drivers, is letting all drivers keep those passenger donations between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays.
Uber has also seen an increase in demand, particularly from the East Bay.
“This strike is an important illustration of why more transportation options – particularly low-cost options like uberX – are important for consumers, businesses and cities,” said Uber San Francisco General Manager Ilya Abyzov. “It means that in the event of a strike, residents and visitors can rely on Uber to commute to work and get around the Bay Area without breaking the bank.”