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November 15, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Ridesharing startup Sidecar announced that California users will now be required to pay fares for rides they take using the service, moving away from a previous model where users could "donate" more or less money than was suggested. The move comes as Sidecar fights to compete against Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services. Sidecar said the move will benefit drivers and motivate them to drive more often, improving the reliability of the service. "Our drivers rely on us as a fun, interesting way to make some extra cash with their car," Sidecar said in a statement.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
February 5, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher and Salvador Rodriguez
SACRAMENTO - A deadly accident involving a California ride-sharing driver has brought to light a potential downside to this new high-tech carpooling: Who pays when something goes wrong? Companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have long insisted that the insurance they provide their drivers is sufficient to cover accidents. But a recent tragedy shows the murky legal terrain in which these new taxi-like services operate. On New Year's Eve, an Uber driver struck and killed a 6-year-old girl who was crossing a San Francisco street with her family.
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BUSINESS
November 27, 2012 | By Charles Fleming
The 2012 Ural Yamal Limited Edition Sidecar moto-machine is rough, Russian and ready for anything. This latest iteration of the famed Soviet-era military motorcycle -- copied just before the beginning of World War II from the German BMW R-71 and in continuous production since then -- is based on the Yamal Peninsula ice-breaking boats. Hence the teeth, the twin-hull body design and, one presumes, the oar that comes as standard equipment. The bike is notorious for its durability ("tough as a Russian AK-47," the manufacturers say)
BUSINESS
November 15, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Ridesharing company Lyft said it will begin requiring that users in California pay a minimum fare for their rides sometime in the next few weeks. The San Francisco company told The Times about the change after a similar announcement by rival Sidecar on Friday. Currently, when Lyft users complete a ride, the company suggests an amount that they should "donate. " Users can then pay more or less than that amount -- even nothing. Once Lyft switches to its new system, riders will not be able to pay less than the suggested amount for the ride.
BUSINESS
July 30, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher and Salvador Rodriguez
SACRAMENTO - Ride-sharing companies that connect passengers to drivers via smartphones should be allowed to continue operating in California if they comply with basic safety rules, state regulators proposed Tuesday. The recommendation now goes to the five-member Public Utilities Commission as early as its Sept. 5 meeting. Commissioners can accept or deny the recommendations or offer alternatives for regulating such increasingly popular ride-sharing companies as Lyft Inc., Sidecar and Uber Technologies Inc. The three companies provide transportation for a fee or donation , connecting paying passengers with drivers who use their own vehicles.
BUSINESS
August 5, 2013 | By Charles Fleming
The Ural Gear-Up is a Russian-made motorcycle with a sidecar. It looks like a survivor of the siege of Stalingrad, because it is. The design dates from World War II, when the Russians were confronted on the battlefield by a German sidecar machine built by BMW, and decided to build one of their own. The BMW spawned decades of improvements, and now results in sleek street machines such as the F800GT . The Ural … no. Despite improvements in...
BUSINESS
October 7, 2013 | By Charles Fleming
Russian-owned IMZ-Ural has unveiled the latest in its curious line of sidecar motorcycles, this one in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest's fabled Pendleton textile company. The Ural Gaucho Rambler, in a nod to cowboys and the legacy of the Old West, comes painted in Pacific Blue and draped in saddlebag-themed, "sunburnt" colored canvas. Standard equipment also includes a rolled "Journey West" woolen blanket from Pendleton, and an "outdoors cook kit" complete with coffee pot, coffee cups, plates and a skillet.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Ridesharing company Lyft said it will begin requiring that users in California pay a minimum fare for their rides sometime in the next few weeks. The San Francisco company told The Times about the change after a similar announcement by rival Sidecar on Friday. Currently, when Lyft users complete a ride, the company suggests an amount that they should "donate. " Users can then pay more or less than that amount -- even nothing. Once Lyft switches to its new system, riders will not be able to pay less than the suggested amount for the ride.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
Add these personality quirks to the qualities that mark you as a social dinosaur: You're not comfortable renting out a room in your house or turning over the keys to your car for hours or days at a time to total strangers. When you travel you prefer to stay at a hotel with a predictable level of guest service rather than racking out on someone's couch. When you rent a car, you prefer that you're dealing with a company that has a corporate reputation to protect, rather than a person who may or may not have had the brakes checked sometime in the last decade.
BUSINESS
January 29, 2013 | By Charles Fleming
The famed Russian sidecar motorcycle manufacturer Ural has reported all-time sales numbers for 2012, surpassing its previous high in 2006 and showing a 30% growth in sales from 2011 to 2012. In particular, the company credits strong sales for the fourth-quarter release of its Ural Yamal. Named after a famed Yamal Peninsula ice-breaking boat, the bike features a twin-hull body design and comes with an oar as standard equipment. PHOTO GALLERY: Monster Mash-Up Prized by long-distance motorcycle travelers with a taste for the exotic, the Soviet-era military motorcycle began production just before the beginning of World War II . The first units were designed for combat duty and were based upon the German BMW R-71.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Ridesharing startup Sidecar announced that California users will now be required to pay fares for rides they take using the service, moving away from a previous model where users could "donate" more or less money than was suggested. The move comes as Sidecar fights to compete against Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services. Sidecar said the move will benefit drivers and motivate them to drive more often, improving the reliability of the service. "Our drivers rely on us as a fun, interesting way to make some extra cash with their car," Sidecar said in a statement.
OPINION
October 23, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Angelenos have more options for getting around town than ever before, thanks to the arrival of services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, whose drivers can be summoned with a smartphone app. But to some members of the City Council, that's a bad thing because the services aren't regulated the same way taxi companies are - by them, in other words. The city doesn't need to throw its bureaucracy at these services, however; the state Public Utilities Commission has adopted rules that address the public's safety concerns without forcing the upstarts to abandon innovative business models.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 2013 | By David Zahniser and Laura J. Nelson
The Los Angeles City Council is weighing a challenge to the app-driven ride-sharing companies that have given residents new transportation options while drawing protests from the taxicab industry. Councilman Paul Koretz is pushing for his colleagues to appeal a recent decision by the Public Utilities Commission to allow companies such as Lyft and Sidecar to operate under regulation at the statewide level. The council is set to meet Tuesday behind closed doors to discuss the possible appeal with city lawyers.
BUSINESS
October 7, 2013 | By Charles Fleming
Russian-owned IMZ-Ural has unveiled the latest in its curious line of sidecar motorcycles, this one in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest's fabled Pendleton textile company. The Ural Gaucho Rambler, in a nod to cowboys and the legacy of the Old West, comes painted in Pacific Blue and draped in saddlebag-themed, "sunburnt" colored canvas. Standard equipment also includes a rolled "Journey West" woolen blanket from Pendleton, and an "outdoors cook kit" complete with coffee pot, coffee cups, plates and a skillet.
BUSINESS
October 3, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Uber is lowering fares for its uberX service in Los Angeles and San Diego for the next two weeks to be more competitive with rivals Lyft and Sidecar. The announcement comes just weeks after the state's Public Utilities Commission announced new regulations that legalize online ride-sharing services, which are on-demand-ride services that users book and pay for through their smartphones. Uber said the price cut will make uberX fares "substantially less than a taxi. " Uber said rides from Santa Monica to Venice will now cost $8 (previously $10)
BUSINESS
September 27, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
Add these personality quirks to the qualities that mark you as a social dinosaur: You're not comfortable renting out a room in your house or turning over the keys to your car for hours or days at a time to total strangers. When you travel you prefer to stay at a hotel with a predictable level of guest service rather than racking out on someone's couch. When you rent a car, you prefer that you're dealing with a company that has a corporate reputation to protect, rather than a person who may or may not have had the brakes checked sometime in the last decade.
NEWS
August 9, 2013 | By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Is Leon Logothetis compassionate or crazy - or both? Logothetis, you may recall, bought a 1985 London taxi, dubbing it the Kindness Cab , and drove it from New York to Los Angeles, doing good deeds - driving a veteran to a VA Hospital for cancer treatment, taking a down-on-its-luck family out for ice cream - along the way. The way included some car trouble, most memorably in the mountains, which the cab demonstrated a decided reluctance to...
ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt
It's past midnight on Saturday and the Enabler is riding shotgun in a cherry red Honda Fit with a woman named Ruth Grayson. We're trolling the streets of Hollywood, looking for people to pick up. No, the Enabler is not desperate for a date, she is checking out a new car service called Lyft that set up shop in L.A. in January. Lyft is part of a growing number of smartphone-app-based car services, including Uber and SideCar, that aim to fill the safe-ride gap left by traditional cabs, which can be pricey, impersonal and, quite often in Los Angeles, late.
BUSINESS
September 4, 2013 | By Paresh Dave
Like many Southern California residents, I resisted ever hailing a taxi. The region's traffic and sprawl hinted at exorbitant fares. Figuring out whom to call and then waiting on hold to order a cab added to my reluctance. But now with a smartphone, I've found ordering a taxi has actually become inviting. Anxious waits have been eliminated because you can track a taxi's journey to you on a digital map. Estimating fares, paying them, leaving tips and getting receipts can all be completed through an app. People who avoid taxis because they consider them scary or their drivers frustrating also have easy smartphone options.
NEWS
August 9, 2013 | By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Is Leon Logothetis compassionate or crazy - or both? Logothetis, you may recall, bought a 1985 London taxi, dubbing it the Kindness Cab , and drove it from New York to Los Angeles, doing good deeds - driving a veteran to a VA Hospital for cancer treatment, taking a down-on-its-luck family out for ice cream - along the way. The way included some car trouble, most memorably in the mountains, which the cab demonstrated a decided reluctance to...
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