Last month, we discussed the plight of FlightCar, a California car rental startup, currently involved in a lawsuit with the City of San Francisco. The City alleges that FlightCar, which rents out vehicles parked at the San Francisco International Airport by their traveling owners to other airport travelers, is undercutting rental car companies at the airport by acting like a rental car company but ignoring the regulations that govern them. The case of FlightCar highlights the situation facing three other California startup companies involved in the business of “ride sharing.”
What are “Ride Sharing” Companies?
Ride-sharing companies are in the business of providing vehicles-for-hire. The services basically use mobile-phone applications to connect people in need of a ride with everyday drivers. In California, the three largest startup companies providing the service are Uber, Lyft, and SideCar.