Blog Date: 
Friday, January 24, 2014
Mika Pyyhkala

You may remember reading that the NFB of Massachusetts, along with two of its members, reached an accessibility agreement (PDF) with Sidecar.  Sidecar is a transportation network company (TNC) or e-hail app.  You can request a Sidecar ride from an app on your iOS smartphone, track the arrival of the car in real time, and pay without any cash changing hands.  We worked with Timothy Elder of the TRE Legal Practice along with Sidecar to reach this cooperative accessibility agreement. You can read more about the agreement in Mr. Elder’s blog post.
I use these TNC or e-hail apps all the time, and now when I have to take a traditional taxi, I feel like I am back in the dark ages.  These apps are so much more convenient and efficient than using a traditional taxi.  For example, I know exactly when my driver will be pulling up so I can go outside precisely at the right time.  It’s great to just get out of the car and not have to deal with cash or credit cards in the vehicle, and of course receipts are emailed and accessible!
Sidecar wants to introduce attendees of the 2014 Washington Seminar to its service, and during the seminar, a promotion code will be made available that will give new and existing Sidecar users a $20 credit.  The code will only be available from Sunday, January 26, to Thursday, January 30, and must be entered while you are physically in Washington, DC.
Simply download the Sidecar app to your iPhone and set up an account, so the app will be ready to use when you arrive in Washington.  The promotion code will be announced during the Great Gathering In meeting, and will also be available through NFB’s social media outlets and other communication channels as early as Sunday, January 26.
Please note that the Android app may not currently be accessible; there are documented work plans to add accessibility to Android.  There are also documented accessibility work plans to add access to the map data in the iPhone app, but you can still use the iPhone app now with VoiceOver to request and complete rides.

By adopting a high level of accessibility, Sidecar is setting an example that others in the TNC rideshare industry should follow. Full and equal access to technology is a civil right.
Sidecar Web site:
Sidecar Twitter: @sidecar