Tuesday, July 2, 2013

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit workers go on strike

BART strike a moneymaker for ride-sharing services and taxi apps

From MercuryNews.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The BART strike that unleashed chaos on Bay Area highways Monday has become a business opportunity for ride-sharing and carpooling services and taxi-hailing apps, which have stepped in to help stranded commuters get to work.
Bay Area ride services Uber, Lyft and Sidecar jumped on social media networks over the weekend, as a strike began to look imminent, to recruit commuters who needed to get to work. Early Monday morning they filled the roads with their drivers, and the calls came in. By 9:30 a.m. Monday, Sidecar had seen a 40 percent increase in rides over the previous Monday, and had increased the number of drivers on the road by 50 percent to keep up with growing demand, said Margaret Ryan, vice president of communications.
Public transit strikes are a marketing opportunity for these ride-sharing companies. Uber, which uses an app to dispatch black town cars, taxis and low-cost rides in hybrids or small cars, said it planned to visit some BART stations during the strike to recruit commuters without a ride. The company offered free rides in Boston when one of the city's mostly highly used rail lines shut down for several weekends in late 2011 and early 2012.

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