Uber continues to live up to its name and reputation as a disruptor. Defined as “better, larger, or greater than,” Uber just launched UberMOTOo in Thailand, a motorbike service that adds two-wheeled vehicles to a growing global pedal-print.
Uber’s pitch: “Traffic speeds in Bangkok have now dropped to under 16km/h (just 11km/h during rush hour) and the average daily commute now takes 120 minutes. We think that you should be able to get around town faster, and for less. For the first time in the world, we are launching UberMOTO: motorcycle rides at the push of a button & the most affordable option available in town.”
Watch for this to scale on local versions of the Uber app across Asia, where motorcycle taxis are popular not only in Thailand but also in China, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, India and Indonesia, where smaller is better and faster in transportation terms.
The Wall Street Journal reports that UberMOTO has thousands of motorbike drivers already but the company is “looking at [its] applicability” in emerging markets.
No surprise, UberMOTO demand evidently outstripped supply at launch. The new service accepts cash and credit cards but has not yet regulated the number of riders allowed on one bike – and multiple passengers is the norm.
Local motorcycle drivers having to pass the same background checks as car drivers, and they’ll be required to provide helmets for passengers. The rides cost a base rate of ฿10 ($0.28), plus ฿3.5 a kilometer ($0.10) and ฿0.85 a minute ($0.02).
Uber’s main competition in Bangkok is Grab Bike, part of the Grab family of apps including GrabTaxi owned by a Singaporean company backed by Lyft.