Uber's Launching Its First Motorcycle Service in Bangkok

Illustration for article titled Ubers Launching Its First Motorcycle Service in Bangkok

If you’ve ever been to Thailand, you’ll know that a motorcycle is one of the best ways to get around its congested capital city. Now Uber is embracing the fact with its first ever two-wheeled offering.

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The new UberMOTO service will show up as an extra option when you try and hail a ride using the company’s app in Bangkok. Each motorcycle rider will be vetted in the same way as its car drivers, and passengers will be provided with helmets. It’ll be pretty affordable as a service, with a base rate equivalent to $0.28 and charges of $0.16 per mile and $0.02 per minute.

The scheme is a pilot project, so it’s unclear if it will spread to other cities—but Uber does point out that it’s designed for emerging markets with bad traffic situations. For what it’s worth, Uber briefly offered an auto rickshaw service in India, but, as The Verge notes, it was shut down after eight months.

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[WSJ, The Verge]

Image by Uber

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DISCUSSION

Not sure how this will work here. My thinking is that UberMOTO is mainly going to be a service for neophyte but somewhat adventurous tourists that don’t speak any Thai.

It’s cool that there is a new way for locals with motorbikes to make money though.

For me, I can walk out of my (Sukhumvit) condo and be on my way on a motorcycle taxi in less one minute (they wear vests so they are easy to spot).

Most of the time the fare for local stuff is about ~60 cents, if I go far, like 3 kilos, it will be $2. There are peak times when I might actually have to wait in a local queue for 5 min or so but there are always fun people to talk to while I wait.

In each Bangkok neighborhood there are lots of motorcycle taxi hotspots, not to mention the norm, which is just flagging one down.

Pricing is always negotiable, just like everything else here. A smile and a laugh for the guy will get you on your way very very cheaply, then I just give an exorbitant tip.

Fun stuff. Not so sure if the Uber thing will be anything close to the same.