Uber debuts motorcycle taxi service in Bangkok

Uber Motorcycle in Bangkok

Uber has introduced a motorcycle taxi service for customers in Bangkok.

GrabTaxi, an Uber competitor, recently started offering GrabBike in the Thai capital, forcing Uber to offer a similar service for the cities congested streets.

This isn’t the first time Uber has tried a motorcycle service. In 2012, the company launched a moto-taxi option in Paris for a few weeks as a short-term experiment. That program never went into mass practice.

“Two-wheel transportation is a form of mobility for millions and millions of people,” Uber spokesman Karun Arya says.

Customers can request a motorbike from the standard Uber app in three central Bangkok neighborhoods. The driver will show up on their motorcycle with a helmet for the passenger.

“Motorcycles are part of the commuting culture in Thailand,” Douglas Ma, Uber’s head of Asia expansion, said in a statement.

Uber believes the new service will “create tens of thousands of flexible work opportunities for Thais.”

Fares start at 10 baht (28 US cents), and cost an additional 3.50 baht for each kilometer and 0.85 baht per minute for every ride. Making the Uber motorcycle option a cheaper form of travel than standard Uber fares.

The service launched on Wednesday and some customers said they were able to hail a motorcycle in minutes, while others said they couldn’t find an available ride.

The taxi-hailing app plans to roll out motorcycle in other areas in the future. There are more than a dozen Southeast Asian locations, including Bali, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore, that could benefit from the program.