Uber has launched a pilot programme in the Thai capital Bangkok to test its motorcycle ride-hailing service. The company said UberMOTO has been specially designed to target cities in emerging markets where traffic snarls can be challenging.
Uber said in a statement: "UberMOTO enables people looking to save time and money on short trips to book a ride on a motorcycle at the push of a button and enjoy the most affordable option available in Bangkok."
UberMOTO will be made available to users in Bangkok via the company's mobile app. Users can book an UberMOTO ride by following the same procedure that is used when booking an Uber cab through the app. Uber has, however, cautioned its users that they may have to attempt to book motorcycle rides "multiple times", given that "demand is expected to be off the charts".
Uber said the motorcycle rides will be made available at a starting rate of ฿10 (£0.20), adding ฿3.50 for every kilometre and ฿0.85 for every minute thereafter. All Uber motorcycle drivers will undergo background and security checks similar to those the company imposes on its taxi drivers. In line with Uber's safety standards, UberMOTO rides will also enable users to track and share their trips with friends and family.
In order to garner goodwill from the community and local law enforcement, Uber has partnered with the Thai Traffic Police and Head Awareness Club (HAC) to participate in several community outreach programmes to spread awareness on the importance of helmet use and motorcycle safety. All UberMOTO drivers will be obliged to carry an additional helmet for prospective passengers, to ensure and promote safety.
Uber is offering its users in Bangkok a celebratory promotional offer which will allow first-time users to get their first two UberMOTO rides free of cost. This is a limited period offer valid till 15 March.