Uber just announced on its blog, that it’s launching a motorcycle hailing service in Thailand, called UberMOTO. As we all know, one of the worst things to happen to anyone is to get stuck in traffic during an Uber ride. She knows the feeling:
When ur uber gets caught in dead stand still traffic and u can feel the dollars stacking up in ur heart 💔
— sydney 😀 (@SYDNEYYMONROE) February 22, 2016
Motorcycles are a nifty way to avoid traffic and generally get to places faster within congested cities, like Bangkok (and Lagos), so it makes sense, that Uber is looking to take advantage of that, with UberMOTO.
And the model isn’t a new one, too. Last year, I heard about a Ugandan company named SafeBoda. I assume it was called that because Ugandans call motorcycles bodas, in the same way we call them okadas in Nigeria (who comes up with these names?), and they are largely seen as an unsafe mode of transport. But by training ‘drivers’, and providing helmets, SafeBoda – and I assume, Uber – have allayed the fears of the public.
Uber has been performing a number of experiments, outside its core on-demand taxi business, and I reckon that only more successful projects get rolled out across the board. They ventured into logistics and delivery with UberRUSH, started food delivery with UberEATS, and recently suspended their auto-rickshaw project in India. For the record, auto-rickshaws are those three wheeled vehicles we call maruwa, here in Nigeria (no, seriously. Who names these things?).
Uber has said that UberMOTO is designed for “cities in emerging markets”, so if it turns out well in Bangkok, cities like Lagos (please) will get it as an option in the Uber app.
As always, fingers crossed.