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UberMOTO Now Services Bangkok, Rivals GrabTaxi's GrabBike

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(Credit: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images) Douglas Ma, head of Asia expansion at Uber sits on a motorbike during the launch of UberMOTO at a hotel in Bangkok on February 24, 2016. Uber offered its first motorbike taxi service on February 24, launching a pilot scheme in Bangkok which could spread across Asia as it takes on chief regional rival Grab Taxi.THAILAND-UBER-INTERNET-TAXI
February 25
4:56 AM 2016

On Wednesday, Uber announced the launching of its UberMOTO service in Bangkok, Thailand as a lead project for cities in most developing countries.  The new service is not a pioneer since motorcycle taxis are a long-lasting tradition in most Southeast Asian cities.  It became famous after the economic expansion in 1980's that induce the rush of new vehicles clogging the busy city streets.

UberMOTO will be first introduced in three significant business and residential areas of Central Bangkok.  The company said it will have the same Uber features like the "live GPS tracking, 2-way feedback and the ability to share trip details with family and friends," as reported by abc News.

"We aren't surprised when competitors recognize the need to offer services beyond private cars in this region," Adelene Foo, regional head of GrabBike/GrabExpress, said in an email. "Motorbikes are a way of life in Southeast Asia and a critical part of the transportation ecosystem."

Uber claimed that it lost $1 billion every year in China. It now makes Bangkok a good place to try its motorcycle service although there are times the traffic gets stuffy.  The ride-hailing company said that its motorcycle service will provide commuters with inexpensive rides and reduce the traffic congestion, as reported by Fortune.

"Motorcycles are part of the commuting culture in Thailand," Douglas Ma, head of Asia Expansion for Uber, said in a statement. He said the service will resonate with Thai people and provide "another easy and affordable option for short trips around town while creating tens of thousands of flexible work opportunities for Thais."

According to International Business Times, Bangkok users can take advantage of UberMOTO service through the company's mobile app. The process is the same when booking an Uber cab. The starting rate will be THB 10 adding THB 3.50 for every kilometer and THB 0.85 for every additional minute. Uber promotes a celebratory offer that enables first-time users to have their first two UberMOTO rides at no charge. The great offer will last until March 15.

UberMOTO drivers will provide helmet to a rider. Drivers will be insured and will undergo broad screening process together with a police background check.  UberMOTO is hoping to cope up with its loss in China and will rival GrabTaxi's motorbike taxi service for riders.

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