Taxi hailing services Uber and rival Ola launched their motorcycle-hailing services for the first time in the country on Thursday, aiming to disrupt the way people travel intra-city. Uber and Ola’s services are on the lines of the services offered by start-ups like Letsride.in and Rapido, which follow the two-wheeler ride sharing concept.
People who own motorbikes/scooters can also become drivers on the platform and recover the costs of their trips. Both the companies are piloting the project in Bengaluru. While Uber’s service will be called UberMOTO, while Ola is yet to arrive at a name for its service.
Though several start-ups are now offering two-wheeler taxi services, the segment still faces regulatory issues. Last year, due to security concerns, the Mumbai RTO had ordered the shutting down of two-wheeler taxi service provider Hey Taxi within a week of its launch. Except for the State of Goa, where the focus is on tourists, no states currently have any specific regulations governing the two-wheeler taxi segment.
According to the ministry of road transport, one in 10 Indians owns a two-wheeler (96 two-wheelers per 1,000 persons). Two-wheelers constitute 72% of the total 160-million vehicle population in India. An EY report, “The rise of the sharing economy: India Landscape”, says globally the sharing economy is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 139.4% to reach $115 billion by 2016 from $3.5 billion in 2012.
Amit Jain, president, Uber India, said, “We are very excited to pilot uberMOTO in Bangalore—pairing our on-demand technology platform with motorbikes, the predominant mode of transport in India. Enabling transportation at the push of a button, uberMOTO will offer another affordable mobility option that will help people save time and money while helping cut congestion in our cities over time.”
UberMOTO is priced at Rs 15 plus Rs 3 per kilometre plus R1 per minute as ride time charges. Ola is pricing it with minimum fare of Rs 30 plus Rs 2 per km and Re 1 per minute trip time.
Pranay Jivrajka, chief operating officer at Ola said, “With Bike Taxis, we are enabling safe pillion rides for our users with trained two wheeler drivers at competitive fares. We expect significant demand in the pilot phase and we will continue to scale this service up in the coming weeks to cover more areas in the city and serve more users.”