In Bangalore, where Uber is launching UberMOTO, its two-wheeler ride-sharing service, the average vehicle speed is the second-lowest in the entire country. Given motorbikes are better equipped to navigate traffic congestion, motorbike taxis have seen reasonable success in Bangkok, another city where the traffic crawls. Users in Bangalore, in the bargain, will also get a very cheap commuting option with the fares slated to be as low as
Rs 3-5 per km. Shared rides should also mean a reduced pollution burden. Ola, too, plans to launch a similar service.
These positives apart, there is a bigger economic benefit with such ride-sharing—it matches underutilised capacity (in this case, a biker riding solo) with demand (a person looking for commuting options on the same route). This “Uberisation” is now visible in many areas, from people letting out their homes to tourists (Airbnb) to housewives becoming tele-callers in their ‘downtime’. On TaskRabbit, you can hire someone/be hired to carry out daily chores, from grocery-shopping to home-cleaning. A survey conducted in the UK found that over 5 million individuals are now being paid for part-time work solicited through online/mobile platforms. So, if you are in Bangalore and ride solo to work and back everyday, putting your pillion out for hire would not only mean earning back your fuel expenses, but also raising the productivity level of the larger economy as well.