Innovation Everywhere: Uber’s Newest Service Launches in Bangkok
By Douglas Ma, Head of Asia Expansion
Bangkok is a city famous for its elaborate temples, incredible food and rich cultural history. And if you’ve ever been there, you probably remember another thing, too: Traffic.
Even though barely half of Thailand’s population owns a car, its capital city is choked by gridlock virtually every day of the year. Average traffic speeds have dropped to under 16km/h — just 11km/h during rush hour — and the average commute takes 2 hours.
We believe there are practical solutions to congestion, which is why we’ve launched products around the world that get more passengers in fewer cars, like uberPOOL and uberCOMMUTE. And Uber has been embraced in Thailand since we launched UberBLACK in 2014 — in fact, it’s one of our fastest growing markets in Southeast Asia. But we’re going a step further in Bangkok, with a new mode of transport that has long been the preferred way to get around the city: motorbikes.
We’re celebrating two years of Uber in Bangkok by launching a new pilot called UberMOTO in the city this week. It’s Uber’s first on-demand motorcycle service in Asia. UberMOTO will let you push a button and get a motorbike, saving you time and money for short trips — like the final leg of your commute from the MRT/BTS station.
Motorcycles are already a big part of daily life in Thailand — 87% of Thai households already own one of their own. Innovation belongs everywhere, and when we looked at where to launch UberMOTO, Bangkok just made sense. By pairing our on-demand technology platform with Bangkok’s favorite way to get around, we can improve the experience of motorcycle transit by providing more affordable and convenient options. All of the benefits of an uberX on the back of a motorbike.
Safety matters no matter where you’re going or how you’re getting there — which is why we’re also partnering with the Thai Traffic Police and Head Awareness Club (HAC) to highlight the importance of motorcycle safety. As part of this joint effort, we’ll work closely with the Thai Traffic Police and HAC to donate helmets to students and adults through community outreach and education programs in the coming weeks. We strongly support their mission to save lives through improved helmet safety awareness.
More motorbikes — and more mobility options everywhere — will help reduce Bangkok’s famous congestion, too. When the alternatives to car ownership are just as reliable and safe, we won’t have to make decisions based what’s available. Instead, we’ll have the flexibility to make choices that are better for us and better for the cities we live in.