Popular ride-hailing company Uber is set to roll out its bike sharing service UberMOTO in Dhaka today, presenting yet another transport option for the city-dwellers yearning for more convenient service in a city known for its notorious traffic congestion.
The San Francisco-based global transportation technology company made the announcement on its official Facebook page. According to the post, riders using the two-wheeler service can travel 4 kilometres at less than Tk 60 in the capital. The popular ride-sharing venture also declared some distance-based prices.
The fare for an 8km drive will be less than Tk 120 and for 20km it will cost less than Tk 300.
The company however said nothing about base fare, waiting charges, or per kilometre fare.
A spokesperson of Uber said there would be no waiting charges and further information will be made available after the service hits the road.
According to the official, MOTO drivers will carry two helmets: one for themselves and one for riders. All riders and drivers must wear the helmet as per the law. To use the service, users will have to select MOTO app on their smartphones, enter pickup location and payment method, and request a ride. They will receive the drivers' details: name, photo and details of the motorbike.
Riders can pay by cash, credit or debit card and receive an electronic receipt via the app.
UberMOTO is the second venture in Dhaka that is rolling out the motorcycle taxi-hailing service.
Pathao, a local venture, has gained huge popularity after it inaugurated the service in July last year.
Analysts said in cities like Dhaka where traffic jams cost its inhabitants dearly in wasted time, fuel and energy, bikes have become very popular as they help weave through the congestion cutting travel times.
Now it has become the most preferred and cost-effective transportation mode in Dhaka, evident from the surge of almost 40 percent in motorcycle sales in the past one year, according to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
Last year Uber introduced its car-based ride-sharing service in Dhaka.
Uber launched UberMOTO service in India and completed two million trips in the first year of the operation. It also had similar success in several cities of Indonesia and Vietnam.