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UberMOTO Launches in Thailand

In an effort to compete with regional car-hailing apps like GrabBike and Go-Jek, Uber launched its own motorbike taxi service in Bangkok on Wednesday.

UberMOTO will now ferry passengers around the Thai capital on two wheels, reports Tech in Asia, a move prompted not only by stiff competition from the above-mentioned apps but also the city's car-congested streets.

To start, UberMOTO plans to focus its efforts on Bangkok, however the new service could easily be extended to all emerging markets, including countries like Vietnam and Indonesia.

Since Uber's arrival in 2014, Vietnam has had an interesting relationship with the app. The global company had barely launched in Vietnam before authorities cracked down on its service. The Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department, under duress from larger cab companies, deemed the app illegal in late 2014.

Days later, however, Ministry of Transport officials returned, saying they would consider legalizing the car-hailing service by adjusting legislation to help the company become legit. The following year, the same ministry launched its own competing app in an effort to then beat Uber at its own game.

None of this has managed to dissuade Uber's ever-growing user base, though competing apps like GrabCar are keeping the American-based service on its toes. More recently, taxi company Vinasun also entered the fray, offering its own Uber-like “VIP Car” services.

In Thailand, UberMOTO has now joined forces with the Thai Traffic Police as well as the Head Awareness Club to promote safety, guaranteeing helmets for all passengers. UberMOTO's additional safety features include a two-way feedback system, live GPS tracking and the ability to share trip details.

UberMOTO's rate currently begins with a base fare of US$0.28 plus US$0.10 per kilometer as well as US$0.02 per minute.

[Photo via Newsroom]

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