Uber’s bike taxi service, which kicked off in Bangalore recently, promptly ran into legal roadblocks put up by the government, with authorities seizing a whole bunch of motorbikes operating under the UberMoto banner. However, Uber hasn’t given up and is looking to reintroduce the service by making some changes in the workings of the system.
The company recently posted an update on its website in which — among other things — it talked about its motive behind initiating the service in the first place and about some of the changes made by the company.
In the spirit of collaborating with the government, we have had extensive discussions with the relevant authorities over the past few days. Today, we have made some modifications to our ongoing pilot service with a commitment to operate within the existing framework.
The company also said that it’s aim behind launching the service was “decongestion of the roads” and “filling empty seats”, rather than reaping profits (ok, seriously ?). To prove its point, the company stated that the service was launched to operate at cost only and Uber itself, was not going to charge any service fee for the period of the pilot.
Although, it will probably be too much to hope that the company continues to operate on a free model, after the pilot as well. It is a business after all and businesses exist to profit.
Meanwhile, after the pilot, the company is looking to draft a report that will discuss the usefulness, as well as the viability of UberMoto in Bangalore. Considering that for all its status as an IT city, Bangalore traffic is still not perfectly smooth and indeed, at times can be quite crowded — Trust me, I speak from personal experience here — the product will probably prove to be suitable.
Although a lot will also depend upon the consumer response and if the public is willing to share bike rides. Car pooling works sure, but then, cars are rather more spacious as well as the cost of travelling alone is higher. Bike travelling is a new vertical in India, its hard to gauge its response at this point.
Uber meanwhile, seems to have high hopes on this count.
In just under a week of launch of uberMOTO, we received an overwhelming response from our riders who embraced the new way of travel that is faster and more affordable.
Well, let’s see what the authorities think of Uber’s latest scheme.