Uber rolls out bike taxis in Bengaluru

Uber is launching motorbike taxis in Bengaluru from Thursday , a service that will be priced lower than an autorickshaw. The bike taxi may enable a commuter to get around faster than in a car or an auto in congested Bengaluru. Rival Ola plans to shortly launch a similar bike taxi service. Uber launched the service, called UberMoto, for the first time in the world in Bangkok, about 10 days ago.
Bengaluru is the second city to see the service. The pilot project is expected to be extended to other Indian cities once Uber gains greater confidence about the model. A customer can share a ride with Uber's motor bike taxi drivers for Rs 3-5 per km, besides a minimum fare and a per-minute fare, say sources familiar with the development. The service is targeted at short trips. Uber declined to comment on the matter.
Ola declined to comment on its plans, but sources said its service is in the works.
The segment has seen a lot of interest. Some 20 bike taxi startups have been launched in India over the past 18 months, including Gurgaon-based Baxi and MTaxi and Bengaluru-based Rapido, Pillionaire, Heybob and Headlyt. Headlyt charges Rs 5 per km and has a base fare of Rs 15. Some keep their base fare at Rs 10 for the first 1-2 km and then charge in the range of Rs 4-5 per km.
Baxi has raised $1.5 million from a clutch of investors, has 400 bikes on its platform, and says it is seeing about 3,000 rides a day in Gurgaon and Faridabad. It charges a 10% commission on the total fare.
With the Karnataka government making it mandatory for pillion riders to wear helmets, UberMoto drivers will have a helmet available for its riders. At the end of the trip, customers can choose to pay using cash or wallet. UberMoto will also allow any two-wheeler owner to register himself on the platform to offer rides, say sources.

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