UberMOTO: Working Indian women embrace bike services in big way

NEW DELHI: It was raining hard, a time when cabs usually cancel rides blaming the waterlogged roads and jammed traffic.

Radhika Parashar, 25, a professional from the NCR region, took the plunge and booked an ‘uberMOTO’ to reach her home in Sector 77 in Noida.

The rider reached the pick-up point faster than cabs usually do, with a spare helmet and dropped her safe at her destination much earlier than a cab would have.

Parashar is not the only woman hailing bike-taxi services. It is increasingly seen as the new easier to book, fastest, safest yet affordable mode of transport by women in the metros.

“In Delhi-NCR, where people are so skeptical about booking cab services because of several infamous incidents, two-wheeler ride services like uberMOTO works quite well in emergency situations where there is very less time margin to make it to somewhere,” Parashar told IANS.

“Since my first experience was satisfactory, I have been regularly using uberMOTO to reach in hurried situations.”

Launched in 2016, Uber’s bike-sharing initiative uberMOTO expands access to public transport as well as saves time. The most important advantage being its affordability. It gives riders affordable ride through the Uber app, with fares starting as low as Rs 12.

“Uber’s goal is to provide safe, affordable, reliable transportation at the push of a button, everywhere for everyone,” an Uber spokesperson told IANS.

“With uberMOTO, we bring a product that resonates with the people and provides another easy and affordable option for short trips around the town while creating tens of thousands of flexible entrepreneurial opportunities,”the spokesperson added.

Within a year of the launch, the ridesharing app also marked the completion of 2 million trips on uberMOTO in 5 cities — Bengaluru, Gurugram, Faridabad, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

It is currently available to riders in 11 cities in India — Gurugram, Faridabad, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Noida, Ghaziabad, Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Kanpur.

The company has plans to expand to other cities of the country in 2019.

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uberMOTO also includes standard safety features like live GPS tracking, two-way feedback and the ability to share trip details with family and friends.

“In addition, friends, riders and drivers are required to wear helmets on every uberMOTO ride, making it possible to focus on safety for riders and drivers before, during and after every trip in ways that have never been possible before,” Uber said.

“By providing helmets to riders we are helping to positively impact India’s helmet wearing rate, not only for drivers but also for riders.”

According to Uber, it is especially well suited for first mile or last mile connectivity, getting people from their homes or offices to metro stations and vice-versa.

“With motorcycles being commonplace in major cities across India, there is a massive opportunity going forward, to unlock the potential of shared mobility through optimal utilisation of existing vehicles on the road and creating new options for last-mile connectivity,” Uber said.

Besides Uber, Ola’s bike service, named as “Ola Bikes”, has also received tremendous response among women riders in Delhi-NCR, Gurugram and Faridabad.

“We were the first to start this bike service in the country. Today, Ola Bike is known for being cost efficient, safe and providing the last-mile connectivity. Among the working women, we have been a preferred choice,” an Ola spokesperson told IANS.

“We always ensure the pillion and the driver both wear helmet, the bike driver follows road rules and behaves well with the customers,” the spokesperson added.

Ola bike service is present in 31 cities in India.