Motorcycle filtering and lane sharing is common practice in most Asian and European countries. Thanks to legal protections, commuters on two wheels circumvent traffic jams by slipping past automobiles and trucks. This added convenience not only helps drive motorcycle and scooter sales but also created moto-taxi services to shuttle customers to their destination quickly. It was only a matter of time before rideshare services got in on the action and Uber just started new pilot program on-the-go Parisians.
Already operating in Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and India, UberMoto functions in a similar fashion to the car-hailing service. Customers book a ride through the app and a driver arrives to transport them across town. Unlike hopping in a car, jumping on the back of a motorcycle or scooter requires protective gear, and every UberMoto rider supplies a helmet, gloves, and jacket for the passenger.
Of course, the expedited travel time warrants a premium price and Uber adjusts its fares to not only compete with moto-taxis but with its own rideshare and urban mobility services as well. For example, our colleagues at Le Repaire Des Motards tested the UberMoto app and found out that a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) trip from the La Défense business district to Saint-Lazare railway station costs around €56 ($65 USD). That price isn’t including markups during peak use periods, so the service might be reserved for more dire situations.
While UberMoto is only in its testing phase in Paris, the company hopes to further expand its scope. For now, only members of Uber’s brand loyalty program can access the service, but if the platform succeeds, we may see it in more European cities. Here in America, we won’t hold our breath for UberMoto making the jump across the pond. With California, Hawaii, and Utah only allowing lane filtering, we doubt it’s worth Uber’s efforts, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed and our Uber app updated.