UberMOTO: Bangkok first to get Uber motorcycle taxis
Uber motorcycle taxis to offer cheaper fares than existing taxis in 3 commercial districts starting today, looking to spread Asian-wide.
UberMOTO: Bangkok first to get Uber motorcycle taxis
AFP News agency
Uber offered its first motorcycle taxi service on Wednesday, launching a pilot scheme in Bangkok which could spread across Asia as it takes on chief regional rival Grab Taxi.
Motorcycles have long been a popular commuting option in Bangkok, which has horrendous traffic jams due to increased car ownership and poor city planning.
WEAVE IN & OUT OF TRAFFIC, SPEED ALONG SIDEWALKS
Ubiquitous motorcycle taxi drivers, found at stands across the city wearing bright orange jackets, weave in and out of stalled traffic or speed along sidewalks.
An Uber motorbike which collects passengers from their office or home could prove popular with commuters.
CHEAPER THAN REGULAR MOTORCYCLE TAXIS
Uber will initially roll out their motorcycles in three commercial districts and says the fares should be cheaper than regular motorcycle taxis.
Uber will focus on Thailand for now but does not rule out launching similar services in other traffic clogged Asian megacities like Jakarta and Manila.
"This is the first time we're doing it in any market in the world, so our hope is to develop it and innovate it," Douglas Ma, Uber's head of Asia expansion, told AFP. "If it makes sense, absolutely we want to look at other markets."
Mr Ma declined to say how many motorcycle drivers the company had already signed up but said it was in the thousands.
LOTS OF COMPETITION
Uber will be up against both Singapore based Grab Taxi, which began offering a Bangkok motorcycle service alongside its taxis last year, and the tens of thousands of regular motorcycle taxi drivers, all over Bangkok, who jealously guard their turf.
"I'm really excited to say Thailand is the first country to launch a two-wheeled motorcycle product in all of our cities," Mr. Ma told reporters.
WHAT DO MOTORCYCLE TAXI DRIVERS THINK?
At a taxi stand in the commercial district of Chidlom, motorcycle taxi driver Winai Bunprueng said he was unlikely to join up.
"If I joined the app and I refused to go, they would reprimand or sack me -- but for me now, if I can't agree with passengers on the prices, I won't go," the 37-year-old told AFP.
Chalerm Changthongmadan, head of the Association of Taxi Motorcyclists of Thailand, said he was concerned by the arrival of these new competitors.
"I think it will bring conflict among people who do these jobs," he said.
UBER AMONG WORLD'S MOST VALUABLE STARTUPS
The US company Uber has become one of the world's most valuable startups, worth an estimated US$50 billion and with a presence in 68 countries.
But Uber has faced regulatory hurdles and protests from established taxi operators in most locations where it has launched.
Both Uber and Grab Taxi have shaken up the taxi industry in Bangkok, providing an alternative to the Bangkok's often unreliable taxi drivers who routinely decline passengers, refuse to use their meters, charge fares far beyond what the meter would dictate (especially for tourists) and get away with it.
Learn from listening
- alongside: at the side of, side by side, parallel to - ข้างๆ, อยู่ถัดไป,อยู่ข้าง
- alternative: another choice - ทางเลือก, ตัวเลือก
- arrival: when someone reaches where they are going (arrives) - ขาเข้า การเข้ามา
- based: where the main work of an organisation, business, etc. is done or controlled - ซึ่งเป็นศูนย์กลาง
- bright: becomes lighter - สว่างขึ้น
- charge (verb): to ask an amount of money for goods or a service - เรียกเก็บเงิน
- chief: main; most important - หลัก,สำคัญ
- clogged: blocked, so that nothing can get through - ตัน
- commercial: for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า
- commuters: people who regularly travel between work and home - คนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
- commuting: regularly traveling between work and home - เดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
- competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน
- competitor: a person, team or company that is competing against others - ผู้แข่งขัน, คู่แข่ง
- concerned: worried about something - มีความกังวล
- decline (verb): to say politely that you will not accept something, do something, or say something - ปฏิเสธ, ปฏิเสธที่จะทำ
- develop: to think of or produce a new idea, product, etc. and make it successful; to build new houses, factories, etc. on an area of land, especially land that was not being used effectively before - พัฒนา
- dictate: to tell someone exactly what to do and how to behave - บงการ สั่งการ
- district (noun): an area of a country, town or province, especially one that has particular features - เขต, อำเภอ, บริเวณ, แขวง
- due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
- especially: more with one person, thing, etc. than with others, or more in particular circumstances than in others - โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่ง
- established: be in a successful position over a long period of time - มีตำแหน่งที่มั่นคง
- estimated: thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ
- excited: when something makes you very emotional - ความตื่นเต้น, ความกระตือรือร้น
- expansion: when something increases in size, number or importance - การขยายออก
- fare: the money that you pay for a journey - ค่าโดยสาร
- focus: to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ
- get away with: do something wrong for your own benefit, and not get caught and punished for doing it -
- guard: a person who protect somebody/something - ผู้คุ้มกัน, คนเฝ้า
- horrendous: extremely shocking; extremely unpleasant and unacceptable - น่ากลัว, น่าสยดสยอง
- hurdle: a problem that you must solve before you can do something successfully - อุปสรรค
- initially: at first - ในเบื้องต้น
- innovate (verb): to create or invent new ideas, products, methods or equipment - อินนะเวท, ทำให้เกิดการเปลี่ยนแปลง, เปลี่ยนแปลงใหม่, ปรับปรุงใหม่, ปรับปรุง, นำสิ่งใหม่เข้ามา, ทำไม่ซ้ำแบบใคร
- jacket (noun): a piece of clothing worn on the top half of the body over a shirt, etc. that has sleeves and fastens down the front; a short, light coat - เสื้อแจ๊คเก็ต,เสื้อชั้นนอก
- jealously: unhappy and angry because someone has something or someone you want - หึงหวง, หึง
- launch: starting something - การเริ่มต้น
- location: where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล
- makes sense (verb): is a reasonable thing to do or believe in given the situation -
- megacity (noun): an extremely large city or urban area - เมืองใหญ่
- necessary (adj.): essential, needful, something that you must do or have - จำเป็น, ซึ่งเลี่ยงไม่ได้, ซึ่งเป็นที่ต้องการ, สำคัญ
- option: a choice; something that you can choose in a particular situation - ทางเลือก
- ownership (noun): the condition or state of owning things, having things that you "own", that belong to you, that you are the "owner" of - สิทธิการครอบครอง, ความเป็นเจ้าของ
- passenger: someone who travels in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร
- pilot: of a plan, product or system that is used to test how good something is before introducing it - นำร่อง
- popular (adj): a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
- presence: the fact of being in a particular place, thing or situation - การเข้าร่วม, การมีอยู่
- prove (verb): to show to be true, i.e., to have a particular quality - ปรากฎความจริง
- refuse: to say you not want something that has been offered to you - ปฏิเสธ
- regional: of or relating to a region - เกี่ยวกับภูมิภาค
- regular (adj): normal; following a pattern, especially with the same time and space in between each thing and the next - ปกติ, เป็นประจำ, เสมอๆ
- regulatory (adj): related to "regulations" , official rules on how to do different activities, usually made by the government - ซึ่งควบคุมบังคับ, ซึ่งมีอำนาจควบคุม
- reprimand: to tell someone officially and in a serious way that something they have done is wrong - ตำหนิ, ว่ากล่าว
- rival: a person you are competing against or opposing - คู่แข่ง
- roll out (verb): to introduce something new; to introduce a new product or service; launch - เปิดตัว, เริ่มนำ
- routinely: regularly, done often - จำเจ, บ่อยๆ, ซ้ำซาก
- rule out: to stop considering something as a possibility - ประกาศว่าเป็นสิ่งที่เป็นไปไม่ได้
- sack (noun): forcing someone to leave their job - การปลดออกจากตำแหน่ง
- scheme: a plan for achieving something, especially something illegal or dishonest - แผนการ (ที่มีท่าว่าจะผิดกฎหมาย)
- scheme: a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ
- sidewalk (noun): a flat part at the side of a road for people to walk on - ทางเดิน, ฟุตบาท
- signed up: joined something and became a member by giving signature, join up, sign on - เซ็นชื่อเข้า, ลงชื่อเข้าร่วม
- similar: like somebody/something but not exactly the same - คล้ายกัน
- spread: gradually affecting or covering a larger area - การแพร่กระจาย
- stalled: delayed - ล่าช้า ถ่วงเวลา
- startup (noun): a company that is just beginning to operate - บริษัทใหม่
- takes on: to fight or compete against someone - แข่งขันกับ, ต่อสู้กับ
- taxi stand: a place where people form a line waiting for taxis -
- traffic (noun): the number of cars, trucks and other vehicles traveling along a road at one time - การจราจร
- traffic jam: roads that are very crowded with vehicles - รถติด
- turf: a place or area that someone thinks of as being their own - เขต ฐาน
- ubiquitous: found everywhere, existing everywhere -
- unreliable: not able to work without problems - ไม่มั่นคง
- up against: competing against -
- valuable: worth a lot of money - มีค่า
- weave: to go back and forth, in one direction and then the other -