Officials ordered GrabBike and UberMoto to halt their services last week and conveniently, only four days later, the Motorcycle Taxi Thailand Association’s “GoBike” was released.
Following the blackout of the two popular services, the moto-taxi application “GoBike” was made available for download yesterday in the Apple Store as Bangkok’s first official and fully-legal moto-taxi app.
Working just like GrabBike and UberMoto, users can select their pick-up and drop-off locations and the fare will be calculated for them before they call for a ride. But the difference is all GoBike drivers must be moto-taxi drivers registered with the Department of Land Transport.
GoBike was created by the Motorcycle Taxi Thailand Association and received funding from the private sector. The association is seeking approval from the Ministry of Transport, Chalerm Changthongmadan, Director of Motorcycle Taxi Thailand Association, told Coconuts.
“Now we’re only testing the app with a few motorcycle-taxi drivers. We’re seeking a talk with Ministry of Transport to make sure the service is abided by the law,” Chalerm said.
He said that the fare for the new app is calculated by the standard rate you’d pay to the win dudes on your soi, but prices start at THB20.
There are 100,000 motorcycle-taxi drivers who are members of the association that support the GoBike application.
“This is very important step to lift the standards of our occupation, so that society will accept us,” Chalerm said in a GoBike’s video announcement.
As locals are regularly overcharged by both taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers, Grab and Uber made good impressions on Bangkokians although services such as GrabCar and UberX are still illegal under the Thai law.
Correction: The previous version of the story said that application was government-funded due to a misunderstanding during an interview with a staff member of the Motorcycle Taxi Thailand Association. However, Coconuts has contacted Director Chalerm Changthongmadan to confirm the story.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!