The future is cloudy for post-UberMoto Bangkok.
What if someone came up with an app to make motorcycle prices transparent, allowing credit card payments and forcing drivers to supply a clean helmet to their passengers? Well, the government would ban it, of course.
That’s exactly what happened to UberMoto and GrabBike last week, who clearly were cutting into the revenue stream of our boys in brown. What’s more, the junta now says it will develop its very own app for motocycle taxis.
But for now we have GoBike. Launched May 22, it's Thailand's first "legal" motorbike taxi app, meeting the strict regulations set by the Department of Land Transport. The app is a partnership between a private company registered in Hong Kong and, wait for it, the Motorcycle Taxi Association Thailand, whose chairman can be seen in a video introducing it.
The app is available for free download from Apple Store and Google Play. The booking process seems pretty simple—set your pickup and drop-off points and the app will calculate the fare rate for you before you confirm (starting from B20)—but right now it barely seems to work anywhere. We've tried to book rides from Sathorn over the past two days without any luck.