One thing that never changes is the demand to get where you need to go fast. So many mobile apps help people find their nearest bus, rental car, subway line, taxi and even car service. Now one company, Uber, is expanding its luxury car service on demand to include motorcycle taxis. The company announced this new option to its car service app, but sadly, only in Paris.
Starting Monday, Uber users in Paris can order motorcycle taxis via the app and cut through all the metro traffic that clogs up the streets. This addition comes after an announcement earlier this summer, labelled "Uber X," where users could request more than just the black Lincoln Town cars and SUVs that were already within the service to include Hybrids and other hired cars.
This expansion of the service can make some options more affordable for users and give people a greater choice in their mode of transportation.
While other apps exist to help bring a taxi right to you, such as MyTaxi and GetTaxi, Uber has specialized in helping users receive a more personalized and higher-end experience.
To order a motorcycle taxi you simply click on the closest motorcycle to you on the Uber map. Thankfully, since Uber does all the transactions in the app, you also don;t have to deal with handing cash over in the whipping wind swirling your motorcycle driver.
Uber didn't specify just what the motorcycle rates are, but since the company has been working on staying competitive, it should be the most reasonable pricing model in its fleet.
Since Uber partners with black car/limo service companies to provide their services that usually run 20-40% pricer than a standard taxi. Uber's business model is to take a percentage of the transportation fee.
The goal of the Uber founders is to create a better personal transportation option for people in big cities that rely on multiple options to get them around, especially when the company touts an average wait time of five to 10 minutes.
The San Francisco-based startup, which has raised $43 million from investors since 2011, has a presence in major metro cities globally (from Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco to the London and Paris.)
Uber has been able to expand so rapidly through these metro areas because it is a dispatch service that vets personal drivers rather than buying cars and hiring drivers individually. This helps services and drivers that otherwise might have a challenging time filling up there hours -- they are able to pick up a rider here or there in-between their other scheduled trips.
And when I had a chance to speak with the Uber drivers I met, both were very happy to have this option available to them since it gave them a much wider clientele than the celebrities and company executives they were familiar with. Now anyone with a smartphone that wants a quick and reliable ride can get a hired car in minutes. My first Uber request for a car in Santa Monica took only 45 seconds to respond and arrive in front of the hotel I was at -- that is second to none.
In San Francisco, 400 drivers are signed up with Uber, and continues to swell -- and as a San Franciscan, I can attest that haling a cab at peak hours can be like fighting for a dress at a bridal sale so I am happy to hear of this expansion.