Uber has today confirmed it has temporarily suspended its UberMoto pilot service in Bangkok following pressure from regulators.
Motorcycle taxi service UberMoto was launched in February and allowed users in Bangkok to hail motorcycle taxi through the Uber app.
At the time of its launch, Uber said its two wheel service would be the “most affordable mobility option in Bangkok” and cheaper than local motorbike taxi operators.
The company also said it would aim to pick up customers within two minutes.
On Tuesday, officials from Thailand’s Department of Land Transport ordered Uber and rival Grab, which operates the Grab Taxi motorcycle service in Bangkok, to immediately halt operations in the capital.
Nunthapong Cherdchu, deputy director general of the DLT summoned executives from both companies for talks on Tuesday where they were informed they were breaking the law by operating.
The companies were told that all motorcycle taxi drivers in Bangkok needed to be registered or drivers would be fined if they continued to operate.
Mr Nunthapong said that UberMoto and Grab Bike had been told in March to stop their motorcycle taxi services but had ignored the DLT’s warning.
Mr Nunthapong accused both companies of operating outside of the law and added that a total of 66 drivers from Uber and Grab had already been arrested and that they would face fines of up to 4,000 Baht, with repeat offenders having their licenses suspended.
In a statement issued on Wednesday lunchtime, Uber said its motorcycle taxi service will stop operating temporarily.
“Despite strong support from Thai riders and drivers, we have decided to temporarily suspend our Bangkok pilot, starting at noon while we work on creating modern regulations for app-based motorbike services with the Government”, Uber said in a statement.
“We are pleased that the Thai Government is open to discussing new rules that would enable services like uberMOTO for passengers to operate. And we’re grateful for their support when it comes to using motorbikes as couriers and to deliver food. This means we will be able to launch delivery services like uberRUSH and uberEATS as soon as possible, so please stay tuned”, the statement read.
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