GrabBike, when are you going to reach Bangkok?

We move in such a fast-paced world that everything needs to be quick. We have to talk faster, act faster, eat faster, walk faster, travel faster. Everything also faster lah.

 

Cycle faster too? (Photo credit: Pravich Vutthisombut)

 

GrabTaxi (known as MyTeksi in Malaysia) is a Made in Malaysia startup, which revolutionized taxi booking service in Malaysia. I remember back then sans a car to my name, having to dial taxi companies, being put on hold for ages, line cut off, call again, operators seem be permanently having a bad day. “No taxi, call back again.” Hang up. I am sure you get the drift.

It is a smartphone-based taxi booking app which allows passengers to find the nearest taxi, and grab it. All information related to the driver and the booked taxi, including their name, the plate number, the phone number, as well as the estimated fare, is made known to the passengers before they get in the cab.

I used it in Bangkok when I had to work late. I like GrabTaxi’s ‘Share your Ride’ function, which allows me to share and track my journey home, complete with the taxi driver’s details, with D.

Just read in Tech In Asia that GrabTaxi launched its motorcycle taxi booking service, GrabBike. It was first launched in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi last year, and now in Jakarta. Nice! Next stop Bangkok, presumably?

You reckon my old regular ‘xe om(Vietnam motorcyle taxi) drivers in Ho Chi Minh are now on GrabBike?

 

One of my regular ‘xe om’ drivers when I worked in hcmc few years ago

 

If they can launch it in Vietnam, I am pretty sure that Thailand will be next. But how do resolve the ‘mafia’ problem? There are problems like mafia-controlled queue, extortion and these problems do not exist in Vietnam, to my knowledge.

Wah, it would be nice if I can find the nearest ‘rab jang‘ (Thai motorcycle taxi) in Bangkok, know who’s the driver and the fare in advance. But I normally use it for short journeys, such as from MRT to office building, and the fare is normally fixed at 20 baht. How much is the service fee going to be? Unlike taxi, rab jang’s fare is lower. So, how are they going to price the service fee?

 

‘Son’ on local rab jang few months back in Bangkok

 

 

Writer

Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.