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Motorcycle Taxi Meters Coming?

  Posted at 12:30:00 PM
  File under  Travel Ideas Gadgets
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
Click to see where Thailand is on a map

Maybe shortly you'll be seeing one of these on a motorcycle taxi in your city. You'll definitely be seeing them shortly in Bangkok, Thailand. Two American expats living there invested 1 million USD in a first-ever meter for motorcycle taxis, called appropriately Moto-Meter.

Motorcycle Taxi Meter

In many countries, specially Asia and Africa, motorcycle taxis are the best, and often only way to get around. In contrast with European motorcycle taxis, where you can not hail one on the road, in Asia you do. Stick up your hand, and a bunch will stop to take you anywhere you want.

But the problem is the fare. You can usually negotiate what you'll be paying in advance, but you never know if you're being cheated, unless you've done the trip many times before. So the solution is obvious. Why not install a meter like the cage taxi have?

But standard taxi meters don't work on a motorcycle. They have not been designed to be out in the elements. Rain, wind, dust, etc will make the meter malfunction, and they are usually reasonably big.

Paul Giles founded World Moto Open link in a new window to produce world's first motorcycle taxi meter. But instead of making a simple meter that records the distance, he added a lot of functionality; so much so that the taxi riders could be more than interested in installing these meters.

Motorcycle Taxi Meter Advertising
Apart from the built-in GPS, used to accurately record the distance, thereby reducing tampering, the GPS is also used for advertising. The idea is quite novel. If the taxi rides close to an advertiser's place, a message appears on the meter's display. Imagine you're riding through the city center and you get close to the "ACME Ltd" clothing shop... up flashes a message on the screen saying that "There is a 50% discount sales going on now". Nifty way to earn an extra buck.

The Moto-Meter also comes equipped with a "black box". This device records speeds, distance, time etc. The black box is there for the passenger's safety. Now with this black box, if a motorcycle taxi speeds, he will know that it's being recorded, and if he crashes, they'll know why.

Even for Asia, and other countries, the device is not that expensive. $180 will get you the device, which despite low wages for motorcycle cab riders, is still affordable. If you add to that the additional income the box can generate from advertising, plus the likelihood that clients will prefer your motorcycle taxi over un-metered one, it could be a good deal.

In Europe, motorcycle taxis usually work on a flat fee basis, like €25 to cross the city. But this could be a fairer system to all, specially the client. So maybe this is an idea who's time has come.

Great idea.

Click here to access the World Moto web site Open link in a new window.

Below is a (boring) video of the Moto-Meter in use.

Motorcycle Taxi Meter Bangkok (2 minutes 5 seconds)

Click to see the Video clip

Via: Fastcompany

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