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Uber, Ola launch rival motorbike-hailing services in Bengaluru

Two-wheelers are the most popular form of transport in many of India’s traffic-clogged cities.

A file picture showing an India man showing the Uber app to book the three wheeler in New Delhi, India. Picture: EPA/Harish Tyagi.

NEW DELHI - Uber Technologies Inc. and Ola launched rival motorcycle-hailing services in Bengaluru on Thursday, as the competitors go head-to-head to target commuters tired of sitting in their cars in traffic.

Two-wheelers are the most popular form of transport in many of India's traffic-clogged cities, but schemes to rent a bike and driver by the kilometre are rare.

Uber, which is investing heavily to compete against local ride-hailing services across Asia, including Ola in India, is piloting "uberMOTO" as a project developed specifically for cities in emerging markets.

Last week it announced its first motorcycle scheme, choosing Thailand's capital Bangkok, where it will compete with GrabTaxi, which already lets users book motorcycle taxis in some South East Asian countries.

Ola, also based in Bengaluru, formerly Bangalore, and backed by Japan's Softbank Group, said its "Bike Taxis" would help customers zip through traffic.

India is one of the world's largest markets for two-wheelers.

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