Mini Oway three-wheel bikes to hit Man­dalay

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Business - SEPTEM­BER 15, 2017 AYE NYEIN WIN BUSI­NESS 10 BUSI­NESS 13

ayenyein­win@mm­times.com

LO­CAL tax op­er­a­tor Oway Ride will soon in­tro­duce a new three-wheel means of trans­port - Mini Oway - in Man­dalay on Septem­ber 17, U Kyaw Min Swe, Se­nior Di­rec­tor and Head of Oway Ride, told The Myan­mar Times on Septem­ber 13.

Mini Oway, a three-wheel bike ser­vice, will be the com­pany’s third trans­port ser­vice in the city af­ter its taxi and mo­tor­cy­cle ser­vices be­gan op­er­at­ing in the city last Septem­ber.

Un­like Yangon, mo­tor­cy­cles are the main mode of trans­port in Man­dalay. Un­der Oway Ride, mo­tor­cy­cle fares start at a min­i­mum of K500 per ride. How­ever, taxi fares are much pricier at a start­ing price of K5,000 com­pared to Yangon, where fares start from as low as K1,000.

“Oway mo­tor­cy­cle fares are cheap but only for sin­gle rid­ers. Fam­i­lies need a ve­hi­cle that can trans­port at least two peo­ple and one that can also be used dur­ing the rainy or hot sea­sons. So, we came up with a three­wheel ride that is be­tween a car and mo­tor­cy­cle,” said U Kyaw Min Swe.

“Even though it is three-wheeler bike, the en­gines are pow­er­ful and the seats will be cov­ered. It will have the ca­pac­ity to carry at least two peo­ple.”

In Man­dalay, taxi fares are ex­pen­sive be­cause of a lack of pas­sen­gers. So, most drivers charge enough to cover their re­turn trip. While mo­tor­cy­cle fares are cheap, many re­gard them as dan­ger­ous.

“Now, pas­sen­gers can choose be­tween three Oway trans­port op­tions us­ing our app. All ve­hi­cles are reg­is­tered and pas­sen­gers can ride safely even at night,” said U Kyaw Min Swe.

Im­por­tantly, pas­sen­gers can eas­ily book a bike through the Oway Ride app or call cen­tre. “Since we can­not pro­vide a bike ser­vice like that in Yangon, we chose Man­dalay. The fares will be a lit­tle higher than nor­mal Oway mo­tor­cy­cles and fol­low a me­tered sys­tem,” U Kyaw Min Swe said.

He added that Mini Oway will also tar­get tourists and vis­i­tors from around the coun­try. The ser­vice will start out near fa­mous tourist des­ti­na­tions like the Man­dalay Ma­harmy­at­muni Pagoda, Man­dalay Cen­tral Rail­way sta­tion and other crowded ar­eas.

The com­pany will start out with 100 new bikes and has al­ready re­cruited enough drivers. Over the longer term, it will in­crease its three-wheel bike ser­vice around Man­dalay.

The move will also help to boost the num­ber of Oway Ride users af­ter the app got off to a bumpy start when it was first in­tro­duced last year.

‘’Frankly, Oway ‘s ser­vice was not suit­able when we in­tro­duced it last year. We had prob­lems fix­ing the fare. Be­cause our fares were lower, the other taxi drivers were wor­ried they would lose their mar­ket,” said U Kyaw Min Swe. “But we do not want to can­ni­balise their mar­ket. We did not com­mu­ni­cate this well.”

The taxi mar­ket stands a chance if fares are low­ered to more rea­son­able lev­els. “The taxi in­dus­try in Man­dalay is ex­pen­sive and has dif­fi­culty com­pet­ing with mo­tor­cy­cles. Ev­ery home in Man­dalay has one or two mo­tor­bikes,” said Ko San Yu Kyaw a res­i­dent from Aung Myay Thar Zan Town­ship in Man­dalay.

“But mo­tor­cy­cle crashes are very fre­quent and ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics one per­son dies from a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent ev­ery two days. So if the taxi ser­vice is de­vel­oped prop­erly, peo­ple will re­duce the use of mo­tor­cy­cles,” he added.

Oway Ride is the very first taxi ser­vice com­pany in Man­dalay to in­tro­duce the use of a mo­bile app. “But most of the res­i­dents in Man­dalay still do not know about Oway Ride. We hope they will start to no­tice once we launch the three wheel­ers,” U Kyaw Min Swe said.

Traf­fic in Man­dalay. Photo: The Myan­mar Times

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