Motorcycle cabs for everyone

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Motorcycle cabs for everyone


Paris, April 2009

They used to be the prerogative of company managers, political figures and VIPs in a hurry. Today, motorcycle cabs want to reach a wider public... with small prices.

Two of the most important Parisian motorcycle cab companies are breaking their prices, modelling their strategy on the low-cost offers of the airlines. While Citybird has created happy hours (between 11 am and 3 pm), Motocab has launched Motojet, which offers low fares throughout the day. With Motojet, you can make any trip in Paris for €18.50 or go from Paris to Orly for €43.50.

Runs that cost 19 € and 34 € at Citybird (for scooters). That is to say, prices well below the traditional motorcycle cabs (where equivalent trips cost up to 50 € and 65 €). But, as in the air, the drop in prices is accompanied by a minimal service: a compulsory reservation by Internet, an impossible cancellation and penalties in case of delay.

"Almost all customers are new followers"

While Philippe Hervé, CEO of Motocab, clearly states that he wants to "accompany the crisis", Cyril Masson, president of Citybird, insists on his desire to smooth out a business with strong time variations. But in both cases, the objective is the same: to democratize a means of transportation perceived as a luxury service. For the time being, customers are slowly taking the bait: Citybird has about four daily happy hour rides (out of 140 in total), while Motojet has five (out of 115). "Almost all the customers are newcomers," Philippe Hervé proudly points out. Of course, in the cab industry, low-cost services make people cringe. "Motocab will weaken the small companies," says Patrick Viaud, manager of Allo Moto. I don't believe in low-cost," says Eddy Lacour, president of All by Bike. We have a high-end clientele: we need a prestigious service. On the side of the National Federation of cab artisans, they assure that the cars remain "largely competitive"...

But if the low-cost approach appeals to executives, the motorcycle cab business could see a serious boost. "It's a very promising sector," says Cyril Masson, who has doubled his turnover every year for the past five years. The president of Motocab adds: "Today, there are only 250 motorcycles in Paris; there could be 500.

Source: Le