The Ridesharing Service Guideline 2017 allowing commercial use of private vehicles across the country is going to be implemented from tomorrow (Thursday).
Under the service, private companies and vehicle owners are being allowed to run private vehicles, like cars, motorbikes, jeeps, microbuses and ambulances commercially.
Introduced in 2016, app-based ridesharing services offered by Uber, Pathao, Sohoz, FlitBD and SAM, particularly in Dhaka and Chittagong metropolitan cities, have gained popularity even without government approval.
The government published a gazette notification in this regard on February 28 which says the guideline comes into effect from March 8, 2018 in the country.
The cabinet on January 15 approved the guideline in the face of crisis of comfortable private transports at affordable charges in the city in particular.
The guideline says that the fare rate of private cars will not be higher than the fare fixed at the Taxicab Service Guideline, 2010 while the government can fix or re-fix the fare rates in cases of the passengers’ dissatisfaction.
It did not mention about fare rates of motorcycles.
All ridesharing companies and motor vehicle owners have to receive enlistment certificates from Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
The vehicles also need registration certificates, owners’ TIN certificates, Owners and drivers’ national identification cards and updated fitness certificates, tax tokens, driving licences for enlistment.
In cases of any irregularities, action will be taken as per law, it adds.
According to the guideline, the service will ease traffic congestion by controlling the number of small vehicles and reduce passengers’ sufferings by carrying them in private cars.
On November 22 in 2016, Uber Technologies Inc launched their ride sharing service in Dhaka for the first time in Bangladesh, only to be declared illegal by BRTA on November 26 of the same year as the company did not have prior permission from the regulatory body.
But the ride sharing services - providing car and bike services - have attracted a growing number of commuters who said that the services were comfortable, cheaper and faster while anyone could avail these services anytime, even at midnight at their doorstep with better service and comparatively lower fares.
As a result, many commuters were turning their backs on compressed natural gas-run auto-rickshaws as the drivers of these vehicles’ often appear reluctant when approached by anyone for a ride and deny following government fixed fare rate.
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