The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority has given approval to 10 ridesharing service providers that have failed to fulfil the conditions. The Road Transport Authority on July 1 began to implement the Ridesharing Services Guideline 2017 which came into effect on March 8, 2018 allowing the commercial use of privately owned vehicles. All ridesharing companies and motor vehicle owners, in line with the guideline, will need to receive enlistment certificates from the authority to provide the service. After getting the approval, however, none of these companies could get the enlistment certificates for not fulfilling the conditions outlined in the guideline.
All ridesharing service providers will have to receive enlistment certificates from the road transport authorities for offering the service. The guideline also says that no ridesharing companies will be allowed to provide the service if they do not have a minimum number of motor vehicles in their fleet. It says that owners of the motor vehicles running under these companies also have to receive enlistment certificates against each motor vehicle to head off any complications. The companies must keep an SOS, or Save our Souls, in their service, which will allow a button to send information of the riders and passengers’ Global Positioning System to the national emergency helpline to protect the users or riders from any threat or crimes. But these rules have not been complied with stringently by most of the companies. Some road accidents involving the ridesharing services, therefore, have raised the question of legal framework to handle this service. Although ridesharing services using motorcycles are getting popular as they can save time in cities in the grip of traffic snarls, untrained bikers employed under these services are often being a cause of fatal accidents. What is worrisome is that as these bikers possess non-professional driving licence, their driving skills were not tested by any authorities concerned. Almost none of these bikers have any training from any government agency or the ridesharing companies for carrying passengers.
The Road Transport Authority needs to act expeditiously to intensify monitoring and surveillance to ensure that the Ridesharing Service Guideline is abided by all concerned before giving them any approval and companies and transport owners then must procure enlistment certificates from the authorities. In a word, the authorities must streamline the ridesharing services by checking the enlistment certificates as well.
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