Ridesharing services gained popularity and became inseparable part of commuters in major cities in Bangladesh three years after their introduction but half of the companies and most vehicles under such services continue operation without proper approval.
Twelve ridesharing companies got approval from Bangladesh Road Transport Authority till November 6 and of them only six companies and 600 motor vehicles received enlistment certificates from the authority which is mandatory to operate the business.
Technical glitches in BRTA Service Portal delayed the procedure of issuing enlistment certificates against vehicle owners under six more companies by a month, said officials.
From July 1 this year, the authority started to implement the Ridesharing Services Guideline 2017 which came into effect on March 8, 2018 allowing commercial use of private vehicles across the country.
The service was introduced in Bangladesh by Uber Technologies Inc in November 2016 on Dhaka roads which now spread to Chattogram and Sylhet without government approval.
Thousands of people daily avail the service mainly by cars and motorcycles using smart phones.
According to section ‘Ka’ of the guideline, all ridesharing service provider companies and motor vehicle owners will have to receive enlistment certificates from the BRTA to provide the service.
Initially, a company needs to apply for enlistment certificate on BRTA Service Portal and after evaluation, the authority gives approval to the company and issues an electronic certificate on the portal which they cannot print unless minimum 100 vehicles running under the company get the certificates, officials said.
Only then the companies and the car owners can get printed certificate and continue business, said BRTA director (engineering) Md Lokman Hossain Mollah.
As per a progress report regarding ridesharing services, up to November Pickme Limited, Computer Network System Limited, O Bhai Solutions Limited, Chaldal Limited, Segesta Limited and Akash Technology Limited had 100 vehicles having enlistment certificates against each of the companies.
The procedure of issuing enlistment certificates against vehicle owners under Pathao Limited, Uber Bangladesh Limited, Ezzyr Technologies Limited, Shohoz Limited, Akiz Online Limited, and Buddy Limited are now under process, said a BRTA engineering department senior officer.
The procedure delayed following a technical glitch with BRTA Service Portal for around one month, the officer added.
Another company Probahan Private Limited applied for its enlistment certificate but they did not submit any papers, officials added.
The authority, based on complaints of passengers, recently gave some directives to the ridesharing companies for not cancelling trips again and again, not showing indecent attitude to female riders, not demanding extra fare, not going to fixed destination, not parking illegally and for arranging training for drivers.
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