Companies urge government to allow ridesharing services

Shahin Akhter | Published: 02:12, Jun 03,2020


A portion of the ridesharing companies has requested the authorities to give permission for resuming the service as soon as possible.

In a letter sent to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority on Monday, the companies also said that the ridesharing services would make public lives easier and would play a crucial role in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Earlier on May 30, the BRTA sent a letter to the 12 ride-sharing companies registered under it saying that services of all ridesharing companies would remain shut across the country until further notice.

The government resumed operations of public transports including buses from Monday after more than two months.

BRTA chairman Md Yousub Ali Mollah told New Age on Sunday that it was impossible to ensure social distancing on motorcycles, referring to the ridesharing services that extensively use motorbikes.

As most of the vehicles under the companies are not registered under the BRTA, it would also not be possible to check these vehicles in cases of violations of health rules, he added.

On Monday, a letter was sent to the BRTA from the representatives of Uber Bangladesh Limited and Pathao Limited.

The letter said that through the ridesharing service platform it was possible to ensure social distancing as these vehicles were private and these did not have the potential to become crowded like public transports.

It also said that motorcycles were comparatively less risky for carrying passengers for its open seating arrangement.

The companies have also taken safety measures following health regulations, including training facilities for riders and passengers on health regulations, providing sanitiser, masks, hand gloves to the riders (drivers) and taking feedback from riders and passengers, it said.

The letter further said that the ridesharing service providing companies and riders were incurring huge losses while a small portion of the riders continued the service unofficially during the lockdown.

Pathao lead marketing manager Sayeda Nabila Mahbub told New Age on Tuesday that they were yet to get any reply from the authority.

BRTA director for the engineering department Md Lokman Hossain Mollah told New Age on the day that they were yet to take any decision regarding the request from the companies.

After their introduction in 2016, the ridesharing services became a popular means of transport in the country, especially in the capital.

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