Ride sharing: blessing for city dwellers for quick movement

DHAKA, Oct 18, 2018 : In the present competitive world where each moment is counted, recent sprouting of ride sharing in Dhaka metropolis seems to be a blessing and beneficial for its dwellers to cope with traffic jam that causes losing of huge working hours daily costing the economy billions of dollars.

The traffic congestion in Dhaka is wasting around 3.2 million working hours daily, due to the current average driving speed of hardly seven kilometres an hour, costing the economy billions of dollars, according to a World Bank report.

The ride sharing is now geared to replace gradually CNG-run auto-rickshaws and taxis as the latter rarely take fare according to the meter. Rather they charge extra amount ignoring the meter rate.

Under the circumstances, arrival of apps-based ride sharing services have become popular for city dwellers as they can now move from one place to another within minutes and thus it saves people’s valuable time. It can accelerate further the country’s upward economic trend.

Different ride sharing apps, like Uber and Pathao, are offering the user-friendly services at a cheap rate and at the doorsteps of city dwellers.

For this, like many other people, Mustafizur Rahman Bhuiyan, a businessman, is contented with using the ride sharing apps for moving from Motijheel to Gulshan-2 to see his ailing brother-in-law at the United Hospital.

“Initially, I used CNGs, but they didn’t agree to go using meters but asked for exorbitant fare. Then, I started to travel by motorbike through ride sharing app as per suggestion of my nephew,” he added.

The bike journey was very smooth and tension free as well as saved time and money both, he said.

In Dhaka, ride-sharing, especially motorbike sharing, has become most popular for quick journey from one place to another. However, the ride sharing also creates additional income opportunities for motorbike and car owners.

M Raju Rahman has been running a ‘rent a car’ and garments related businesses in Adabor area for long. Due to business purpose, he has to move different places through his own motor-bike. Now, this also gives an opportunity of extra income by sharing his ride through different apps.

“I use different apps, but I feel comfortable through using the Uber for their payment system. But, Uber doesn’t show the customers’ destination during call, which creates problems for taking my decision,” he said.

He said the travelers, especially old Dhaka city dwellers, want to go through bike as the area is the most densely-populated areas in the city.

“From my business, I can run my five-member family quite well, but the additional income from the ride sharing, around Taka 15,000 monthly gives me more opportunities to support them,” he added.

The ride sharing service is blessing for the Dhaka city dwellers as they can get their transports without hassle as well as it is time and money saver, but it is also a reason of increasing traffic jam for huge movement of private transports, said Police Sergeant M Younus Mia Akhand.

“Earlier, a private car owner only used the car for his or herself, but now he uses it in the ride sharing for extra income,” he added.

Around seven month ago, Nizam Matbur and his younger brother bought a private car at a cost of Taka 17 lakh and started to share it in the Uber.

“I am working as a driver of a private company. The salary is not good for bearing the expenses of my four-member family. So, I share the car in the Uber after office hour and on holidays for extra income,” said Nizam.

Moreover, he said, his younger brother runs his family from the income of ride sharing.

Another Uber rider, Mohammad Jasim, who began to work as a rider for two years ago, said earlier there were many cars in the workshops, but cars are now scarcely left in the workshops as many of them are being used in the ride sharing.

Mejbah Uddin Sarief Patowary said his family members have to frequently visit relatives. In the part traveling was not hassle-free, but now it becomes easier as they can hire Uber private cars within minutes.

A spokesperson for Uber said his company officially started its operation in Dhaka on 22 November 2016. Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing markets in the region and continues to receive overwhelming response from both rider and driver partners, he added.

He said Uber Bangladesh is also providing its riders and driver partners with insurance coverage. “We are humbled by the love we have received from our riders and driver partners in Bangladesh,” he added.