Uber and Pathao have requested that the authorities allow them on the streets and promised to maintain health regulations and norms issued by the government
Pathao and Uber, two mobile application based ride-sharing services, have urged the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to allow them to resume their services.
In a joint letter sent to the chairman of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) via its Director Lokman Hossain Mollah on Monday, the companies described the decision to halt ride-sharing services while allowing a resumption of operations of public transport as "contradictory.”
The letter reads: “In many countries, public transports were disallowed, while ride-sharing services were kept open as a safe way to move and maintain social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have been facing huge losses as we have had to keep the service suspended for more than two months. Our riders are also facing financial crises,” it added.
Uber and Pathao requested that the authorities allow them on the streets and promised to maintain health regulations and norms issued by the government.
The letter said they wanted to introduce a mandatory health regulation feature, and every rider would have to follow the instructions from the smart-phone application. Passengers could also lodge complaints or cancel the ride instantly if they did not feel safe with the rider.
The letter noted that ride-sharing on motorcycles was comparatively risk-free due to the strong wind when riding.
Lokman Hossain Mollah, director (Engineering Department) of the BRTA, acknowledged receiving the letter and said the service providers would be apprised of any changes in decisions.
All public vehicles, including buses and minibuses, resumed operations on Monday as per government directives. Private vehicles, including cars and motorbikes, have been on the roads on a limited scale since before Eid-ul-Fitr.
On May 30, without mentioning any specific reason, the BRTA asked all ride-sharing service providers to keep their operations suspended until further notice in view of the country's Covid-19 situation.
Yusuf Ali Mollah, acting chairman of BRTA, claimed most vehicles under ride-sharing services were motorcycles, where maintaining social distancing might be difficult for both passengers and riders.