• Thursday, Apr 09, 2020
  • Last Update : 03:05 am

Coronavirus: Is ride-sharing ban good or bad?

  • Published at 10:07 pm March 25th, 2020
Ride sharing app
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Some passengers and drivers suggest limiting ride sharing rather than banning it completely

Operators, drivers and users of ride sharing services have mostly welcomed the ban on ride sharing to fight against coronavirus. 

However, some also claim many people will suffer due to this ban as people will still need to move in case of emergency.

Many people are unable to walk a long distance to address emergencies like buying medicine or medical equipment which is not available everywhere in the capital city.

Syeda Nabila Mahbub, head of marketing for Pathao told Dhaka Tribune: “We welcome such a ban by BRTA in a bid to fight against Coronavirus.”

“We aren’t emphasizing on our business slowing down due to the ban on ride sharing. We care about our customer, user, and driver safety first,” she added.

Meanwhile some passengers and drivers have suggested that the government should limit the operation rather than banning it completely.

“We have no vehicles for traveling in case of emergency, like getting some important medicine which is not always available at all local pharmacies,” said Debobrata Das, an elderly citizen in the Rampura area. 

“Ride sharing is the only income source for many riders. They will face huge difficulties in earning a livelihood in Dhaka as they are forced to move to their village homes,” said Abul Hayat, a rider.

The government is going to impose suspension of all modes of public transport from March 26 including ride sharing services to ensure social distancing in the wake of coronavirus. The ban will continue till April 4, 2020. 

During this time people are not allowed to go out unnecessarily but this ban will also make it difficult to go to markets to buy daily needs.

Hundreds of motorcycle and private cars, which operate under app-based ride-sharing services will be off the roads for 10 days from Thursday.

Launched in 2016, Uber gained rapid popularity in Dhaka, the city of traffic congestion and transport chaos. Pathao, OBHAI, Pickme, Shohoz, and some other ridesharing firms are also operating in Bangladesh.

The government on Tuesday imposed a ban on all public transport across Bangladesh to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, and to ensure social distancing and isolation.

Bangladesh’s Road Transport Act considers any motorized vehicle transporting paying customers as public transport.

Therefore, all commercial passenger vehicles such as buses, taxis, autorickshaws, and other human haulers (such as Nasimon, Porimon) will fall under the purview of the restriction. People can only move around using rickshaws and their own private vehicles as per the act.