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BRTA plans to limit out-of-town bikes for ride sharing in Dhaka

  • Published at 12:34 am March 20th, 2019
Ride sharing apps
The large number of bikes in Dhaka, experts say come from out of town as people are trying to cash in on ride sharing apps Dhaka Tribune

They come from all conceivable directions including the opposite lanes making daily commute increasingly hazardous like Kaniz Khan getting into accidents three times in one month

The streets of Dhaka have seen a recent phenomenon of bikes emulating a movement, best described as the flight of a bumble bee.

They come from all conceivable directions including the opposite lanes making daily commute increasingly hazardous like Kaniz Khan getting into accidents three times in one month.

Kaniz working for a private firm usually uses a bike from ride sharing services because they are fast and cheap and helps her get to work on time.

But that comes with a cost. She had got into three accidents in one month alone because most of the bike drivers are in a rush to catch as many trips a day as possible.

“I blame their reckless driving for the accidents. Surprisingly, I spoke to them, who said most of them were from out of Dhaka who came to the city to make an earning. They do not know the roads and were riding recklessly,” she said.

On July 4 last year, a passenger using Pathao services died and the biker sustained injuries after a double-decker bus hit the bike on the Airport Road in Dhaka.

In September last year, both passenger and driver of a ride-hailing service were killed when a lorry ran over their motorcycle in Dhaka’s Motijheel area.

This large number of bikes in Dhaka, experts say come from out of town, people coming to cash in on the ride sharing apps.

Currently, ride-sharing service Pathao has over 30,000 registered bikers and its services are available in Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Gazipur and Narayanganj.

OBHAI has more than 20,000 registered riders in Dhaka and Chittagong, said Quazi Omar Ferdous, COO of OBHAI.

However they failed to specify how many of the riders operating in the city,are from out of Dhaka.

BRTA’s plan

These motorcycles have now become a burden for the city as they  create havoc on the roads and increase traffic jams, according to experts from the transportation sector.

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority data, as of January 2019, shows about 2,500,000 motorcycles have been registered across the country with 6,00,000 in Dhaka alone. About 60% of the riders in Bangladesh do not have a license, says the regulator.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Joint Commissioner (Traffic – South) Mofiz Uddin Ahmed said most motorcyclists do not obey traffic rules resulting in a rising number of accidents.

“It is easy to bring heavy vehicles or public transport under control, but in the case of motorcycles, it is a rather difficult,” he said.

Currently, motorbikes in Dhaka have exceeds the capacity as most of the motorcyclists come from out of Dhaka to make a living,” he added.

Traffic department have recently proposed to BRTA to formulate a specific policy to either limit or completely ban out of town riders, notified the police official.

“After the BRTA's decision, we can take measures to stop the movement of bike riders in Dhaka,” he added.

BRTA Director (road safety) Sheikh Md Mahbub-e-Rabbani told the Dhaka Tribune that the ride-sharing services are attracting more bikers every day, most of whom are violating traffic laws. “We accepted the recommendations of the traffic department.

“Within one month, we will start the route approval process for these ride sharing bikers. Then we will only allow the drivers from Dhaka to ply the streets of the capital and others will be allowed to operate in their respective districts,” he added.

He added that out of town bikers will have to be registered through an online system before they are allowed back on the streets of Dhaka.

“Our technical team is working on this,” he added.

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