CNG drivers have demanded that ride-sharing apps be banned, and have threatened with a strike if their demands are not met.
Such demands are unreasonable, such strikes are futile.
Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Pathao have complemented Bangladesh’s vision of a more digital future.
They have provided a significant portion of Dhaka’s population with much-needed commuting services, providing them with the option to take a bike or car with the tap of a button.
Ride-sharing is not only environment-friendly, it is just what Dhaka needs, in the face of suffocating traffic and an inadequate public transport infrastructure.
But, let us face it: CNG drivers have brought this on themselves.
With people tired of haggling and the ensuing exorbitant fares CNGs charge, completely going against the government mandated meter, what else could CNG drivers have expected?
But the drivers alone cannot be blamed. There is little to no regulation when it comes to CNG fares, with law enforcement turning a blind eye. This has allowed CNG drivers to ask for arbitrarily high fares and get away with it, often leaving commuters feeling victimised.
It is also up to the authorities to regularly update the meters to reflect the rising costs associated with inflation and living in the city in general.
We must remember that, at the end of the day, it is not the CNG drivers, but the owners who set the amount that needs to be collected on a daily basis, which forces the drivers’ position.
But a strike will not solve anything; if anything, it will force more and more people to utilise these apps.