Uber growing in Dhaka

Golam Mortaza | Update:

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The services of Uber, the California-based transportation network company, are gradually being expanded in the Dhaka city.

According to Uber, which offers rental car service through a smartphone app, the numbers of passengers and drivers have been increasing by 10 per cent every month since its inception in the city five months ago.

The upswing in Dhaka stands the highest among the Asian cities, Uber said.

Users satisfied while drivers, owners get profit

Uber user Moriam Nesa is happy with the service. "An interesting thing is we can avail air-conditioned cars costing nearly the same amount of money we pay for a ride in a CNG-run auto-rickshaw," she observed.

"Uber has also made a good impression in terms of security for women riders, which is another good sign" she added.

Abdullah Mamun, who works for a private organisation, said, "We can call an Uber car sitting at home and there is no hassle while paying the fare."

An Uber car driver said one can make Tk 1,500-2,000 a day driving a car on Uber network.

"If you have a good car or a new one you can earn more than that," he added.

Legal blanket

The road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader thinks that the service must run under a 'systematic management'.

He recently said, "We welcome the new technology. A committee has been formed to bring the service under a system. A discussion is going on in this regard."

BRTA director Nazmul Ahsan Mazumdar, who is chief of the committee, on 19 April said, "Report on Uber has not been finished as yet. They (Uber authorities) have submitted a report including their business policies and plans in Bangladesh. We have talked with them over the issue. The report will be completed by this week."

Uber's reply

An email was sent to Uber's communication unit seeking information over the on-going discussion between its Dhaka office and the government. In a reply, Uber authorities mentioned Uber as a 'smartphone app' and its service a 'ride sharing' arrangement.

Uber said it is now working with the Bangladesh government. They will be happy if the discussion finds any solution, it added.

*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.

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