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After having a free-ride for well over a year, the ride-sharing in Bangladesh finally has been brought under legal frameworks.

The Cabinet on January 15 approved the draft of Ride Sharing Services Guideline-2017. Now after passing through a series of vetting process by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, it will be placed in the parliament.

The guideline has imposed certain restrictions on ridesharing passenger service providers like Uber and Pathao.

“The cabinet endorsed the draft of the Ride Sharing Services Guideline- 2017 notifying 11 conditions,” Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam told a press briefing at Secretariat after the meeting.

He said the conditions for ride-sharing services include having an enlistment certificate from Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) paying a fee of Tk 1, 00,000.

The conditions also include establishment of area office, paying renewal fee regularly and setting up of allegation centers where commuters will be able to lodge complaints and balance ride cost with the Taxicab Guideline 2010, the Cabinet Secretary added.

Enlistment certificate of a ridesharing vehicle will be up to 3 years with renewal opportunities at the end of the term. The enlistment certificate fee is fixed at Tk 500 for motorcycle and Tk 1000 for CNG-run auto rickshaw.

“If the certificate is lost or damaged, a copy of it can be obtained by giving the same amount of money. After one year of getting a motor vehicle registration, it can provide ridesharing facilities”, the cabinet revealed.

After getting approval, the ridesharing service will be valid. In the draft policy, the fare of individual motorcars will not be more than the fixed rates according to the Taxicab Service Guideline, 2010. However, if the rented passengers are unhappy with fares, the government can reset the rental fee.

The motor vehicle driver’s photograph, the copy of the national ID card, the proof of driver’s current address, mobile phone number, contact information, copy of the driving license, and other information should be kept in the draft policy.

On the principle of giving an enrollment certificate to the organisation of the ridesharing service provider, the service provider will have to apply online to BRTA for enlistment certificate.

However, the company must pay Tk 100,000 enlistment fee alongside trade license, TIN certificate, VAT and other necessary documents. After receiving the application, the authorities will give an enlistment certificate for a one-year term.

“After getting the certificate, the company will make a deal with the driver and motor vehicle owners. There will be a mention of their interests in the deal. The certificate must be renewed each year by paying Tk 10,000, revealed by cabinet.

If anyone lost or damaged it and any information needs to be corrected then one thousand taka will be applied. Meanwhile, on December 10, 2017 a circular was sent to the Cabinet Division and Road Transport and Highways Department.

The number of small vehicles like motorcycles and private cars is continuously increasing, causing traffic congestion on the roads. Public transports are also inadequate compared to the passenger demand leading to normal passenger services being interrupted.

As a result, people are losing valuable working hours and fuel purchased by foreign currencies. The launch of ridesharing service can help improve the situation. Ridesharing service is a transport service system where the owner of a private carrier manages to hire a private motorcycle by using an internet-based online application through smart phones at the time of settling their own needs. If the introduction of ‘Ride sharing Service’ will increase the traffic situation in Dhaka and other metropolitan cities, the number of passengers will increase.

Besides, motorcycle owners will benefit financially. That’s why the draft Ride sharing service policy has been created. There are 10 sections and 45 sub-paragraphs in the draft Ride sharing Service Policy. Earlier, on 8th May, 2016, the company launched Raid Sharing App on ‘Data Wixel Limited’ on the shares of motorcycle (Sam).

Imtiaz Kashem, Managing Director of Data Wixel, introduces the idea of riding on the motorcycle. Then in November 2016, the United States-based Uber launched an app-based taxi service.

There is also a courier service company called ‘Driver recruitment’ on motorcycle ride sharing. Ride sharing on motorcycles has become popular in the capital In addition to Uber’s Taxi Service and Motorcycle Ride Sharing App, the name has come from Ejiar, Go-To Technologies, Runner-Let’s Go, My Ride, Yes Bik, and some other Ride Sharing apps. Mostly motorcycle based.

Besides, a number of companies have been preparing to start their activities. Appraisal services are believed to come in a certain framework when the policy is approved. ■

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