DHAKA (Reuters) – Ride-sharing motorcycle providers are surging in recognition within the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, the place nightmare traffic typically signifies that strolling is quicker than touring by automotive or bus.
FILE PHOTO: Vehicles are seen caught in a heavy traffic after workplace hours throughout Ramadan in Dhaka July 7, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj
Congestion in Dhaka, one of many world’s most crowded cities with a inhabitants of 20 million, eats up 3.2 million working hours per day, in keeping with a 2017 World Bank research. Average traffic speeds have dropped to 7km per hour from 21km/h during the last decade, solely barely sooner than the typical strolling pace.
The debut of app-based ride-sharing providers in May 2015 has helped to alleviate this drawback. These days, service suppliers like Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N), Pathao, Shohoz and OBHAI transport a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals on a regular basis on bikes, navigating slim alleys and congested traffic lanes.
“Sharing a bike ride saves me a lot of time, I can reach anywhere on time,” stated Khadija Khan, a private-sector worker who typically hitches a bike journey.
The ride-sharing business in Bangladesh is value an estimated 22 billion taka ($260 million) and accounts for about 23% of the transport sector within the nation, in keeping with a 2018 research by the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI).
Local motorbike ride-sharing service Pathao now has over 5 million customers and greater than 200,000 registered drivers, in keeping with its chief government, Hassan Melius.
“A trip which previously used to take two hours with uncomfortable rides on rickshaws and buses, now only takes 40 minutes,” Melius stated. “That not only saves time but also increases productivity.”
The creation of motorcycle sharing apps is just not solely offering reduction to commuters used to losing hours in gridlocked traffic, it is usually creating employment alternatives for hundreds.
“For a young man like me from a low-income family, it is a big source of income,” stated scholar Lokman Hossain, who owns a motorcycle.
However, unskilled bike drivers and reckless driving are sometimes cited as one of many primary causes for a current spike in traffic accidents in Bangladesh. More than 4,000 folks die in highway accidents every year, one of many world’s highest charges.
Massive scholar protests sparked by the dying of two youngsters mowed down by a rushing bus within the capital final July led to avenue battles and using tear gasoline and rubber bullets by police.
The following month, the nation’s cupboard permitted elevating the utmost jail sentence for rash driving deaths to 5 years from three.
Reporting by Rafiqur Rahman; Writing by Ruma Paul; Editing by Karishma Singh and Christopher Cushing