Uber brings relief to city commuters

| Updated: October 24, 2017 08:35:33

Uber brings relief to city commuters

With its hassle-free round-the-clock services, Uber, the world's largest on-demand ride-sharing company, has brought some sort of relief to city commuters, mainly for the middle-class ones, within eight months of its launching.

Talking to UNB, urban experts, city commuters and drivers who get registered with the company said apart from ensuring 'door-to-door service', Uber is bringing a cultural and behavioural change of both passengers and drivers as they respect each other and do not engage in bargain over fare or any short destination.

Besides, they said, Uber is ensuring the maximum use of personal vehicles registered with the company, and it will eventually help reign in the growing trend of buying personal vehicle.

Urban experts think that the government should also now focus on strengthening cab services restoring discipline so that Uber cannot do a monopoly business for lack of its suitable competitors.

Uber, launched in Dhaka in November 2016, has received an overwhelming response in Bangladesh both from riders and drivers, said its spokesman.

Contacted through mail, the Uber spokesperson without mentioning name, said they think a sustainable earning opportunity is emerging for their driver-partners. "We've already seen a double-digit increase in the number of riders and driver-partners benefitting from Uber while more people signing up every day."

The spokesman, however, said they have no immediate plan to launch the service in any other city of the country.

Talking to UNB, urban expert and former UGC chairman Prof Nazrul Islam said Uber is giving the city commuters a wonderful service, even at midnight or at dawn.

"As I talked to some people who had used Uber, they appreciated the service, saying it has brought some sort of relief for them in the case of their outing. The fare is also reasonable. The expansion of the service is necessary for making the city life more comfortable and hassle-free one," he said.

In developed countries, the urban expert said taxies usually provide personal service to commuters. "But in Dhaka city we do not have available taxis or auto-rickshaws. So, the taxi service should be developed further with the expansion of Uber to ensure better transport facilities for city dwellers."

Prof Sarwar Jahan of BUET's Urban and Regional Planning (URP) department said Uber is providing the city commuters a wonderful door-to-door essential service to reduce people's dependence on rickshaws.

As Uber provides on-demand ride-sharing service, it is ensuring the best uses of the existing personal vehicles registered with the company.

Sarwar also echoed the views of Prof Nazrul, saying the government should allow more taxies and auto-rickshaws to gradually phase out rickshaws from the city streets.

He said the government should have a strong monitoring so that Uber and other taxi services can serve commuters with proper security and good facilities.

Jahangir Alam, a Bangladesh expatriate living in Canada, said before coming home in July he had a plan to buy a car for his personal use during his stay in the country. "But after using Uber, I changed my mind as their service is available anytime. We need Tk 30,000-40,000 in maintaining a car. Even if I randomly use Uber, it will cost me only Tk 10,000 a month."

He said the Uber authorities should give the drivers more training and guidelines so that they can properly follow Google map and do not ask their customers where they may go whenever they receive phone call for any trip.

Tasmin Sultana, a private university law student, said Uber has made the communication easier and safer for city commuters, mainly for women, as anyone can go anywhere anytime using the service.

She said CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers are now changing their rude and reluctant attitude as people have now got an option -- Uber. "Usually, auto-rickshaw drivers refuse to entertain a short trip and charge high fare. Now they've started changing such an attitude."

Alamgir Hossain, who drives his own car registered with Uber, said he can earn up to 80,000 a month. "When people use Uber, they don't treat me like ordinary drivers. They behave well. I also do the same as there is an option for both the driver and the user to assess (ranking) each other."


Like Alamgir, over a dozen Uber drivers expressed their satisfaction, saying the company has brought a good opportunity for them to earn money with dignity.

Share if you like

Filter By Topic