Despite the risk of the novel coronavirus spreading, public transportation resumed on Sunday in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, comparatively safer app-based ride-sharing services have not yet been permitted to restart their operations.
Many people across the globe opt for ride-sharing services over public transportation because ride-sharing offers better ways to avoid crowds and to ensure sanitisation.
Bangladesh has done the opposite.
However, two and four-wheelers used for ride-sharing are being allowed to operate off-the-app, both privately and commercially.
Thus, just prohibiting app-based ride-sharing services is contradictory.
Uber and Pathao, two top ride-sharing platforms in the country, have jointly requested the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to allow ride-sharing services through apps.
In their letter to BRTA's chairman on Monday, the two companies said they, along with thousands of drivers, have been hit hard during the shutdown, and at present, commercial off-the-app ride-sharing is increasing, which is quite risky.
Pathao and Uber are fully prepared to operate in the new normal environment that demands awareness of and compliance with health safety measures. They have already collaborated with world-class protective equipment makers about face masks, hand gloves, and sanitisers for drivers.
They have also made lessons mandatory for drivers and passengers through awareness and guideline tutorials as well as training.
If any complaint or evidence of non-compliance or negligence of health guidelines is found during trips, the companies are determined to cancel the ride, Pathao and Uber wrote to BRTA, requesting they be allowed to restart operations soon.