A new multi-passenger and multi-destination ridesharing service named “Buddy” was launched in Dhaka yesterday to give an economical mode of transport to city dwellers and reduce traffic jams.
Buddy Ltd, a local company powered by Microsoft Bangladesh, began its commercial journey in the morning with microbuses leaving from Dhanmondi, Mirpur-1, and Uttara.
“There is nothing like this app anywhere in the world,” said S Md Jashim Uddin Chishty, managing director of the company.
Six to 10 passengers can use the ride at the same time. For example, if someone starts a ride from Dhanmondi to Uttara, fellow passengers willing to get picked and dropped anywhere in between can avail the service.
The app was rolled out with 10 microbuses and the service will be available for long-distance travel.
“It will be highly cost-effective as many people will use the service at the same time,” Chishty said.
Each microbus will be monitored 24/7 through artificial intelligence and technical algorithms. A vehicle's engine can be remotely controlled and shut off in case of an emergency.
A special security team will be readily available round the clock with motorbikes to rush in case of an emergency.
“The service is fully secure and will be comfortable for the women users especially,” Chishty said, adding that the app will not store any user data.
Currently, there are more than a dozen of ridesharing applications in the market and some such as Uber, Pathao, Shohoz, and Obhai are very popular.
Chishty says the new service will be very handy and suitable for cities such as Dhaka.
He says government officials have got in touch with the company in order to make it popular, help passengers move fast and reduce the number of traffics on the street.
The company plans to invest more than Tk 100 crore within the next three months. It is targeting to acquire one lakh users and raise the number of vehicles under its fleet to 100 in the first month of the operations.
The users' number will increase to 20 lakh within three months, Chishty hopes.
About the fare, Buddy said it would charge less compared to other players. Besides, there will be no waiting and cancellation charges.