7 app-based transport services apply for BRTA registration

More than 24 available in Dhaka

Although over two dozen app-based transport services are available in Dhaka, only seven companies have applied for registration with Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) within the one-month deadline which expired on May 18.

“We are now verifying the documents they [companies] submitted to us and will complete the registration process as soon as possible,” Mahbub-E-Rabbani, spokesperson for BRTA, told The Daily Star yesterday.

The seven companies that sought registration are: Pathao Limited, Shohoz Limited, Chaldal Limited, Akash Technology Limited, Golden Ring Limited, Obhai Limited and Uber Limited, said Faruque Ahmed, assistant director (engineering) of BRTA.

The cabinet on January 15 approved “Ride-sharing Service Guidelines 2017” validating the operations of app-based transport services, which is becoming popular in Dhaka.

As per the guideline, which came into action on March 8, any company which seeks the BRTA permission must have at least 100 vehicles in its fleet for operating in Dhaka, 50 for Chittagong, and 20 for other cities. A company will have to pay Tk 1 lakh and submit other relevant documents, including trade licence, to the BRTA to get “enlistment certificate”.

On the other hand, a driver will have to pay Tk 1,000 and a biker Tk 500 as yearly enlistment fee, and they have to renew the “enlistment certificates” every three years, the guidelines mentioned.

BRTA, on April 19, circulated a notice in newspapers asking service providing companies and drivers to register within a month.

Although, seven companies sought registration, no driver has sought registration yet, said Faruque Ahmed, adding that, “After the completion of companies' registration process, drivers' registration process will start.”

Asked about the companies which did not seek registration yet, Rabbani, director (road safety) of BRTA, said a company can apply for registration even after the deadline.

However, upon completion of registration process of the companies that have already applied, they will go for taking action against those who will run operations without registration.


Service providing companies welcomed the government's initiative to bring app-based ride sharing services under a guideline and the registration process, while some demanded amendments in the guidelines.

Sayeda Nabila Mahbub, lead marketing manager, Pathao said that they are happy with the guideline as it legitimises their business.

Maliha Malek Quadir, founding managing director of Shohoz rides, said it's a great initiative but the guideline required some clarifications and changes.

Quazi Omar Ferdous, chief operating officer of Obhai Solutions Limited, said “It is good that the ride-sharing industry is being brought under a legal framework. However, we do hope that the regulatory bodies will amend some of the policies as the industry matures and keep the market favourable for fair competition by taking into consideration issues of predatory pricing, accountability of service providers, standardisation of services and customer rights.”

In May 2015, the USA-based Datavoxel Ltd launched the first app-based motorcycle service -- Share a Motorcycle (SAM) -- in Dhaka city. Uber, a popular app-based ride-hailing service, launched operation in Dhaka city in November 2015.

Initially, BRTA said the services were being run in violation of the country's motor vehicle regulations. However, the government has later changed its stance on ground that the ride-sharing services help ease traffic jam, improve transport services and, above all, benefit owners of private vehicles economically.


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