Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has decided to allow another 1,890 cars, microbuses, and ambulances affiliated with various ridesharing services to resume operations, said a BRTA circular issued on Wednesday.
The announcement came after the vehicles got enlisted under BRTA, the new requirement for ridesharing vehicles set by the regulatory body.
"The number of vehicles taking enlistment certificate is increasing gradually. This is a positive sign," Lokman Hossain Mollah, director (engineering) of BRTA, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Initially, BRTA had allowed only 255 vehicles to resume ridesharing services, which remained suspended till June 21.
However, the regulator maintains a ban on the operation of motorcycles due to the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus.
According to a BRTA document, there are some 1.23 lakh four-wheelers and motorcycles associated with the 12 ride-sharing service companies. Of them, 1.04 lakh are motorcycles.
However, until the recent wave of enlistments, only around 1,300 were enlisted with BRTA, most of them motorcycles, BRTA officials said.
Of the 1,890 newly enlisted vehicles, 1,657 are affiliated with Uber Bangladesh Ltd.
Besides Uber, four vehicles of Pathao Ltd, 30 of Pickme Limited, 60 of CNS Ltd, seven of Obhai Solution Ltd, 95 of Ezzyr Technologies Ltd, three of Akij Online Ltd and 34 of Segesta Ltd have obtained the enlistment certificate so far, according to the circular.
Although public transports resumed operation from June 1, ride-sharing services remained suspended for another 20 days, and only gained permission from BRTA following requests from several companies, of whom Uber Bangladesh Ltd even sought intervention from the Prime Minister's Office to be able to resume operations in Dhaka and other cities.
Even though the enlistment process has now began, some companies allege that the process is too slow.
Denying these accusations, Lokman said, "Some companies are trying to say that our online portal has some issues, but this is not true. Providing such a huge number of enlistment certificates within a few days is enough of a proof for that."