Ride-sharing services get cabinet nod
The cabinet yesterday approved “Ride-sharing Service Guidelines 2017” validating the operations of app-based transport services like Uber and Pathao.
There is a provision in the guidelines that the service providing company and its drivers would have to take permission from the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
The approval came at the regular cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office. Later, Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam briefed the media.
The app-based service providers welcomed the government move, saying it would benefit all stakeholders.
At yesterday's briefing, Shafiul said the guidelines had been formulated to regulate the app-based transport services with cars, motorcycles and ambulances.
According to the guidelines, the fare of the ride-sharing vehicles cannot exceed the fare mentioned in the Taxicab Service Guideline-2010.
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, the guidelines mentioned.
The cabinet secretary added that there are 11 conditions in the guidelines.
The guidelines came at a time when around a dozen app-based transport service providers, including Uber, Pathao, Cholo, Amarbike, Ezzyr and Taxiwala, are already in service in the capital.
When the app-based service providers started the journey in 2016, the BRTA termed it illegal.
Later, Uber and other such service providers had urged the government to formulate a guideline. The BRTA then prepared a draft guideline which was sent to the cabinet through the road transport and bridges ministry for approval.
As per the guidelines, 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.
The apps used by the service providers must have facilities so that both passengers and drivers can contact the police control room in case of emergency, the guidelines added.