Every once in a while, we all are faced with dreadful times, where we need to quickly make way to a meeting, an exam, a gathering, but are at a loss of transport.
A very common problem faced by more than half of the population - you, me and everybody else.
Well, long gone are the days when we would awe in surprise every time we heard the words Uber on television or on the Internet, because now the bustling city of Dhaka along with many other neighbouring cities have the convenience of calling such rides, both in times of emergencies and regular use.
Pathao, a name that says it all, is where you can send things, whether it is a package or yourself to some destination. First, one must download the app from Playstore, select the pickup point, and the nearest rider will call you to pick you up—voila! You have a ride.
The passenger is also sent the photo, phone number and name of the Pathao driver who will be showing up, to make the job easier. To most, Pathao is a balance of cost and convenience when travelling, and most people love the idea of sharing their code to get a free ride.
One unique point of Pathao rides has to be their mode of transport, which is not a car, but a motorbike. One that can swiftly skim through traffic and get you to your destination in the fastest way possible - not to worry, passengers are given helmets too.
Pathao also has other services such as sending packages through them, that too with GPS tracking so you know where your package is at all times.
The bike does become a worry for a lot of people, however riders have admitted it is completely safe because of its GPS tracking system, and all their riders are experienced people who have gone through training before working for Pathao.
Some riders on the other hand have experienced a few problems here and there, small things such as less availability of riders and problems with the app, and some are still sceptical of riding a motorbike with a stranger. For those who seek quick transport, but are afraid of taking bikes, the next option might just help you out.
Uber, is finally here. Just like Pathao, one must download the app, select destinations on the map, and the driver nearest to you will show up on the map. Once he does either you can choose to call him, or he can call you, and then he picks you up and drops you off. Easy as that!
One thing customers love are the promo offers that keep coming, and make the rides a whole lot cheaper. The cars that are mostly used on Uber are given by owners in the city, so most of the time they are comfortable and luxurious.
Availability is another great thing about Uber alongside its app, which is its use of handling. Because the rides are more luxurious, sometimes on long distances it can get a bit pricy, which can be sometimes be unsuitable, especially for students.
However, weighing both sides out, both Uber and Pathao have their advantages. Pathao is cheap and being a bike it can glide through the traffic unlike a car. Uber on the other hand is more comfortable and preferred by those who are afraid of motorbikes. Their services differ by the slightest and so do their customers, but at the end of the day, they are both blessings for people like us.
By Anisha Hassan
Uber grows in Dhaka
Uber is enjoying double digit growth in Dhaka, both on drivers' side and riders' side, over the last five months. It is the company's fastest growth for any city in Asia, Uber says. The service was launched in Dhaka on November 22, 2016. In just about two weeks, it extended services to 24 hours, from December 5, 2016. The fares were also increased on January 23, 2017 to ensure sustainable operations.
Dhaka suffers from some of the worst traffic congestions in the world. There is a demand for more options for reliable, efficient and affordable ways to get to and from work, particularly around commuting routes underserved by public transport. This is where ridesharing and Uber come into play. Smartphone apps for these services can help today's existing infrastructure, primarily private cars, more efficiently at no extra cost – enabling more people to share their journeys and by providing affordable, convenient alternatives to car ownership, Uber says.
“We are committed to offer riders a hassle free transportation option in the city and create livelihood opportunities for drivers in Dhaka. There's a real alternative to a world that looks like a parking lot and moves like a traffic jam, and we are committed to make this a reality in Dhaka,” said an Uber spokesperson.