September 26, 2021

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Drivers protest against the ban on passenger transport on motorcycles

Pathao, the drivers of Uber, have protested against the ban on passenger transport on motorcycles in the ride-sharing service. Hundreds of motorcyclists protested in front of the National Press Club and at the Shahbagh intersection on Thursday.

The announcement of a ban on passenger transport on motorcycles in ride-sharing in the current situation of coronavirus infection came on Wednesday. The ban will remain in place for two weeks or until further notice. Earlier, the decision to increase bus fares by 60 per cent came into effect.

Meanwhile, after the announcement of the ban yesterday, motorcyclists have been protesting in different parts of the capital since this morning. Pathao, Uber drivers protested at Shahbagh intersection around 1:15 pm.

Harun Aur Rashid, additional deputy commissioner of the Ramna division of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told Prothom Alo: At this time there was limited traffic through Shahbagh junction.

Meanwhile, motorcyclists gathered in front of the National Press Club at around 1.30 pm. They left their motorcycles on the road and stood on the sidewalk. They chanted slogans in demand. They strongly protested the Road Transport Authority’s (BRTA) directive to shut down the ride-sharing app.

Motorcyclists have also staged protests in the capital Dhanmondi 26, Badda area to protest the closure of the ride sharing app. Their only demand is to introduce ride sharing.

Jahanara Hasina, a banker, is one of the regular ride sharing services. Most of the time he travels from Mirpur to Dhanmondi and takes motorcycle ride service in the morning. Even today he came to the destination in the same way. He said that on the one hand, the bus fare has gone up and the pressure on the passengers has increased a lot.

Zakir Hossain, a motorcyclist, told Prothom Alo that this was his only source of income for a year. If this service is stopped suddenly, he should not eat with his family.

Another driver, who did not want to be named, said he still carried six to seven passengers from morning to noon. There were no obstacles. However, he received the news of the ban only yesterday. Asked why he got off after that, he said office-bound passengers in Motijheel, Uttara and Gulistan have been under pressure since morning. Uber, Pathao didn’t get any message about not running from the two apps. Passengers have received calls from two apps since morning. He even demanded to receive a message from Pathao that there is a special bonus in passenger transport from 8 am to 11 pm.