Uber is an e-hailing service that connects passengers with drivers. The US-based company serves as a middle man for commuters and drivers for hire.
E-hailing refers to the process of ordering a car, taxi or other form of transportation via computers or mobile devices. The brainchild of Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick and founded as Uber Cab in March 2009, Uber works via a mobile phone application. Clients can use the app to submit a trip request which is automatically sent to the registered Uber drivers nearest to the user’s location. Interested Uber drivers can communicate with the passenger and set up a pick-up. Uber is not a taxi service. The company does not own any vehicles for the service. Uber drivers are private car owners who moonlight as cabbies using the platform.
Since last couple of years, traffic jam has been a major problem in our daily life, especially in Dhaka city and the problem is getting bigger and bigger day by day. Moreover, excessive of traffic jam reduces our working capability and as a result, our income lessens, too. From this perspective, The California-based transport company ‘Uber’ teamed up with mobile operator Grameenphone to launch its app that allows users to order taxis on their smart-phones, which can really be proved effective in Dhaka to solve the traffic problem. Changing the ancient system in transport, they should be modernized and considering this, this global taxi service company, who has been preparing to officially launch in the city, began its operations from November 22, 2016. The app was already available for a few months, but now the users will finally be able to hire a ride right away to get wherever they need to be.
Uber’s app designed for commuters in Bangladesh is available on Google Play and Apple Store. To use Uber, users have to download the app and sign up by providing an email address, personal details and credit card information. The app is available for Android devices, Apple devices and Windows devices. Users make trip requests through the app, providing their location. The app then calculates and lets the commuter know how long it will take for an Uber driver to reach them.
In Dhaka, users will be able to pay both with credit cards and in cash. Though there are no fixed fare rates, Uber’s fares are charged by distance for travel speeds greater than 18kph, and by time for slower commutes. The app does the calculations automatically. Fares vary according to supply and demand, meaning that prices surge during peak traffic hours.
Individuals owning cars can register to become Uber drivers and earn fares by picking up passengers near their locations. However, in recent times, the service has taken flak over safety and legality in some countries. ICT State Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak hopes that Uber would make commuting easy and open the door to new economic possibilities.
In the launching ceremony of ‘Uber’ in Dhaka, Amit Jain, Uber’s India and South Asia region President, said, “The company is excited about contributing to ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by using drivers and passengers for the betterment of the traffic movement in Dhaka city.”
Uber is considering allowing passengers in South Asian countries to pay fares using mobile banking services.The app can also be used to rate drivers and similarly a driver can rate a passenger. Bad rating can bar both the driver and the passenger from using Uber service. Currently, Uber is operating in 538 cities worldwide, including Dhaka.