Government to Ban Uber and Careem

Punjab and Sindh governments have decided to ban ride-hailing services Careem and Uber. Punjab Government’s Provincial Transport Authority declared Careem, Uber and other ride-hailing services operating in the province as “illegal”. A notification in this regard was sent to Lahore’s chief Traffic Officer, and CEO of the Lahore Transport Company.

The notification said the two companies have been offering transport services “without registering private cars with any regulatory body.” According to the memo, since private cars are being used for transportation, they must not be used for commercial purposes, such services are not only violating local laws but also pose a security threat for the public. The government said the failure of Uber and Careem to obtain the required fitness certificate and route permits for their fleet of cars has resulted in “great loss to the government”. According to the notification, field traffic officers were directed to ensure prompt action is taken against these “illegal services”.

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The Sindh government also sought legal action against the ride-hailing services. The provincial government declared the use of private cars as taxis without mandatory legal permits as ‘illegal’, asking the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to block the apps.

The Sindh Secretary of Transport said the management of the two companies have to get themselves registered with the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and also acquire a fitness certificate. Once these requirements are fulfilled, he said, the companies can operate without any hindrance.

Following Punjab and Sindh, authorities in the federal capital seemed all set to impose similar restrictions on app-based ride-hailing services. An Islamabad Transport Authority official said they were looking into the matter, adding that the cab services might be restricted under the Motor Vehicle Ordinance since they are not meeting various requirements.

The ban has been largely criticized by the public. Since the service was providing a decent alternate to the otherwise sorry state of available public transport.

from The Express Tribune


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