The Government of Sindh has decided to stop online ride hailing services from operations across the province, according to the Provincial Minister for Transport Awais Shah.
In a meeting with transport department officials, Mr Shah said such online cab services had not taken permission from the Sindh government. He said the provincial government had a meeting with cab service representatives about route permits and had signed a memorandum of understanding three years ago.
The minister also indicated that a ban on bike riding service, which is the subsidiary of these online ride hailing services, is also under consideration.
“We are going to write a letter to cab services to cease their operations forthwith. We are also contemplating to ban bike riding service.”
The minister said that online cab service operators were not giving heed to the government orders and they’re operating on their own. He referred to a recent incident that occurred two days ago at Karachi’s Shahrah-e-Faisal where a girl jumped out a speeding cab citing harassment by the driver. The minister asked:
‘Was any action taken against the cab service?”
In the incident on 20th October, a girl jumped out of a speeding cab at Shahrah-e-Faisal, complaining that the driver was misbehaving with her. It was reported that the cab was being run under one of the popular ride-hailing apps. People on the road caught the driver seconds after the incident. Though the driver was arrested, he was released the next day on bail due to want of proofs.
In January 2017, Punjab and Sindh governments decided to ban ride-hailing services declaring them as “illegal”. The ban was largely criticized by the public since the service was providing a decent alternate to the otherwise sorry state of available public transport. That decision was later reverted.
What is your opinion regarding the ban on ride hailing service, particularly in the absence of alternatives. Let us know with your comments.