Both Uber and Careem are very well established now in Pakistan and thousands of people use it everyday. They’re no doubt cheaper than traditional taxi services and rickshaws, and more reliable too.
Unfortunately, taxi services that have existed before the ride-hailing services regularly protest against these app-based taxis. And now, it seems that the government is hoping to do something about it.
Just days after a recent protest by the local taxi owners, the Islamabad Transport Authority (ITA) suggested that cars that are working for ride-hailing services should display a sticker on their windshield to identify them. Not only that, but a government-regulated tariff will also be imposed on them.
The ITA argues that the regulated taxes would help bring an end to continuous troubles between both riding-hailing services and the local taxi drivers. However, there’s still no word on how the tariff is going to be adjusted or what the rates are going to be.
Each vehicle will also be required to have a fitness certificate too which will be issued by the Motor Vehicle Examiner (MVE).
Moreover, a route permit will also be issued to these services which they will have to follow strictly. As mentioned before, a sticker will also be needed on those vehicles for easier identification of cars using ride-hailing apps.
Careem and Uber have both been facing some tough times since their arrival in Pakistan from the traditional taxi drivers. Many people believe that the entry of these new services have not only made their commute easier and affordable, but the generally new condition of the cars that are part of ride-hailing services also attracts people.
Having ensured that cars of a certain model and age are allowed as part of their services, it is mind-boggling that they are being made to carry fitness certificates. On the contrary, the condition of local taxis is dismal in general.
Arguably, rates from ride-hailing services tend to be lower than those offered by taxis. That is another reason why taxi owners want the government to ‘regulate’ the ride hailing services.