Published:  02:20 AM, 15 February 2020

Saving a penny may cost you many

Saving a penny may cost you many

Remember those days when we had to wait hours in queue to take a bus or hire a CNG Auto rickshaw, especially during peak hours? Amid millions of passengers we used to feel lucky if we could take the bus within 30 minutes or could hire a CNG Auto rickshaw by almost begging them.

Within the span of just three years, things have changed drastically. Due to the introduction of ride sharing our day-to-day transportation has become much easier, comfortable and hassle-free. However, it's really unfortunate that some recent controversies have brought chaos into the system.

Street hailing or offline trip has recently become one such topic that already brings chaos in ride sharing. But the question is why are we letting chaos run though a proper system again?  You know, the concept of street hailing isn't entirely new in Bangladesh. Due to our unfavorable commuting circumstances street hailing has been in practice for quite a long time.

Every year during holiday seasons many of us don't get tickets to visit our hometown. Under these circumstances we are left with no other choice but to ride without any ticket as we long months to meet our family on the occasions. That's actually street hailing.

During Eid holidays the accident rate rises and many of us don't get to see our close ones ever again. As most of them were on street hailing we sometimes don't even identify the person we are looking for. We cannot even know was he on that vehicle or not, let alone claiming for safety alimonies.

Let me share a personal experience. Once I was waiting for a bus in the queue for hours and the clock was running late. I had an important meeting to attend but no CNG, bus or car was there. Suddenly, a person parked a car in front of me and like a savior asked 'Mohakhali!' I said, 'sorry!'.

He said, 'Mohakhali for 50! Only four people!'. Then I understood that what was going on. Even though I knew it was risky I took the cab with other three unknown people! Because I was running late for an important meeting. Other three commuters might as well be in hurry or had even greater urgency to get in a cab where everybody is unknown.

All four of us looked anxious as we didn't know what might happen, but the driver looked pretty relaxed. He had no concern about his safety. If a group of criminals had been in our situation they could have easily snatch his luxurious car. Instead getting more money was all he has in his mind.

What if we had an accident during the trip? Who would have taken responsibility? None. If we were mugged or harassed during the trip nobody would take responsibility. But, you know, taking responsibility comes later, first comes the safety. If you are safe, your family would live a better life. If you had an accident during such trip, it will cause irrecoverable loses to your family. From the greed of saving a few bucks you would lose millions.

Yes, street hailing can be that dangerous to your future whether you're a rider or a driver. Now let's take a look at what other benefits that you might lose if you use street hailing. The effect of ride-sharing has been both astounding and transformational. Billions of dollars have been invested to create various safety features available before, during, and after an Uber trip to ensure safety and security of both riders and drivers through an advanced technology.

First, every rider on the Uber platform is insured. Riders of UberMOTO and Uber 4-wheeler vehicles will receive coverage for accidental death, permanent disablement and hospitalization for in-patient medical treatment in case of an accident while using the Uber App and are available from when the rider starts the trip till the end of it.

All trips are GPS-tracked, and you can see the route and your car's real time location clearly marked on the app throughout your journey. It has invested in a 24/7 Incident Response Team (IRT), to respond to any incident that is reported to Uber.

Uber's new VoIP feature allows riders and drivers to make free anonymous calls to each other through the Uber app. By tapping on the shield icon, located on the home screen of the app, riders can reach the Safety Toolkit and learn all about Uber's insurance coverage, and community guidelines from the Safety Centre, hosted within the toolkit. In the unlikely event of an emergency, the Emergency Button will connect you with law enforcement.

When you book a trip, the Uber app sends you details of the driver and the vehicle. These include vehicle make, color and license plate number, as well as the driver's name, rating and feedback from other riders.All these features are there just to ensure your safety, why should you risk it unnecessarily!

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