ISLAMABAD: Bike hailing services operating in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are putting the lives of citizens at a risk by the use of old shabby bikes and compromising basic traffic rules.
The majority of bikes hired by these companies are plying on the roads with damaged headlights and indicators, worn out bike chains, untrained drivers and absence of a helmet for passengers.
“I hire a bike from a popular bike hailing service while leaving my office in the evening and all the time on the way home, I kept on praying for my safety due to untrained drivers and damaged bikes”, Abbas Ali who is a frequent rider said.
Although the bike hailing services are providing major relief to the low-income groups with charging very minimum fares but the administration of these services must educate their captains about traffic rules and safety measures as well as impose fine over the continuous violations of safety rules, he said while talking to APP.
Shafqat Ali, another regular rider of these services, said the drivers of these bike hailing services try to get more and more passengers in minimum time and usually book another ride before completing the previous one.
In a hurry to pick up the next customer, they violate traffic rules, over speed and ignore the safety of passengers as well as themselves. Most of these bikers are students or young ones who usually show careless behaviour and are unaware of the severe consequences and risks of such neglect.
Munir Ahmad, a regular rider of the service said, before these services we were compelled to pay high fares to taxi drivers and have to bear inappropriate behaviours of local transporters to reach our destinations.
But thanks to these app-based services which have provided a huge relief to us as these are available on cheap rates at our doorsteps on a click.
Apart from these facilities, the violation of traffic rules, over speed and non-availability of a helmet for passengers put the lives of users of these services at huge risk and the administration should make it compulsory for their drivers to follow the safety measures.
Few services are providing call centre facilities to register a complaint but others are not. So the riders have to face certain difficulties in approaching the service providers in case they suffer from any misconduct.
When contacted Javed Ahmad, manager at one of the bikes hailing company was of the view that, “We are trying to provide maximum relief to our passengers but due to inexperienced drivers some time we have to face a very awkward situation.
However, we are making constant efforts to address these issues and improve the quality of our service in light of the customers’ feedback.
He said earlier these services were working in the developed countries where traffic rules are more strictly followed and such problems do not happen.
However, in a country like Pakistan, these services are a new experience for all and it will take time to bridge the loopholes.