Anybody Can join
Urge for safe, clean, public transport in the capital city
Published: 1 October, 2011
Listed in Local destinantions
One of the biggest difficulties I face in Dhaka is lack of mobility. Dhaka is not a pedestrian friendly city, nor is public transport easily available. I don't own a car, and even if I did, I would not have been able to drive here given the mad chaos on the streets of Dhaka where traffic regulations are constantly flouted. So even if I did invest in a car, I would have to deal with the hassle of hiring a driver and depending on his availability. Another reason people are unwilling to drive themselves in Dhaka is because often car parts are stolen from cars parked on the streets; sometimes the car itself may disappear.
It's so much harder as a woman in Dhaka because safety is a huge concern. Muggings are common and most young women are not comfortable using any form of public transport after dark. A few years ago a friend's brother got into a taxi in Mohakhali and was drugged by muggers who were in league with the taxi driver. He eventually died as a result of the chloroform overdose.
In spite of extremely high taxes on cars in Bangladesh and the high cost of maintenance and fuel, middle class families are forced to bear that expense in the interest of safety.
There used to be a couple of decent AC bus services in Dhaka about 7 years ago, running from Uttara to Motijheel, but those went out of business. I cannot understand why. Options are now limited to CNG three wheelers, a few taxis or the 'murir tin' bus services. BRTC is obviously aware of the dismal state of public transport, but the situation seems to be regressing over the last few years rather than improving.
The lack of safe, clean public transport in Dhaka is an impediment to many young women going to school or work, and a major source of concern for their families. Licences need to be issued to encourage private sector investment in public transport services if the government and BRTC is unable to make that investment.