Published On: January 15, 2019 07:00 PM NPT By: Aditya Neupane

Solving transportation woes or rather creating one?

Solving transportation woes or rather creating one?

Kathmandu is the most populated city of the country and we all are familiar with transport hassles in the valley. In past few years, innovative entrepreneurs worked to solve transportation problem via ride-sharing platforms in the valley. However, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division decided to prohibit private vehicles used for public transportation. This decision of the government has barred ridesharing platforms like Tootle and Pathao.

Vehicles registered under Article 8 (1) of Public Transportation Act 2049 are not allowed to use their vehicle for public transportation. Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has declared the ridesharing services as illegal and ordered the Metropolitan Traffic Police Office (MTPO), Baggikhana, to take action against the vehicles offering such services.

With reference to the act, traffic police have started restricting ridesharing platforms from Sunday. As the service is cheap and convenient, it gathered appreciations from the people of the valley. However, the DoTM has instructed the MTPO to take action against vehicles offering such services.  In conversation with Republica, Chief of MTPO, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Basanta Panta said, “We were directed by the DoTM to take action against the riders providing such services. Although such services are inexpensive, they are neither legal nor safe,” he added. However, spokesperson of the DoTM, Gokarna Upadhyaya claimed that the department has not yet officially directed the MTPO to take action against such services. He said, “Since the law holds the service as unsafe and illegal, DoTM suggested the MTPO to take action against them. Nevertheless, we have not directed them officially to do so.”

Meanwhile, this decision has poured off with comments and posts on social media in support of such platforms, while some are with the government’s initiative to end illegal transportation. Founder and CEO of Tootle, Sixit Bhatta took to Facebook to share on this issue on Monday. He wrote: “…..I am an optimist and I believe that there is no better time to be here in Nepal to convert these challenges into opportunities. We need to move forward!!”  Similarly, Founder and CEO of Foodmario Rohit Tiwari shared, “#iamwithtootle #isupporttootle #startupsnepal” on Facebook on Tuesday.

The platform was beneficial for the public in many ways. In an earlier interaction with Republica, regular bikers of Tootle had claimed that they were earning Rs 40,000 to 45,000 per months. And even retired people were using the platform. Likewise, passengers could avoid waiting for hours and also traveling jam-packed vehicles. Mohit Joshi, 24, is a regular user of Tootle. He resides in Baluwatar. Joshi stated that the use of two-wheelers ridesharing company such as Tootle and Pathao was comparatively cheaper than easier than taxis. “Sometimes I have to work till 7 pm due to the workload. Using ridesharing platforms is the easiest way of transportation then. Now I don’t have to wait for public vehicles. Moreover, the use of two-wheelers takes less time to reach home.”


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