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  • Saturday, 01 April, 2023

Uber has been great from Bangladesh. But its drivers just wish it took a lesser cut

Cox Gazette | Online Desk December 8, 2020, 04:57 PM Uber has been great from Bangladesh. But its drivers just wish it took a lesser cut

Bangladeshis are all the more grateful for the global ride-hailing giant’s foray in 2016, which has made commuting at any time of the day in a safe mode of transport possible and also provided a source of livelihood.

Monday marked the fourth anniversary of Uber’s operations in Bangladesh. In that time, Uber has served more than 4 million riders and created livelihood opportunities for upwards of 175,000 driver-partners, it said in a press release. 

“This anniversary reminds us of the important role Uber plays in Bangladesh, especially as a platform that can help provide convenient, affordable and safe rides while allowing drivers the chance to earn flexibly,” said Shiva Shailendran, Uber’s head for Bangladesh and North & West India.

Its driver-partners in Bangladesh are grateful for the opportunity that the San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant has provided, Dhaka Tribune learnt after speaking with a handful of them.

One such Uber driver is Mohammad Mostafa, which lives in Malibagh’sChowdhuripara with his wife and two daughters. He supported his parents and two brothers back in his village in Gopalganj with his salary as a chauffeur.

His world came crashing down in April when he lost his job in March, right after the government announced countrywide shutdown to flatten the curve on coronavirus. 

For five months he looked and looked but could not find another job.

“After losing my job I didn't see any way to survive.”

When the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority allowed ride-hailing apps like Uber back on the roads from July, an idea struck Mostafa: why not become an Uber driver?

He managed to rent a car and his journey as an Uber driver started. 

At present, he gets to keep Tk 500-700 at the end of the day after meeting all his expenses for the running of the car.

The amount is good enough for Mostafa.

But not all drivers are as content with Mostafa with Uber: most wished Uber’s cut from their fare was not as high.

Uber charges 25 percent as commission.

“We request Uber to reduce the percentage and restart our bonus,” said Mamun Talukder, another Uber driver from Rampura.

Talukder used to earn about Tk 2,000 a day previously by driving his car all day, which is double of what he used to earn in his salaried job as a chauffeur, thanks to the bonus amounts Uber used to provide for racking up a certain number of rides in a day.

“The amount I am left with does not price my hard work accurately,” said Firoz Howladar, another Uber driver.

Uber did not respond to the request for comment for the report.

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