In the last ten years, ride-hailing services such as Uber and Careem have transformed urban transportation by enabling people to book rides through smartphone apps. This convenient and straightforward approach has eliminated the need to own a car or rely on public transit to travel to their preferred destination. In Pakistan, the public transport situation is poor and therefore people are focused on owning their own vehicles.
However, the effects of ride-hailing services are significant. Firstly, there is inconvenience caused by the poor public transportation system in Pakistan, which gave ride-hailing a big margin to grow. The public transport system being all rusty and old, people are reluctant to use it, but with ride hailing apps providing a range of fleet options, it gives people options to travel the way they want.
For ladies who are travelling alone, public transport is not a safe option. Hence the ride-hailing apps gives them freedom to commute anywhere they wish to go without the fear of getting mobbed or harassed.
Nonetheless, ride-hailing services have also facilitated public transportation in several ways. For example, rickshaw are part of the public transport but they can be registered with ride-hailing apps and get rides through them. The riders can feel at ease booking a rikshaw through the app as the drivers are registered and can be held accountable for any kind of misconduct.
However, the increasing petrol prices has made it impossible for ride-hailing companies to keep up to the less fare and quality mantra. They too are struggling to keep up to the competition with many ride hailing apps coming in with time to capture the Pakistani market.
Overall, the impact of ride-hailing on public transportation is intricate and multi-faceted. While some negative consequences are possible, ride-hailing services can also benefit and enhance public transit. As technology progresses and transportation options evolve, it is essential to continuously monitor and evaluate the impact of ride-hailing on public transportation.