Ridesharing platforms these days are getting more and more attraction due to the easiness of travel. Ridesharing service has been arranging one-way transportation on short notice. The daily commutation of normal people who don't own private vehicles like me.
DigitalTrends.com has ranked Uber and Lyft as the most popular ridesharing apps in 2020 in the midst of the corona pandemic too. Ridesharing is also considered an eco-friendly way of commuting. Sharing a bike and car also reduces emissions and helps prevent traffic jams in a global scenario.
In Nepal, We have seen the rise of many popular Ride-Sharing apps after Tootle was launched in 2017. Pathao Nepalwas launched in September 2018 according to DhakaTribune. Since then many other ride-sharing platforms have started their services but out of them, Pathao Nepal and Tootle stand tall.
Pathao Nepal on their website they proudly boast about the numbers and service they provide. According to the Pathao Nepal website visited in October 2020, they have written They have around 3.5 Million+ app downloads, 150,000+ Daily rides, and 5,00,000+ lives impacted. They are a growing venture in the ride-sharing market.
On October 20, 2020, News 24 broadcasted news on their program about a guy traveling to his destination from Jawalakhel by booking Pathao got in an accident in Pulchowk, He was hospitalized and Pathao Nepal didn't care to take care of his hospital bills and insurance. On September 25, 2020, I booked a ride from New Road Gate to Ekantakuna and while we gotta Tripureshwor my Rider/Driver hit a bike that was parked from behind. I had a minor injury in my back and hand, my phone was totally broken, so I couldn't register a complaint there. I came home and immediately sent a message to Pathao Facebook page and they responded lately. My phone was off and they gave me a call on Viber and they didn't take the incident on a serious note. They said to file the complaint on their app and they will respond back. I filed the complaint 2 days after I got my Phone back and today is 10/24/2020. They haven't responded at all.
Two incidents of accidents and two different scales of seriousness, one is really struggling in hospital and one is writing this article. Some months back I remember the Government was about to shut down the ridesharing app due to several kinds of laws that they were breaking one of the issues was about the Insurance of the Customer or Client. That is a major issue because it is the matter of life and death of a passenger.
According to the Himalayan Times on February 4, 2019,
"Two-wheelers are involved in most of the road accidents and have claimed most lives in the last five years inside Kathmandu valley. As per records with the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, a total of 46,349 road accidents were recorded in the last five years inside the valley. Of the total road accidents, two-wheelers were involved in 26,184 accidents, approximately 56.49 percent."
So according to this report, we have about 26,184 accidents per year and still ridesharing apps like Pathao Nepal and Tootle don't have any insurance policy for neither the rider nor the customer. The roads in Kathmandu are really really crowded with traffic and prone to many accidents due to rash and reckless driving. So as a User/Customer, How safe is it to ride Pathao since they don't have a proper insurance plan in case of an accident and very unprofessional customer service?