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Karachi is the biggest and most populous city of Pakistan; an economic and commercial hub that harbors nearly 14 million people from diverse backgrounds and roots. However, one major problem among the myriad of others, which plagues this city is the lack of comfortable Mass transit system.
Those commuting to work or run errands are confronted with a choice between personal vehicle and decades old, dilapidated and crowded mini busses that ply our roads. Those not having access to the personal vehicle and averse to the travails of suffering in busses chose Rickshaws, which are uncomfortable without significant safety features and demands a huge unjustified fare.
Fortunately, the IT revolution and entrepreneurship also ushered in an era of cab hiring services, commonly known as Uber or Careem. These services allow for a comfortable ride in the car, often equipped with air conditioning which can be hired sitting at home. Besides, the fare is usually equal or often less than that demanded by rickshaws or yellow cabs; which makes these a reasonable and preferred choice.
However, we often come across stories on social media complaining about the behavior of drivers (called Cab Captains); which spans from harassing girls to misbehaving or acts of the heist. True, these incidents do happen and companies operating these services need to enhance their role and investigate drivers, device mechanism to curtail these untoward incidents, yet, the hardships and problems the driver of these services face have never been explored or advocated freely.
I became a frequent user of these services when inhabited to drive due to injury, and had an opportunity to know about their problems. I believe that these services are a bit different from conventional rickshaw or taxi services: for many educated people work part-time as drivers and belong to the respected background. When there is a service providing comfortable car ride at the reasonable price, there ought to be few considerations from costumers which could ease the life and work of drivers.
First, most customers ask drivers to pick or drop them in front of their house which is located in extremely narrow streets. Once inside, it becomes extremely difficult for drivers to maneuver and reverse a car in unknown narrow Street: often bumping vehicle in some obstacle thereby incurring loss and embarrassment. Wouldn’t it be considerate to walk few meters and meet the driver at the spacious location near to home? This might be exempted for girls traveling alone but should be considered when possible.
Second, in a bid to save a few rupees, people order them to take shortcuts which entails dilapidating or unpaved roads. Moreover, people sometimes insist to drop them on pin location which is not easily accessible or full of obstacles. Now, we all know that car is an expensive vehicle whose wear and tear are to be borne by the driver; running on these locations inflict huge damage to car suspension and body.
Furthermore, the service puts the bar on the number of people that can travel by car; which people do not abide by and starts misbehaving if the driver declines to provide his service. People should realize that this again is detrimental to vehicle’s suspension and safety and they have right to decline such request if exceed maximum occupancy. Please cooperate and think if it’s your own vehicle! Take better routes or alight few yards away if the car can not cross easily.
Overall, it is imperative for us to respect and do not misuse this service. A little consideration and compassion to drivers goes a long way and would make this service a sustainable and beneficial for all; after all, they belong to respectable backgrounds and are on roads to earn bread and butter for their loved ones. Be nice and make their day beautiful.