Student record

What do carpool apps mean for learner drivers?

In the corporate sector, most entry-level positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Pathao have reduced these barriers and helped create job opportunities for students. Whether students participate in their carpool duties part-time or put in full-time hours is entirely up to them. But what influences their decisions are the different circumstances that affect them.

Between the long hours of commuting, the unforgiving traffic of Dhaka and their academic commitments, as doable as this line of work is, how much does it help students?

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Tamjed Islam Shanto, a 2nd year management student at Khilgaon Model College, talks about his beginnings. “I initially applied for a license because I was supposed to leave the country with my family. We then had to abandon these plans due to financial constraints which deteriorated further during covid,” he said. declared. “As the eldest son in the family, I had to take on some chores. It helped me pay the rent, help with my sister’s education, and even kick-start my dad’s business.”

Md. Nazrul Islam, a recent Bangla post-graduate from Mohammadpur Kendriya College looks back on his early life. “I had finished my bachelor’s degree and was looking for a job. Coming from a middle-class family, no one could refer me to a private company and help me find a job,” he said. “So I started my journey with Uber.”

Being a student means balancing work, studies and life in general. A biker’s job is stressful and the grueling physical conditions of the road don’t bode well for anyone.

“Sometimes I receive users who are very far from my current location. Some customers are very unresponsive and make me wait for long periods of time. Even if we passengers complain, they are ignored in favor of customer complaints,” he said. laments Nazrul.

On the other spectrum, Tamjed talks about the self-sufficient nature of her work. “Being a driver on a rideshare app has been very liberating. There’s no one to set your hours, no hierarchy or partners to answer to. Having that choice has made pursuing a bachelor’s degree much more convenient for me. .” Tamjed continues. “Now that I have resumed my studies, I work part-time in a courier service – an opportunity that arose through my work with Pathao.”

Nevertheless, drivers must account for, among other things, the maintenance of their vehicle and miscellaneous costs. Soaring oil prices must also be taken into consideration. Although it has recently decreased, the reduction is insignificant. The accommodation prices are still quite high and have to be borne by the learner drivers themselves.

To regain control of their duties, some drivers have resorted to driving without the aid of an app. Passengers are generally wary of such a practice because it eliminates the aspect of security that the apps guarantee.

For an already thankless job, the students who participate in this workforce are to be admired. On the surface, it seems like a part-time gig they can quickly take advantage of, but once delved into, it involves a lot of intricate knots. These youngsters may run with fumes, but at least they have the willpower to keep pushing forward.

Abir Hossain is a sub-editor at SHOUT, The Daily Star.