Recently, Nepal Government took steps to ease the ongoing lockdown in various sectors. A decision was made by the authority bodies to introduce an odd-even system on vehicular movement. With this decision being made, ride-sharing platforms Tootle and Pathao requested the government to allow them to resume their services. It seems their wish is now granted and they will be on the road again from June 22.

Starting from April 29, both Tootle and Pathao have been halting their services complying with the prohibitory orders imposed by the Government. Now, they are preparing themselves to restart their services after a long halt. However, their services will resume only within Kathmandu valley as of now. Tootle CEO Sikshit Bhatta shared with TechSathi that as the new modalities of lockdown are in place now, they shall start their services once again.

Earlier, the government also extended prohibitory orders in Kathmandu valley by seven days. However, in this extension, it was allowed for private vehicles and taxis to operate on an odd-even basis. This was possible since the country has seen a steady decline in the Corona Virus cases lately. The decision was made in a joint meeting of the chief district officers of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur.

As the current prohibitory order ends on June 21 at midnight, these top ride-sharing platforms of the country are free to operate after this time. But, they are still required to comply with the Covid-199 safety and prevention regulations set by the government. Prior to this second lockdown, Pathao had handed over Breathable Protective Gear (BPG) to all of its riders for safety precautions.

Likewise, the new modalities permit various businesses to open on selected days. Gold/Silver, utensils, electricals, and household stores remain open on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, shopping malls, sporting equipment, and textile stores can open. All these shops can be opened from 11 am to 4 pm on their selected days. 

Without our prior research, we found that these ride-sharing platforms have helped people tremendously with transportation in the previous lockdown. Not only that, the users of Tootle and Pathao’s ride-sharing service in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal are skyrocketing. As now both Tootle and Pathao will resume their services once again, it will be significantly easier for the people to move from one place to another.

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Currently a final year student at Islington College, Dipesh Duwal is a passionate and quick learner who wishes to learn something new every day. When not writing, he is busy reviving his life energy through books.

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