Remember when Segway launched in 2002? It was predicted to revolutionise transportation and hit the $1 billion sales mark faster than any company in history. But by 2010 it had sold less than 30,000 units and was termed as one of the 10 biggest tech failures of the decade.
On a quiet Wednesday afternoon in early August, Dhaka’s Tejgaon fire station got a call from Beltola, a crowded part of Korail slum. An electric wire was sparking and nearby houses were starting to catch on fire.
For several years now, we have seen Dhaka repeatedly ranked as one of the least livable cities in the world. One major factor is our transport system. A city of 20 million people, no metro system and an inadequate number of buses create a traffic nightmare. Those who depend on buses suffer the most: drivers pack people into buses, drive aggressively and stop haphazardly, sometimes in the middle of the street. It is almost impossible for women to get a ride during rush hours.