A Chinese firm is all set to launch an alternative cab service in Pakistan to compete with Uber and Careem, finally bringing some change to the stagnant ride-hailing market. The addition of the Buraq Taxi Service by Timesaco – and the further growth of local ride-sharing services such as Airlift - will allow a healthy competition to emerge once again, breaking the monopoly of Uber and Careem and allowing the customers to enjoy rides at lesser fares, and the individual drivers to potentially earn more.

Since Careem was acquired by Uber, a virtual monopoly has existed behind the apparent dual nature of the online taxi services. In the previous year, employees along with customers have complained about the increase in fares and the decrease in driver bonuses. This vast market share is allowing them to manage prices per their will; due to the lack of regulation in the matter.

However, it is not to late to make some amends. The government can retroactively make regulations and pass better anti-trust laws, while actively seeking to facilitate the entry of new companies in a monopolized market.

New companies offer aggressive incentives. Buraq will reportedly offer 10 percent discount rates for a ride to education institutions, health centers, and marriage halls, along with special discounts to professionals including teachers, army personnel and students. The availability of these facilities can prompt a customer switch, leading to another race to the bottom for prices, returning them to normal on the process.

The addition of another cab service might also prompt people to get new vehicles to avail this service. This could be a possible opportunity for the government to see if their plan to introduce e-vehicles in Pakistan is feasible or not. The government can look into possible incentives that it could offer the companies and the drivers to invest in e-vehicles to ensure the minimum possible damage to the environment.