|Name:||Md. Ibrahim Badhan (Illustration) & Rubaiet Sharmeen Sornali ( Narration)|
Public Bus | Locally known as Murir Tin
Public transportation began with a simple horse-drawn carriage and quickly progress to rail lines, cable cars and finally modern buses we know. There is no significant data that implies exactly when buses came in Asia for transportation. But even in 1940 most Asian countries, residents were served by bus service (Barter P., 2000).
In S.M. Abul Hossain’s words, who is the ex-president of the Bangladesh Crime Reporter Association, buses from Momin Motor Company were very popular in Dhaka between 1940 to 1970. Those buses were known as ‘Murir tin’ but the history behind the name is unknown. Though it was assumed that because of its shape and material it was called ‘Murir tin’. In 1940, a businessman named Abdur Rahman and his family import Bedford bus from England and also construct a garage named ‘Momin motor company’. Till 1970 those buses gave services continuously even in the middle of the 80s it was routed through Jinjira to Ruhitpur. Since then, travelling by bus has become the most convenient public transport system especially among the students due to affordable fares and accessibility in Dhaka. According to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), the total number of registered buses until March 2018 is 44,374.
A car is a motor-wheeled vehicle used for comparative fast and easy transportation. Car came into global use during 20th century. In 1986, a German inventor Karl Benz introduced 1st modern car named Benz Patent-Motorwagen.
The first car introduced in Dhaka was owned by Nawab Salimullah. In the year 1904, it was bought from Kolkata and brought to Dhaka. The Nawab family had a private car dealership for them which went by the name Dhaka Nawab Family Automobile (Alam D.,Roy A., 2018). The first and only motor workshop in Dhaka was ‘Excel motor workshop’ run by the British and situated in Nawabpur. Mawla Baksh, who joined as a foreman was given the workshop in 1932. In Farashganj he started his own business which was taken by the British in World War II. In 1942, he got his workshop back and move to Laxmibazar. Pragoti Industries Limited (PIL) is the oldest and largest automobile assemblers in Bangladesh since 1966. The Company has assembled over 50,000 vehicles. According to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, in 2018, registered private passenger motor car are 3, 35,660 unit.
An auto-rickshaw is the motorized version of pulled or cycled rickshaw with a different physical appearance. A compressed natural gas (CNG) auto-rickshaw is now a very popular form of vehicles in Dhaka which use high pressured natural gas. Natural gas vehicles were first recognized as early as in the 1930s. Japan was the first country to encourage motorized three-wheeled vehicles. It ran on uncompressed gas which was called ‘Gas Bag vehicles’. Those vehicles were also used during World War I even in World War II.
A CNG conversion for vehicles was conceived in Bangladesh to eliminate serious emission problems and due to environmental concern. In 1982, Petrobangla on behalf of the government undertook a pilot project for the use of CNG. Till now, five CNG conversion, filling and marketing stations have been operating in different points of Dhaka City – Joarshahara, Mohakhali, Motijheel, Asad Gate and Kalyanpur under the management of Rupantarita Prakritic Gas Company Ltd (RPGCL), a subsidiary of Petrobangla. After a long period, in January 2003, classic auto-rickshaws were finally banned and CNG-powered model was introduced.
Motorcycle | 1969 Honda Cub 50
A motorcycle is commonly known as a two-wheeled motorized vehicle. It was created as a self-propelled bicycle for a faster and easier journey experience. In 1884, the first commercial three-wheeler was designed. After 1-year first internal combustion petroleum-fueled motorbike was built in Germany with two wheels.
During 1900, many manufactures were converting bicycles or pedal cycles with motor engines. In 1977, Walton motors first introduced themselves as the manufacturer of the motorcycle in Bangladesh. Over time, because of the traffic and road condition, the motorcycle has become the most popular choice. Many riding apps have been also set up and got a huge response among youths. According to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), the total number of registered motor vehicles until March 2018 is 21, 45,659.
A rickshaw is a popular transport in Bangladesh which denoted as a three-wheeled passenger cart pulled/cycled by one man. Since it’s invention it took several years to come to the south Asian region especially in Bangladesh. In the late 19th century hand-pulled rickshaw emanated to Asia.
There are various stories about how rickshaw came to Dhaka. From the book named ‘The rickshaws of Bangladesh’ written by Rob Gallagher, apparently in 1930s, rickshaws first came to Mymensingh and Narayanganj, then it arrived in Dhaka. Muntasir Mamun also stated that rickshaw came to Dhaka in 1937. Satyen Sen, in his memoirs, says two persons brought rickshaw from Chandannagar (now in West Bengal, India) in 1936-37. So, it can be assumed that, between 1930-1940, rickshaws were introduced. Licenses for rickshaws were officially distributed from 1944 and the number was 100 then. Soon after, it had become the most popular transport for the people in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority. (2018). Number of registered motor vehicles in Bangladesh (year wise), Report. URL
Emu,H.E., (2020). Murir tin and Momin Company Bus. news article, Amader Somoy. com, URL
About the Authors:
Md. Ibrahim Badhan has completed the bachelor in architecture from North South University (NSU) and is currently doing M.Arch from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).
Rubaiet Sharmeen Sornali has completed the bachelor in architecture from North South University (NSU) and is currently doing M.Arch from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).