After it was reported that Bolt’s license renewal was declined, the digital taxing company has come out to state it is not leaving the Kenyan market. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) had alleged violations of transportation regulations, including unauthorized commission charges and booking fees.
This led the authority to halt license renewal demanding a detailed plan of action from Bolt. On its part, Bolt says:
“Adherence to Kenyan regulations remains a top priority as it is foundational to building a long-term sustainable business that positively contributes to all stakeholders in the ecosystem. We remain open to collaborative dialogue with our regulator, driver-partners and the wider public to continually ensure full compliance with regulation and expand income generation within our platform.”
One of the accusations Bolt faced was adding an unauthorized 5% booking fee. This is allegedly charged on top of the commission of 18% set by NTSA. However, Bolt states that the booking fee is paid by passengers using Bolt app and not deducted from the driver’s expected earnings.
Bolt has also been working to address complaints made by drivers. Drivers working for e-cab companies in Kenya have for a long time advocated for robust structures to help in conflict resolution. On its part, Bolt has already set up a Driver Engagement Center in Nairobi. The move aims to enhance its driver relations and address issues faced by drivers in their daily operations.
Furthermore, the taxi company also states it is in constant engagement with drivers on its platform.
“Over and above the existing features on our Driver App, we continue to meet with our driver community and driver groups from time to time and are also constantly working on the holistic driver experience, to provide the support they need to be successful in their businesses,” Bolt added.
KES 15.8 Billion to Expand Bolt Network In Kenya
Looking into the future, the company says it engaging the regulator to iron out compliance issues. On 28th October 2022, Bolt was issued with Transport Network Company license. This license is yet to expire and the company will continue its operations as it engages NTSA on renewal.
Furthermore, the company promises to expand its Kenyan footprint come 2024. Bolt is looking to invest 100 million Euros (KES 15,810,148,800) which will see the company expand. The company plans to offer its services to clients in more cities and towns across the country.
Last month , the taxi hailing company stated it was investing at least Sh100 million in the Kenyan market as it looks to embed electric mobility (e-mobility) solutions in its offering. This will enable Kenyans to hail an electric vehicles through the app.
The company already has e-bicycles on its platform but those only cater for deliveries under Bolt food.