In response to directives from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), ride-hailing giant Bolt has recently taken decisive action, expelling over 5,000 drivers in Kenya within the past six months. The expulsion comes as part of a stringent adherence to safety regulations imposed by the NTSA, reflecting Bolt’s commitment to ensuring compliance and enhancing passenger safety.
NTSA’s Safety Concerns Prompt Stringent Measures:
A few weeks ago, the NTSA raised safety concerns and requested Bolt to address issues related to the safety of both drivers and riders. Instances of physical assaults on passengers and unauthorized selling of driver accounts had been reported, prompting the NTSA’s scrutiny. The directive was a prerequisite for Bolt’s annual license renewal.
Bolt’s Response and Safety Measures:
In response, Bolt has reportedly discontinued the accounts of over 5,000 drivers and has pledged to invest KES 20 million ($130,000) in safety-related practices. The company emphasizes its commitment to proactive safety measures, including internal initiatives such as random driver selfie checks, rider and driver training programs, and strict compliance enforcement.
Enhanced Safety Reporting Tools:
Acknowledging the trust placed in its services, Bolt is taking steps to enhance safety reporting tools, making it easier for users to report any safety concerns. The company assures users that any violation of safety standards or non-compliance will result in swift and decisive consequences, including permanent suspension from the platform.
Driver Dissatisfaction and Platform Reputation:
Bolt Kenya has faced challenges with driver dissatisfaction, primarily related to commission rates exceeding the government’s suggested 18%, including booking fees. Some driver partners have been linked to incidents of assault and sexual harassment, negatively impacting the platform’s reputation.
Bolt’s Ongoing Commitment to Safety:
Linda Ndungu, Bolt Kenya country manager, expressed the company’s dedication to user trust and safety. Bolt aims to foster a secure environment for both riders and drivers through ongoing safety initiatives and strict enforcement of compliance.
As Bolt takes robust measures to address safety concerns and enhance its platform’s integrity, the ride-hailing company signals its commitment to providing a secure and reliable transportation service in Kenya.