Digital ride-hailing platform Bolt has dismissed at least 5,000 drivers in the past six months due to non-compliance and safety-related matters as it moves to tighten its grip on the market through enhanced brand imaging.
The firm, which says it has dedicated over Sh20 million to bolster its safety features and measures, stated that it will continue to permanently block both drivers and riders, reported for any misconduct, from accessing the platform.
“Bolt has put in place strict measures to enhance safety on its platform and this move is part of the organisation’s unwavering focus on rider and driver safety. In the past six months, Bolt has discontinued the services of more than 5,000 drivers from its platform due to non-compliance and safety-related matters,” said the firm in a statement.
“These operational changes aim to amplify the safety features and trip experience of users on the platform.”
According to the company, some of the initiatives undertaken to this effect include the rolling out of an awareness and training programme for riders and drivers, the introduction of stricter compliance measures for drivers as well as the inception of advanced reporting mechanisms to enable drivers and riders raise the alarm on violation incidents.
In April this year, Bolt unveiled a selfie check feature both as a measure to enhance passenger safety, as well as prevent driver impersonation and account sharing.
The development ensures that once drivers go online, they are prompted to take a selfie in order to verify their identity and ensure that the details provided in the app correspond with the shared photos.
Drivers whose selfies fail to match with previously shared details are restricted from offering services on the app until their details are verified.
Other safety features previously incorporated on the platform include the drive and car verification feature that allows riders to check and confirm that the driver and car that picks them is the same as the one displayed on the app.
The awareness and training programme, on the other hand, is aimed at raising consciousness about safety best practices as well as emphasising the importance of respectful and responsible behaviour on the platform, in addition to highlighting the ‘how-to’ of using the in-app safety features.
“At Bolt, the safety of all users on our platform is our top priority. We understand the trust our users place in us, and we are taking proactive steps to ensure their well-being during every ride,” said the organisation’s country manager Linda Ndung’u.
“Our enhanced safety measures, and stricter compliance measures, coupled with technology-driven solutions, reaffirm our commitment to providing a secure and reliable transportation experience for all.”