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Taxi firm Bolt raises drivers’ fees to 20pc

Online taxi
Online taxi drivers during a past protest over working conditions. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Drivers contracted by ride-hailing taxi firm Bolt are facing reduced earnings following a move by the company to increase commission it charges to 20 percent from 15 percent.

Bolt (formerly Taxify) implemented the new service fee Monday in a move that makes the taxi app service fee the second-highest in the market after Uber which charges 25 per cent.

Local app Little charges a commission of 15 percent.

The fee increase comes barely two months after local taxi app drivers went on strike to protest reduced earnings, arguing that cab rates were low and commission charged by the companies high. Bolt did away with the budget service dubbed Go, forcing riders to use the standard (Base) option, which led to about 30 percent increase in fares.

The increase in Bolt commission is set to reignite the driver and partner earnings debate.

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“Starting Monday, September 9, there will be a slight increase in the commission rate (service fee) from 15 percent to 20 percent for each completed booking made through the Bolt platform,” said the firm in a notice to its drivers.

“Bolt will make additional investments in sustainable ways over the coming weeks to increase your earnings and improve safety features on the platform.” The firm added that it will be unveiling new ideas in the local market to increasing revenue streams for its local partners and drivers.

Bolt unveiled a food delivery service in Estonia last month and it is currently rolling the service in markets across Europe. It is likely that the firm, which already has a tuk-tuk service and Boda boda services, could also introduce the Bolt Food Service in the local market.

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