Even though Bolt opened its Africa head office in Nairobi, Kenya last year, it has not stopped the popular taxi-hailing company from experiencing this unusual setback.
The Kenyan National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has said no to renewing Bolt’s license. NTSA’s decision is because they think Bolt broke the rules, like charging extra fees.
NTSA claims that Bolt went against the 2022 Transportation Network Companies (TNC) Regulations. They’re mostly upset about the extra charges that Bolt puts on passengers. The rules say that taxi-hailing apps can only charge a commission fee, nothing more.
Bolt’s Kenya boss, Linda Ndungu, says that they charge a fixed percentage fee from passengers. They use this money to support customers and improve their technology, which makes the service better.
If Bolt can’t renew its license, it will affect riders, drivers, the competition in the ride-hailing business, and the government’s money. People might have fewer cheap and easy rides, drivers could lose their jobs, and competition might go down, leading to higher prices.
Bolt’s current license in Kenya was given on October 28, 2022, and it’s going to expire soon. Bolt is trying to work things out with the regulator for a new license, but NTSA says they won’t get one unless they come up with a plan to fix the issues.
The plan must contain a detailed analysis of current commission rates and identify instances where rates exceed the required 18%.
In the midst of this setback, the ride-hailing company Bolt has said that it will remain in Kenya despite the National Transport and Safety Authority’s (NTSA) refusal to renew its license.