… set to roll out enhanced safety measures
Ride-hailing platform, Bolt, has reiterated its commitment to driver and rider wellbeing, with a raft of measures to be rolled out, to ensure enhanced safety, Country Manager, David Nikoi, has said.
Whilst security scares have been far and few between, a phenomenon Mr. Nikoi attributes to Bolt’s existing ‘robust security mechanism’. He, however, acknowledges that there is more room for improvement and assures that sizable investments are being made in this regard.
“At Bolt, we take the security factor really seriously. We believe that the platform should be safe for anyone at any given time, whether it’s in the morning or the evening if you are young or old, male or female, it doesn’t really matter. Once you are on the platform and you are driving, or you are riding in one of our vehicles, we want you to be safe,” he remarked in an interview with the B&FT as the ride-hailing service provider looks to increase its women driver-partner population.
In addition to periodic reminders on rudimentary safety checks, Bolt has included an SOS button on its driver app that is linked with its safety partner, the Ghana Police Service; to ensure a rapid response to security or health concerns.
“So it’s something we continue to encourage our partners to utilise. There are also new safety features that we are developing, which will be out shortly,” he said. This, he added, will be complemented by a comprehensive sensitisation campaign.
Still, on the subject of welfare, the Country Manager applauded the entrepreneurial acumen of Bolt’s local drivers, whilst hinting at an ‘exciting’ vehicle ownership solution.
The global ride-hailing service market was valued at US$36.5 billion in 2017 and is projected to be US$126.5 billion by 2025, representing a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% from 2018 to 2025, according to an analysis by Allied Market Research, with Africa set to be a key market.
A defining feature of not only the ride-hailing but the entire mobility industry is set to be the transition towards more environmentally sustainable tools, particularly electronic and hybrid vehicles, and Mr. Nikoi says Bolt has set ambitious targets to revamp most of the cars it partners with, as well as its internal operations, as it sets its sights on expanding beyond the four cities it currently operates in – Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, and Cape Coast.
“That is actually one of the strong points for Bolt. We have an entire green initiative seeking to reduce emissions, by providing more environmentally friendly options for both our drivers and our riders and in the various places we operate in, including our offices. And this is something that I think we’ve gotten quite strong in Europe already. In Ghana, we are looking to have most of our fleets and offices on renewable energy within the next five years,” he disclosed.
He added that Bolt is looking to partner with the State, vehicle manufacturers with local assembly plants, and other stakeholders to achieve this.