Estonian ride-hailing company, Bolt, has been dealt a blow as the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has refused to renew its operating license in Kenya.
The decision, which comes shortly before the expiration of Bolt’s current license, is a setback for the company’s plans to expand in the Kenyan market.
Bolt had requested the renewal of its license, but the NTSA declined due to complaints from drivers and their representatives about alleged breaches of regulations by the ride-hailing giant. The NTSA has asked Bolt to provide a plan of action to address the issues before considering the license renewal.
The current license is set to expire in 17 days, but the renewal process is now uncertain.
Bolt has restated its commitment to the Kenyan market and its determination to address any compliance issues following the NTSA’s decision. The company has emphasized the importance of adhering to Kenyan regulations in order to build a sustainable business that benefits all stakeholders.
Bolt is prepared to engage in collaborative dialogue with regulators, driver-partners, and the public to ensure full compliance and expand income opportunities for drivers on its platform. Bolt has a history of actively working with government authorities and driver partners to stay within the regulatory guidelines set by the Kenyan government.
The company currently holds a valid license and is operating in compliance with regulations, including capping its commission rate at 18% for drivers. To improve platform efficiency and support innovation, Bolt charges passengers a fixed percentage booking fee.
Looking ahead, Bolt has ambitious plans for its business in Kenya by 2024. This includes a significant investment of 100 million euros to expand its services into more cities and town centers, increasing its presence across the country.
Additionally, Bolt has recently launched a Driver Engagement Center to strengthen relationships with its drivers and address their daily operational challenges.