Bolt – the ride-hailing and logistics platform addressed concerns about its operating license renewal with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). Rumors had it that NTSA declined to renew Bolt’s license; they cited alleged violations of transportation regulations, such as unauthorized commission charges plus booking fees. As a result, Bolt issued an official statement underlining their unwavering commitment to Kenya’s market; this was directed towards reassuring not just partners but also customers–as well as members from across various sections of public life in Kenya.
Bolt underscored its unwavering commitment to comply with Kenyan regulations, acknowledging their significance in fostering a sustainable and law-abiding business that enriches all ecosystem stakeholders. The announcement not only demonstrated Bolt’s eagerness for collaborative discussions with regulators, driver partners, and the broader public but also aimed at guaranteeing continuous adherence to these rules while broadening income opportunities on its platform.
Media reports indicate that Bolt requested a renewal for its license, originally issued in October 2021 with an expiration date set at the end of October 2022. The NTSA based their decision to deny this renewal on the numerous complaints from drivers and their representatives; they expressed concerns about Bolt’s non-compliance and violations of rules.
Cosmas Ngeso, the Deputy Director of NTSA, responded to these allegations by sending a letter to Linda Ndungu: Bolt’s Country Manager. He requested from her – in an assertive tone marked with graduate-level punctuation such as colons and semi-colons – that Bolt formulate a plan addressing the reported breaches; furthermore, he insisted on receiving details about their commission rates and ordered them to halt charges for what was alleged as illegal booking fee. Had Bolt failed to renew its license—a potential significant setback—it would have jeopardized its position in the Kenyan market where it had entered under Taxify in 2016. The NTSA asserted its possession of evidence showcasing Bolt’s violations; it anticipated complete compliance prior to the expiration date: October 28.
During its “tenure of over seven years in the market,” Bolt actively sought input from both the government and driver partners to ensure compliance with the government’s guidelines, as clarified by their rejoinder. They hold a valid license currently and operate without interruption. Furthermore, in fulfillment of licensing requirements, authorities issued them a Transport Network Company license that took effect on October 28th, 2022; they have maintained compliance with stipulated regulations such as capping their commission rate at 18% for drivers who utilize their application. Bolt further elucidated: “We impose a fixed percentage booking fee on our passengers; this measure ensures not only the efficiency of our platform, but also enhances its technological features.”
Taking the opportunity, Bolt highlighted its substantial achievements and forthcoming strategies: specifically—by investing 100 million euros into the Kenyan market in 2024. The aim behind this ambitious move is to extend service provision beyond a mere scattering of cities; it will penetrate deep into Kenya’s urban centers for widespread accessibility across the entire country. Additionally, to bolster driver relations and tackle recurrent issues experienced during day-to-day operations by their drivers—they have set up ‘Bolt’s Driver Engagement Centre’, situated strategically within Westlands area. Bolt seized the moment to underscore its noteworthy accomplishments and future: notably–an investment of €100 million in Kenyan market expansion for 2024 is on target. With a focus towards reaching more cities as well as urban centers throughout Kenya, Bolt aims at enhancing service availability across the entire nation; moreover, recently establishing their Driver Engagement Centre–located strategically within Westlands area—to improve driver relationships was another proactive step taken by them. Striving to enhance the overall driver experience, the company persistently furnishes support via its Driver App and online platforms.
Bolt unwaveringly commits to offering passengers affordable, convenient services and simultaneously creating earning opportunities for Kenyan drivers. The determination of the company manifests in its statement: it aims not only to navigate the regulatory landscape but also persistently contribute towards enhancing Kenya’s transportation ecosystem at large.