Bolt, the company formerly known as Taxify, has launched a lower-cost ride-hailing service that it claims is the cheapest in South Africa.
Known as Bolt Go, the Uber Technologies rival said the rides will be about 20% less than regular rides booked through its app.
“Bolt Go will significantly lower the barriers to entry into the South African ride-hailing industry by empowering owners and drivers of hatchback cars to access the Bolt platform and earn an income,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
Bolt Go is being rolled out in a phased approach to the 35 cities and towns in South Africa where Bolt is active.
The company’s South Africa country manager, Gareth Taylor, explained that smaller hatchback cars are less expensive to purchase, have lower maintenance costs, and are more fuel-efficient to operate than Bolt’s regular sedan cars. “These lower operational costs also enable Bolt Go fares to be significantly more affordable.”
Bolt Go has already been trialled in East London and Port Elizabeth and is now being rolled out to all cities and towns across South Africa where Bolt is active.
The service will initially be introduced to secondary provincial cities and towns, and then in the large urban areas of Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban.
“Because Bolt Go has been designed for hatchback drivers, the service is not ideal for trips with lots of luggage – for example, to the airport ahead of a big holiday,” Taylor said.
All trips in the Bolt Go category will include Bolt’s existing “trip protection” — a free, value-added insurance product that covers all passengers and drivers across all car categories in the case of an accident or unexpected incident.
The Bolt Go category is open to standard hatchback cars in good condition with low mileage, that pass a 45-point safety inspection, and that seat at least four passengers in addition to the driver.
Hatchback cars may only operate in the Bolt Go category. However, Bolt has enabled the drivers of larger sedan cars, who may be experiencing a quiet period, to opt in and out on an ad hoc basis to Bolt Go to boost their earnings and maximise their earning potential. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media