A few days after the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) said that it might not renew the operating license for Kenya’s taxi-hailing app, Bolt for mistreating drivers through poor pay, the company has moved to increase fares charged to passengers.
Bolt says the move to increase the fares is aimed at cushioning drivers against the high cost of fuel that hit the highest record in history across the country at 217.36, 205.47, and 205.06 shillings per liter of petrol, diesel, and kerosene respectively.
“At Bolt, the interests of our driver community remain at the heart of our business and we truly believe that happy drivers provide better quality service for customers. As such, we have adjusted our pricing to mitigate the rising fuel costs,” said Bolt country manager Linda Ndung’u.
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Bolt said the increased prices had been affected with the base fare now ranging from Sh70 to Sh100 across the Economy, Base, Boda, and XL categories in Nairobi.
“The minimum fare has also been increased, with a range of Sh200 and Sh250 across the categories. Bolt has also increased per kilometer pricing and introduced a long-distance rate,” said Bolt in a statement.
Bolt went ahead to say that the price changes, which will also be implemented in Mombasa, Kisumu, Kakamega, Nakuru, Naivasha, and the Mount Kenya region, are aimed at cushioning drivers from high costs.
“This adjustment reaffirms our commitment to offering top earnings for drivers on our platform, and to remain the preferred, cost-effective choice for our customers,” said Ms Ndung’u.
Drivers affiliated with Bolt have been complaining to Bolt saying that the firm was charging little cash from customers and then overcharging drivers in terms of commission leaving them with nothing to take home. The majority of them said they were being forced to renegotiate with passengers on the prices, something that many drivers never want to hear.