Bolt (formerly Taxify), the leading on-demand transportation network platform in Africa, has launched operations in Port Harcourt. The expansion brings Bolt’s cities in Nigeria to a total of eight. The service is already well established in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Owerri, Benin City, Calabar and Uyo. After successfully launching in seven Nigerian cities, expanding to the cosmopolitan city of Port Harcourt is a natural next step for Bolt as it further reinforces its vision to make urban travel easier, quicker and more reliable.
According to Uche Okafor, Bolt’s Regional Manager for West Africa, “We are also looking forward to introducing flexible employment opportunities to thousands of drivers and vehicle owners in the city. Bolt places high priority on safety, both for the drivers that use the platform to connect with customers, and for the customers that use the platform to hail rides. In keeping with this, we have ensured that our drivers undergo background checks by the State Intelligence Bureau arm of the Nigerian Police.
“We have also integrated an SOS button into our drivers’ app that automatically notifies the Police Control Room of the Rivers State Police Command whenever it is activated.” To celebrate Bolt’s launch in Port Harcourt, Bolt will be offering a 20% discount on all fares for the launch period and passengers can enjoy a free first ride up to N2000 with the promo code BOLTPH when they apply the promo code. Popular trips in and around Port Harcourt such as Pleasure Park to the Mall goes at affordable cost between NGN1,000 – NGN1150 while Peter Odili road, Transamadi to New GRA will cost between NGN1,200 – NGN1,300.
Before Bolt launched in Port Harcourt, customers wanting to hail a driver had to stand on the road, call a taxi and negotiate pricing with them. Passengers would not be able to share their travel details with friends and loved ones or contact the driver in case of forgotten items in vehicles. Bolt has already signed drivers up to the platform in Port Harcourt, who all receive 85% of all fares paid by passengers. What’s more, drivers using the platform are their own boss, as they can choose how many hours they drive, there are no monthly dues, and they can work in whichever areas they want to.
Drivers’ cars must be a 2003 vehicle model or newer. The car has to be four-door (Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, etc) and must have passed a safety inspection. This means that everyone hailing a ride through Bolt can be confident that they will get to their destination safely and comfortably. The service is easy to use passengers simply download the Bolt app from the iOS or Android app stores and set up a user profile. When they’re ready to ride, users open the app, set their location and their intended destination. The app will then give a cost estimate for the trip. Once passengers request the ride, the app alerts drivers nearby who accept the ride.
Once a driver has accepted the ride, passengers will be able to see their driver’s name, photo, car make and model, and registration, as well as be able to track the driver making his or her way towards them in real time – all of which makes it easy to be sure that they get safely into the correct vehicle with the correct driver. Passengers can also share their trip details using the “share your ETA” function on the app, as an extra layer of security. When the ride is complete, payment is made with cash, or via the debit card details the rider entered into the app. Passengers and drivers can rate each other out of five stars and leave feedback using the Bolt app.