The Public transport sector in Uganda is currently experiencing a hike in transport fares due to high fuel prices. We talked to Bolt’s Head of Operations Moses Mugerwa about the advantages of using ride-hailing apps to access transport means. Here are excerpts:
1. Tell us about Bolt
Bolt is one of the fastest-growing startups in the world with over 100M happy customers in 45+ countries, in Europe and Africa. We are on a mission to have cities move in more affordable and sustainable ways.
Our app is an on-demand platform. Clients who need to move from pick up point to destination, request a ride which is accepted and completed by the driver closest to them. Our services cater to all our clients’ needs.
As for the drivers, who are our biggest partners, our platform is open to all drivers that meet the set criteria which include; having a valid driver’s license, a national ID, a duly inspected car at our verified inspection centers, and holding a certificate of good conduct. When drivers present these, we equip them by taking them through training, to ensure the quality of service.
4. A few drivers I have been able to talk to say apps charge customers very low prices hence the drivers carry all the heavy burden? Is this a challenge you have experienced with your customers? What explains price frustration and drivers abandoning apps? We also have some who say you give customers discounts at their expense.
5. Where is the comparative advantage to those using apps and those who don't?
Eliminating “idle time” - The Bolt app will guarantee clients to a driver by the hour, hence eliminating idle time and increasing earnings in the long run.
Secondly and similarly, the ride-hailing apps will allow one to eliminate dead mileage. For example, in a traditional scenario, if one drives a client to Natete, there is no guarantee that they will get a client while driving back. This is not the case for drivers using the Bolt app, as there are always clients going in most directions.
Additionally, there is relatively fair compensation. One of the things we barely value is our time worth. Imagine you take a client who makes you wait long enough. The app in this case would help you easily have your time fare computed.
Furthermore, with the app you get to work smart. The app gives you the ability to track your earnings by day or over time. It will also allow you to have a desired financial report. We have seen our drivers use some of these to get financial facilities from banks.
Last but not least, the safety that comes with using the app. With the data on trips recorded, we are able to track the trip for both drivers and clients, therefore, ensuring their safety while using the Bolt app.