Ride-hailing company Bolt has announced that it will remain in Kenya despite the National Transport and Safety Authority's (NTSA) refusal to renew its licence.
This news comes after the NTSA alleged that the company broke transportation laws — charging booking fees and commissions without authorisation.
For context, Bolt added an unauthorised 5% booking fee. This is purportedly charged on top of the 18% commission that the NTSA has established.
Consequently, the regulator has requested that the ride-hailing company provide a comprehensive action plan outlining the steps necessary to address the situation.
The plan must include a detailed analysis of current commission rates and identify instances where rates exceed the required 18%.
Bolt must strictly adhere to all rules, discontinue the illegal booking fee, and constantly communicate with drivers and their representatives.
The NTSA explicitly stated that before it renews the operator's licence, the issues raised by drivers and their representatives must be satisfactorily addressed and fixed.
However, Bolt stated that users pay the booking fee via the Bolt app and that the amount is not deducted from the driver's projected earnings.
Besides, several formal complaints from drivers and their representatives about non-compliance with the Transportation Network Companies (TNC), Owners, Drivers, and Passengers Regulations, 2022, have been raised.
The ride-hailing said it’s been working to resolve driver concerns. It claims to have a Driver Engagement Centre established in Nairobi to improve driver relations and address problems that drivers encounter regularly.
Bolt also says it’s constantly engaging with drivers on its platform.
What’s more, it received a licence from the Transport Network Company on October 28, 2022. The company intends to continue operating while negotiating the renewal with NTSA, as this licence is still valid.