Ride-hailing platform Bolt this week launched a new low-cost service called Bolt Go in South Africa. Through this, the company aims to be the cheapest ride-hailing service in the country, with fares approximately 20% less than regular rides. The company says the addition of the new category is to empower owners and drivers of hatchback cars to access the platform and earn an income.
“Smaller hatchback cars are less expensive to purchase, have lower maintenance costs, and are more fuel-efficient to operate than Bolt’s regular larger sedan cars. These lower operational costs also enable Bolt Go fares to be significantly more affordable.”
Given that the Bolt Go service is designed for hatchback drivers, the service is not ideal for trips with lots of luggage but is perfect for people wanting to quickly, safely and affordably get to work and about.
The service, which has already been successfully tested in East London and Port Elizabeth cities, is now being rolled out to all 35 cities and towns across South Africa where the ride-hailing app is active. Time and kilometre-based rates vary between locations but will always be approximately 20% more affordable than Bolt’s standard sedan category.
All trips in the Bolt Go category will include Bolt’s existing Trip Protection – a no-cost, value-added insurance product that covers all passengers and drivers across all car categories in the case of an accident or unexpected incident.
Cars eligible for Bolt Go
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. Bolt anticipates that popular models will include the likes of Volkswagen Polo Vivo, Datsun Go and Toyota Etios.
The new category gives consumers even more choice in addition to the existing categories that Bolt offers including Bolt (the original sedan category), Isolate, Premium, XL and Van.
Hatchback cars may only operate in the Bolt-Go category. However, the company has enabled the drivers of its regular larger sedan cars, who may be experiencing a quiet period, to opt-in and out on an ad-hoc basis to the new low-cost service to boost their earnings and maximise their earning potential.