The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has declined to renew Bolt’s license in Kenya. Bolt in Kenya.
NTSA’s Acting Director General, Cosmas Ngeso, has said that the authority will not renew the license until a number of complaints regarding Bolt are addressed. He said that they had received several formal complaints from drivers and their representatives regarding alleged non-compliance and violations of the provisions of Transportation Network Companies (TNC), Owners, Drivers, and Passengers Regulations, 2022.
“The most pressing concerns are in relation to commission charges an illegal booking fee which has caused significant concern amongst the driver community,” Ngeso said as quoted by The Star.
The authority has also received complaints, along with substantial evidence, that the online taxi company is charging commission rates higher than 18 per cent. Ngeso also said that an unauthorised booking fee has been imposed on Bolt.
“This is in violation of subregulation (2) (g) of the TNC regulations,” Ngeso said.
The regulations are in place to prevent online taxi service providers from charging their drivers more than 18 per cent commission. The regulation also bars taxi-hailing apps from charging booking fees as additional charges on drivers beyond the commissions.
Following the complaints made, Bolt has been urged to urgently provide NTSA with a concrete plan of action outlining steps the company intends to take to rectify the situation.
NTSA also encouraged Bolt to engage in open communication with drivers and their representatives and other relevant stakeholders to address their concerns and work towards a mutually beneficial resolution.
“Please note that the Authority is not able to proceed with the renewal of your operator license until the issues raised by drivers and their representatives are satisfactorily addressed and rectified,” Ngeso said.
Ngeso further said NTSA will be available to consider renewing the operating license as soon as the issues highlighted are addressed.
“We look forward to receiving your response and compliance at the earliest convenience,” Ngeso said in a letter addressed to Bolt.
In an email sent to the media by Bolt’s country manager Linda Ndungu said the firm has been fully compliant with the regulations guiding its operations in the country.