Bolt, the on-demand transportation platform is fitting PVCs in cars in a move dubbed Bolt Protect to protect passengers and drivers against the spread of COVID-19 virus.
Bolt’s vehicles under Bolt Protect will be fitted with protective plastic film of nylon installed between the passenger and driver seats acting as a precautionary barrier that limits the airflows between the driver and passengers thus reduces the possibility of the virus spreading through droplets expelled by sneezes or coughs from an infected person.
“The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and drivers are always our highest priority. The protective setup of a new Bolt ride-type helps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading through coughs and sneezes. However, this is just one of the precautionary measures, and we strongly advise all our drivers and passengers to act responsibly and continue following the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation”, said Ola Akinnusi, Country Manager, Bolt Kenya.
The new ride-type also puts in place additional measures including proper ventilation of the cars throughout the trips as well as regular cleaning of the door handles and the backseat area after every completed trip.
“We provide our drivers with a step-by-step guide on how they can build a protective sheet, instruct them on proper ventilation and cleaning of the car. We remain cognizant of the fact that even during the virus outbreak, some people still need to move around in the city and we are doing our best to fulfil our mission and help them do so. We also appreciate our drivers for their commitments during this time and we promise them that we are doing our best to ensure they are least exposed as possible,” added Ola.
Bolt Protect is currently available to Bolt customers in Nairobi with the plans to expand to more cities soon. Passengers are able to choose the new ride-type when they order a car in the Bolt app and will not pay an extra fare since the new category does not attract an additional base fare. The number of passengers in the new category is also limited to 2 – using the back seat cabin.
Other Bolt services will still be available to customers at the same affordable rates across the seventeen locations across Kenya where Bolt currently operates.
Bolt formerly Taxify is available in Nyeri, Meru, Embu, Nanyuki, Karatina, Kilifi and Malindi as well as Nairobi, Mombasa, Thika, Kisumu, Kakamega, Nakuru, Naivasha, Eldoret, Kitale.
In January, the European Investment Bank (EIB) invested EUR 50 million into Bolt to support its product development and research as well as the sustainability of its services.
European Investment Bank’s investments will be used in existing services like ride-hailing as well as personalised mobility services like food delivery.
The EIB’s Vice President Alexander Stubb commented: “Bolt is a good example of European excellence in tech and innovation. As they say, to stand still is to go backwards, and Bolt is never standing still. The Bank is very happy to support the company in improving its services, as well as allowing it to branch out into new service fields. In other words, we’re fully on board!”