Ride-hailing company Bolt has announced that it will no longer serve individual users and will only serve corporate customers in Tanzania until the dust settles in the regulatory environment of the country.
In April this year, Bolt said it might stop operating its taxi service in the country. This was because Tanzania’s Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA), which regulates the taxi sector, increased taxi fares and reduced the commissions earned by ride-hailing companies from a maximum of 33% to 15%.
Bolt’s main rival, Uber, which charged its drivers a 25% commission, packed its bags and left the country because it found LATRA’s demands unfavourable. Bolt lingered, however, saying that it would comply with the new rules temporarily. It promised to eventually stop offering ride services if its negotiations with LASTRA didn’t yield a better and mutually beneficial change in the circumstances.
The wind of change has not blown in the direction that Bolt wants it to. LASTRA’s stance remains unchanged, but Bolt is changing its mode of operations. From Wednesday, August 17, the company will only cater to corporate users.
With this new change in the customer pool, Bolt’s 10,000+ drivers may not be pulling in as many ride requests as they used to. This might lead them to turn their wheels to other small players in the ride-hailing field who are already compliant with the LASTRA demands. Such players include Ping and Kenya-based Little.