Active policy framework for an efficient ride hailing industry

Ola Akinnusi, Country Manager, Bolt Kenya.
Public transport is a dynamic social facility that requires active and proportionate regulatory structures for efficient and effective service delivery. 

The advent of the on-demand transportation services has been described as transformative and disruptive, changing the entire operational ecosystem. The industry is robust and ever changing. It’s thus necessary that befitting policy frameworks which create an effective and competitive environment in the industry be put in place.

Regulations are very pivotal to economies and businesses. They strengthen markets, protect the rights and safety of citizens and provide certainty for businesses, enabling them to plan actions and investments years ahead.

For this reason, bolt welcomes the ongoing legislative processes by the Ministry of Transport and National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) that will birth new policies to govern certain aspects of ride hailing industry in Kenya.

For sure, the provision of a productive road transport system in our country requires appropriate legislative frameworks to propel Kenya into being technologically productive for the long haul.

Nonetheless, considering the dynamics and delicate nature of the ride hailing industry, it is important for the sector to review and update aspects of the industry regulations to ensure that they remain relevant.

Relying on this basis, the move should therefore not stifle the industry before it has had a chance to grow and truly impact the lives of drivers and commuters alike. It should however, foster and promote innovations and effectively strengthen industry players. 

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The regulations for the ride hailing industry should serve to stabilise the industry, encourage growth and enable the entry of more players to boost competition and provide better service for drivers and passengers. 

They should strive to ensure urban transportation is more affordable, reliable and safe for everyone.  

More particularly, the regulations should reinforce the National Innovation System and adopt appropriate actions to improve the innovation policy agenda and as much as possible, turn ride-hailing into a concrete services industry.

This in turn creates viable economic opportunities in the transport sector that can reduce the rate of unemployment significantly, while increasing the livelihoods of communities.

Under these views, the policy metrics should be relevant, measurable and feasible for targets and priorities thereby increasing quality and consequently, boosting public transport safety. 

The on-demand transportation services have experienced significant growth since their introduction. Their rapid adoption and diversification of services have expanded peoples’ mobility options and passenger safety, contributing immensely to the general public transportation safety and security. 

We look to a future of sustainable legislative policies for the on-demand mobility services as a way to expand the benefits of ride hailing services to more people and enhancing progressive public transport industry.   

The writer is the Country Manager for Bolt (formerly Taxify)

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