NTSA renews Bolt's licence amid complaints

NTSA had threatened not to renew the taxi-hailing company's licence pointing at a number of concerns.

National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has renewed the license of taxi-hailing company Bolt, weeks after threatening non-renewal over alleged breaches and illegal booking fees.

In a statement, NTSA confirmed that Bolt Operating licence will be active until October 2024, meaning the taxi company is duly licensed to conduct business in the country by the provisions outlined by the authority.

"This is to certify that Bolt Operation OU has been fully licensed by the NTSA to conduct network business in Kenya pursuant to and in accordance with the provision of the National Transport and Safety Authority," the transport regulator noted.

On October 11, NTSA raised concerns about Bolt and its competitors including Little Cab and Uber, alleging violations of the Transportation Network Companies (TNC), Owners, Drivers, and Passengers Regulations of 2022.

The operators [Bolt drivers] had also raised issues with the commission charges and an unauthorised booking fee.

NTSA had urged Bolt to engage in open communication with its drivers, representatives, and other stakeholders to address their concerns.

Digital taxi drivers and car owners are also on recording urging the government not to renew licenses of Bolt and Uber.

In a letter, they highlighted issues of non-compliance to the regulations but they have not been acted upon.

That was not the first time the company had had run-ins with its customers with a majority raising concerns about their security and safety while using the cabs.

Bolt is an Estonian company that launched its operation in 2016.

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