Bolt launches ‘women-only’ taxi service

Given the reported number of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases in South Africa, Bolt has launched a women-only service that enables female passengers to request rides from female drivers only in an effort to help them feel safer.

“Gender-based violence is a reality that women across South Africa contend with every day. Women-only shouldn’t be needed, but unfortunately, it is,” said Bolt manager Gareth Taylor.

The service was introduced in a pilot phase in East London and Rustenburg in November last year but is now available in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, Mthatha, Polokwane, Thohoyandou, Mbombela and Emalahleni.

According to the vehicle hire app, the women’s requests will not be visible to male drivers and the rides will cost the same as the main Bolt category, with no surcharge. Taylor added that women drivers would also be allowed to have protection security screens fitted in their vehicles at no extra charge.

Passengers and drivers using Bolt’s women-only service are also protected by an app-integrated SOS emergency button made possible through Bolt’s partnership with safety platform Namola.

“Women e-hailing drivers and passengers have the right to feel safe and be protected from any harm while working and moving around, and the women-only service, in combination with Bolt’s many other safety features, provides this safety and protection,” concluded Taylor.

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