Uber-rival Bolt surges to 1.5m London passengers

 Bolt, the leading European on-demand transportation platform, today unveiled a new hub for drivers in Chiswick, west London, amid rapidly growing demand from drivers and passengers. Passenger numbers have surged to more than 1.5 million in six months, five times the three-month figure. The hub provides a permanent and convenient location for current and prospective drivers to meet members of Bolt’s customer service team in person to ensure their experience is as quick and seamless as possible.

The new hub is staffed by a driver liaison team that can answer questions and provide information directly to current and prospective drivers. There are 50 parking spaces, meeting rooms, a reception and a lounge area. The space will also be used to host events and forums. The offering is designed to bring Bolt closer to its drivers while providing them with useful services, all under one roof.

By charging drivers only 15% commission – almost half of that taken by other ride-hailing operators – Bolt has accepted more than 30,000 onto its platform in London since launching in June this year, with more being vetted and trained every day. Where customer discounts and promotions are used, Bolt compensates drivers for lost revenue.

Sam Raciti, Bolt UK Country Manager, said: “Our new London driver hub allows us to offer a better and more personal service. Mirroring our driver-focused company ethos, we consulted drivers during the planning stage. The feedback we received suggested drivers wanted the hub located somewhere outside the London congestion zone, with good access to the M25, M4 and Heathrow, and easily accessible from a thoroughfare. Chiswick was the perfect location to meet these criteria. Now, we look forward to welcoming drivers on a daily basis and helping them to get the most out of the Bolt platform.”

All drivers undergo background checks and driver training before being allowed onto the Bolt platform. The Bolt app includes trust-building features that reveal the driver’s photo, name, vehicle type and registration, as well as the driver’s rating, so passengers know who their drivers are before getting in the car. Both drivers and passengers have multiple support channels at Bolt to voice any concerns.

Last month, Bolt announced the launch of an XL category which gives customers access to larger capacity vehicles, typically SUVs and multi-purpose vehicles. This category caters for bigger groups of up to six passengers and offers a cheaper alternative to large families for journeys to destinations such as the airport or weekend attractions, when compared to booking two regular private hire cars.

Bolt is one of the fastest-growing ride-hailing businesses in the world and has grown to serve more than 30 million customers across 150+ cities in more than 35 countries. It is also the largest ride-hailing operator in Europe to offer carbon-neutral rides.

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