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Home » Online » Kenyans Troll Taxi App’s New Feature Following Assault Debacle

Kenyans Troll Taxi App’s New Feature Following Assault Debacle


As at the time of publication, the taxi company was yet to issue an official statement explaining how the new feature works.

Taxi app Bolt has become the subject of ridicule after a new feature surfaced on the platform on Tuesday, September 7 to accommodate women.

The feature is dubbed Women Only and many users took keen notice of the new changes that were believed to offer women a safer and more comfortable ride.

As at the time of publication, the taxi company was yet to issue an official statement explaining how the new feature works.

Kenyans took to social media to clown the new feature in the wake of the app being dragged into a debacle where a female client named Suzzy Cerra on Instagram was alleged to have been assaulted by one of their drivers.

Price list for one of the Bolt rides, with the ‘Women Only’ option being charged higher. /FILE

“Bolt seems to be pretty aware of how to run their PR. They first look for the solution then they do the complete opposite of it.

“Have a safety issue? We could fix the vetting mechanisms, accountability, and response time We could add a female driver category,” wrote Daily Nation columnist Mariga Thoithi.

“Bolt obliviously acknowledged that their drivers have been sexually assaulting women, and the best strategy they formulated to curb the vice was to come up with “women only” cabs, where women have to pay more so that they are safe. The wisdom of stitching the anus to cure diarrhea,” weighed in Ja Loka.

Another netizen, Beth Kasinga, recounted her unpleasant experiences with lady taxi drivers and called for the taxi company to implement the registration process utilized by its compatriot Uber on its new drivers.

“Since online cabs started I have only done not more than 3 cabs with women drivers and they were never pleasant. What bolt needs is the Uber registration process to curb rouge drivers.

“Two weeks training, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) pin, good conduct, etc. Also, Bolt needs to remove the easy steps of drivers registration and replace them with the owner’s details. They don’t do this,” she recommended.

Kasinga’s sentiments were added on by a user who recounted how one of the cab drivers made him alongside two of his friends sit at the back of her vehicle on claims that the driver’s seat was occupied by her handbag.

Uber’s registration process requires one to have an account with the platform including an email address as well as be in possession of a smartphone. The following documents are then required:

  • National identity card
  • PSV driving license
  • Safety screening (Nairobi and Mombasa)
  • Complete a Certification session
  • Profile photo

“Make sure that your vehicle is in excellent working and physical condition so that it meets our standards in Kenya. Remember your vehicle will receive uberX and uberCHAPCHAP trips in Nairobi,” reads the instructions by the company in part.

Regarding Bolt’s ‘Women Only’ feature, spot checks conducted by Viral Tea show that the feature charges considerably higher than its counterparts, with the prices being the second-highest to its XL (extra large) feature that consists of cars with up to a seven-seater capacity, despite using the same vehicles as the app’s ordinary option. By contrast, Little Cabs, which is locally owned, has a Women Only option dubbed LadyBUG and charges the same amount as its Comfort option.

Little Cabs has a Women Only option as well, which charges the same as their counterparts. /FILE

The new feature comes in the wake of Cera narrating that she had made the request from Diamond Plaza in Parklands, Nairobi County on the day she was assaulted. However, there was a misunderstanding upon the driver’s arrival when she alleged that the driver had shot up the fare.

She attempted to end the trip, a feat that angered the driver, who went ahead and assaulted her brother with a club (rungu).

“Afterwards, he brandished his knife aiming for my brother’s forehead and in an attempt to rescue him, I blocked him using my hand before I fell down and the suspect drove off,” she disclosed.

Cera then revealed that Bolt had allegedly reached out to her and asked her to retract her sentiments in exchange for free rides, hours before they issued their statement on the matter. 

“They asked me to pull down my post so that they can give me a promo code,” Cera told K24 Digital.

However, Bolt responded by denying the allegations and added that the matter was being investigated for further action.

“The alleged victim of the assault, Suzzy Cerra has not been offered compensation by Bolt whether in the form of free rides or otherwise, and was not contacted by any member of the Bolt team to pull down her post. The matter is currently under investigation with the National Police Service (NPS) and Bolt is closely collaborating with the NPS and all investigating agencies on this matter,” the taxi app said in a statement sent to the media house.

Suzzy Cera (left) and the injuries on her hand she suffered after being allegedly assaulted by a Bolt driver. /FILE



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About author: Digital journalist and managing director with a passion for writing captivating stories. Marvin is a young scribe, a social media, sports, gaming junkie and realist who specialises in viral news, multimedia and investigative storytelling.

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One comment on “Kenyans Troll Taxi App’s New Feature Following Assault Debacle

  1. […] To prevent the situation from escalating further, Gitonga ended the trip on the taxi-hailing app and asked the riders to request another ride. It was a feat that angered the trio who turned an argument into a physical brawl. […]

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