Global hailing app company Bolt has launched a ‘Women Only’ service that enables female passengers to request rides from female drivers only – their request for a ride will not be visible to male drivers. Drivers and passengers utilising Bolt’s Women Only service are protected by an app-integrated SOS emergency button, made possible through Bolt’s partnership with national safety platform Namola.
The SOS button enables passengers and drivers to connect quickly and easily 24/7 to private armed response teams, private emergency medical services, and roadside assistance if they are involved in any medical or security emergency while on a Bolt ride.
“Gender-based violence is a reality that women across South Africa contend with every day,” says Gareth Taylor, country manager for Bolt South Africa. “Women Only – a service that is exclusively for and driven by women – shouldn’t be needed, but unfortunately it is.”
Bolt has also allowed women drivers to have protection security screens installed in their vehicles to further boost safety, at no charge to them. These thick Perspex screens are installed between the front and back seats and create a safe and effective barrier between the driver and passengers.
“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 provides this safety and protection.”
Bolt Women Only was introduced in a pilot phase in East London and Rustenburg in November 2020. Following an overwhelmingly positive response from drivers and passengers, Bolt’s Women Only is now available in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, Mthatha, Polokwane, Thohoyandou, Mbombela and Emalahleni. Rides on Bolt Women Only cost the same as the main Bolt category, with no surcharge for this service.
Kelechi Deca has over two decades of media experience, he has traveled to over 77 countries reporting on multilateral development institutions, international business, trade, travels, culture, and diplomacy. He is also a petrol head with in-depth knowledge of automobiles and the auto industry