Uber-rival Bolt opens new hub in Chiswick, London, surging to 1.5 million London passengers in 6 months

Markus founder Bolt

Bolt, one of Europe’s leading on-demand transportation platforms, today unveiled a new hub for drivers in Chiswick, west London, amid rapidly growing demand. Bolt’s passenger numbers in London have surged to more than 1.5 million in six months, five times the three-month figure. 

Bolt’s new hub in Chiswick, London, is designed to bring Bolt closer to its drivers while providing them with useful services, all under one roof. It 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 hub will be 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.

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.”

Bolt, founded in 2013, aims to make urban travel easier, quicker and more reliable. It is one of the fastest-growing transportation platforms in Europe and Africa, offering multiple services (including private hire drivers, electric scooter rentals and food delivery). Headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia, the company was founded by Markus Villig, 25, who is the youngest founder of a unicorn company in Europe. As we reported this year, it has already achieved unicorn status, and at this point in time, has more than 30 million users in over 35 countries globally.

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

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.

Bolt also can be noted for its environmentally conscious activities, having a designated “Green Plan” in place. It is currently the largest ride-hailing operator in Europe to offer carbon-neutral rides, a voluntary commitment. Additionally, in November of this year, Bolt launched dedicated environmental impact fund with seed capital of €10 million, aimed at initiatives which deliver global social and environmental benefits.

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