Cheaper by taxi: Uber is getting more and more competition from this company | Car

Taxi service Uber is getting competition from Bolt in more and more places in the Netherlands. The international taxi platform says it works more efficiently, making it more economical for the driver and passenger.

After Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, Utrecht is the fourth city in the Netherlands where Bolt is active. The concept is the same as Uber: passengers can easily order a taxi via an app. The moment someone asks for a ride somewhere, the nearest taxi driver gets a notification. If that is not possible at that moment, the ride will go to the next one in the area. You can pay in the car via pin.

Bolt was founded in Estonia in 2013 as Taxify. The company was briefly active in Amsterdam in 2015, but withdrew after the pilot. Under the new name Bolt, the company is now active in 40 countries. Bolt is the market leader in a number of countries in Eastern Europe and Africa, says director Lars Speekenbrink.

The prices are lower for passengers than with Uber, says Speekenbrink. “The economic value on both sides of the service is higher; for the drivers, the commission they pay is lower. This is possible because we have low overhead costs. For example, only three people work in the office in the Netherlands.”

Taxi service Uber faces competition from Bolt in more and more places © AP

Ride to Ikea

The fare depends on the number of kilometers, the travel time and the type of car. Take rides in Utrecht, the city where Bolt has just been introduced: the lowest price for a ride between, for example, the Neude and the Overvecht shopping center is just under 10 euros, between the Julianapark in Zuilen and the Ikea on the furniture boulevard a few euros more. The minimum price for a ride is 6 euros. More luxurious and electric taxis are more expensive.

More than a hundred drivers have already registered in Utrecht. In other cities, the service is so popular that there is a shortage of drivers, says Speekenbrink. “During the corona crisis, there was less work for taxi drivers and many of them looked for other work.”

If you have a night off, you can’t just play taxi driver. The drivers must have a diploma and the car must be registered as a taxi and therefore have a blue license plate. Registration with the Chamber of Commerce is also required. In practice, many drivers work as freelancers for various taxi companies and platforms, says Speekenbrink. The advantage of this is that the taxi drivers have an exemption to drive on the bus lanes.

nights out

Bolt expects the most demand for taxis in Utrecht during weekend nights out. “In other cities we see that taxis are also increasingly used for commuting. For example, by people who don’t have a car and who often cycle, but order a taxi in bad weather.”

Incidentally, these fare prices are ‘dynamic’ and can be adjusted to supply and demand. “Think of it as a marketplace. For example, if there is a lot of demand for rides, but few drivers, the market forces can do their job. The prices will then be slightly higher, so that more drivers want to offer their services.” The income of drivers strongly depends on the number of journeys they make. Drivers who drive a lot can earn 1000 to 1500 euros per week, says Speekenbrink.

Bolt wants to play a central role in mobility in cities, so that owning a car no longer has to be taken for granted. The platform also wants to rent out electric scooters, but the Dutch vehicle legislation is still hindering. Together with competing companies, it is lobbying the government to allow electric scooters on the road.

Cheaper by taxi: Uber is getting more and more competition from this company | Car
Source link Cheaper by taxi: Uber is getting more and more competition from this company | Car

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