REALIGNMENT

Bolt Protect to help drivers survive the 'new normal'

In America, Europe and Asia, Uber introduced the Go online checklist and driver mask verification

In Summary
  • Helps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading through coughs and sneezes.
  • The number of passengers in the new category is also limited to two - using the back seat cabin.
Bolt branded vehicle
Image: COURTESY

Digital taxi firms in Kenya have come up with health safety measures to safeguard drivers and customers even as the world accustoms to the ‘new normal’.

Bolt, for instance, has introduced a new ride-type in its platform dubbed Bolt Protect meant to protect passengers and drivers against the spread of COVID-19 virus.

Vehicles under this new category are fitted with a protective plastic film of nylon installed between the passenger and driver seats acting as a precautionary barrier that limits the airflows between the driver and passengers.

 

Bolt country manager Ola Akinnusi said the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and drivers are always given the highest priority.

He explained that the protective setup of a new Bolt ride-type helps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading through coughs and sneezes.

''However, this is just one of the precautionary measures, and we strongly advise all our drivers and passengers to act responsibly and continue following the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation,’’ Ola said.

The new ride-type also puts in place additional measures including proper ventilation of the cars throughout the trips as well as regular cleaning of the door handles and the backseat area after every completed trip.

The firm provides drivers with a step-by-step guide on how they can build a protective sheet; instruct them on proper ventilation and cleaning of the car.

''We remain cognizant of the fact that even during the virus outbreak, some people still need to move around in the city and we are doing our best to fulfill our mission and help them do so. We also appreciate our drivers for their commitments during this time,’’ Ola said.

Bolt Protect is currently available to Bolt customers in Nairobi with the plans to expand to more cities soon.

Passengers are able to choose the new ride-type when they order a car in the Bolt app and will not pay an extra fare since the new category does not attract an additional base fare.

The number of passengers in the new category is also limited to two - using the back seat cabin.

Bolt’s measures in Kenya demonstrate just how cab firms, just like other businesses globally are aligning operations to fit the new normal brought about by Covid-19.

In America, Europe and Asia, Uber introduced the Go online checklist and driver mask verification in May to help contain the spread of the virus that has nice claimed over 500,000 lives.

The new technology verifies if the driver is wearing a mask by asking them to take a photograph of themselves.

They must also agree to sit in the back seat and open windows for ventilation. The maximum suggested the number of passengers for an UberX ride has been reduced from four to three.