Bolt: Less strict regulation would bring more drivers, lower prices

Car in Bolt livery. Photo is illustrative.
Car in Bolt livery. Photo is illustrative. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Ride-sharing service Bolt has said that less stringent regulation would attract more drivers to the service, increasing supply and making prices more favorable for passengers.

In recent weeks, there has been much discussion about the price of ridesharing during peak hours.

Eva Liisa Rikkas, manager of Bolt's ridesharing service in Estonia, told BNS the current regulation does not allow peak hour demand to ease because drivers cannot provide services on the Bolt platform on a small scale.

This is because a driver who wishes to start providing the service must first obtain a license card.

"This is a time- and money-consuming threshold which is exactly high enough to discourage those who would like to make only four or five journeys a week - for example, on the side of their day job, or while their child is in daycare or attending sports training," said Rikkas, adding that consideration should be given to easing the license card requirement.

At the same time, the current higher demand and the higher price of the service that demand has brought with it means record earnings for drivers.

Demand for ridesharing services in Estonia and elsewhere in Europe has soared, and higher demand means higher prices, she said.

"Bolt operates under free market conditions. If demand increases, the supply that serves it must also increase. When more and more people want to use the ridesharing service, there must be more drivers who provide them with this service. This is especially true for peak hours, when people travel the most," Rikkas added.  

She said that in order to improve the availability of service, Bolt uses a system of dynamic pricing, which automatically monitors areas where demand exceeds supply and, if necessary, applies a price multiplier that directs drivers to areas with higher demand.

When the supply of cars levels off with demand, prices automatically fall back to the level of the basic tariff. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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