It’s not often when you hear a new ride-hailing category added that sparks conversation and backlash from people, but Bolt seems to have done the impossible. The company seems to have quietly rolled out a new “Women Only” category on the app. So, it was quite a surprise for us to hear about this not from the firm but from social media users. And as you can already guess, the move has a lot of people angry.
This move comes a few months after Bolt launched the “green” ride category, where users can choose to order electric cabs. Of course, this was seen as a welcome move in a city and country that now needs as little carbon footprint from the public transport industry as possible. Having a “Women Only” category would have been seen as another good course by many. This is when you consider the danger that ladies have to go through while ordering rides, a problem that is very evident by the number of harassment and rape cases so far.
However, after checking deeper into the category, it becomes clearer why many are airing out their complaints against the company. As it stands, the category will cost women across the country more than what regular rides cost them. And by more, I mean by about KES 100 or even higher depending on where you go.
So, it was definitely baffling for many why it would cost that much just for a woman to feel safe in a ride she ordered. The situation even gets worse since this category has launched about a few days after a case of a lady who went to social media to call out a driver who allegedly harmed her physically. Bolt responded to the case reporting that it had listened to the accused driver’s account of the incident as well. But it was quite clear that some, particularly women, were not still pleased with how it was all handled.
I know i say this every year but: ladies delete that BOLT app today. Delete it now. Your safety will ALWAYS be compromised when you involve yourself with them.
Delete today today today!
— Kaluhi's_Kitchen (@KaluhisKitchen) September 7, 2021
Bolt kuongeza an overpriced women only option kwa app is a sign of accepting that there's a safety problem with their male drivers?
— THE WATCHER (@jamlick__) September 7, 2021
While Bolt seem to have heard and acted (creatively) on the numerous safety complaints by women, why is the "Women only" service pricier though…for the same distance?
— AKN (@Ms_KNjoroge) September 7, 2021
Like mentioned before, there are some who welcome the new service. But it looks like the company will have to explain to its users what justifies that extra price.