The taxi hailing service Bolt, founded and run by Estonians, launched operations in London on Tuesday and is servicing the whole Greater London, including Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted airports.
The company’s CEO Markus Villig said that Bolt’s arrival in London, transport volumes of which are one of the largest in Europe, marks the emergence of more serious competition to the rival ride-hailing platform Uber. This, in turn, is good news for both drivers and passengers, who so far have had limited options to choose from.
“We are currently operating in over 30 states all over the world and we have seen that improved competition entails lower prices for customers and better earnings for drivers. We are convinced that this is what’s going to happen in London, too,” Villig said.
Bolt is starting operations in London with a change in the service’s safety features, which have been supplemented with a 24-hour support line staffed in London, and an in-app “panic button” for riders and drivers in the event of any safety concerns during a trip.
“In a city the size of London, safety is given greater weight and the regulator’s expectations are also in line with it. As our rivals have not prioritized safety in the past, requirements have become stricter,” Villig said.
The electric scooter rental service Bolt is operating in Paris and Madrid is currently not available in London.
Bolt, formerly named Taxify, is presently operating in over 30 countries.