The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has requested transportation network company Bolt to address several alleged violations before considering renewal of its operator license in Kenya, according to a strongly-worded letter obtained Tuesday by The Netick.
The letter cites “formal complaints from drivers and their representatives” alleging Bolt is not complying with provisions of the Transportation Network Companies (TNC) regulations passed in Kenya last year.
Specifically, drivers claim Bolt is flouting rules that cap commission fees at 18% by charging higher rates, imposing an unauthorized booking fee, and violating other aspects of the new regulations.
“It has been brought to our attention, along with substantial evidence, that your company is charging commission rates higher than 18%, and an unauthorized booking fee has been imposed. This is in violation of sub regulation 2(g) of the TNC regulations,” the letter reads, citing attached evidence provided by drivers.
The alleged violations have “caused significant concern amongst the driver community,” according to the NTSA.
The agency demanded that Bolt provide a detailed response outlining steps it will take to rectify the issues raised, justify its current commission fee structure, immediately cease charging the booking fee, and detail how it will strictly comply with regulations moving forward.
The NTSA also strongly encouraged Bolt to engage in open communication and dialogue with drivers, driver representatives and other stakeholders to address concerns and work towards a resolution.
“Please note that the Authority is not able to proceed with renewal of your operator license until when the issues raised by drivers and their representatives are satisfactorily addressed and rectified,” the letter concludes.
Headquartered in Estonia, Bolt operates its ride-hailing and food delivery services in over 45 countries across Europe, Africa and Central America. The company has faced scrutiny in several markets globally over driver pay, benefits and working conditions, with some protests reported in Europe last year.