Uber has been one of the most popular cab firms worldwide for some time, and Bolt are setting themselves up as competition. Bolt began in Estonia but soon moved to other parts of the world. Its growth so far has been impressive, but a lot of it seems to be based on copying what Uber does rather than look for a way to expand its offerings. To become the hot spot online transport app it wants to be, it will have to find a niche market to leave Uber behind. From a fairly uninspiring start in 2013, Bolt has become much more reliable and increased both the number of vehicles on the road and the countries it operates in. It is hard to say which will be most successful, but both are expanding.
Both companies are changing the way driving occurs, although neither are doing anything for the reputation of cab firms. What seems to be worrying is that Uber does not seem to be making a profit. They have been the first to change the way driving for a living has worked. No other firm has turned itself into a food delivery service, and cab sharing was normally only done between friends going the same way.
Rating drivers has been a change from the norm as well. Most cab firms will only be able to tell their good from poor drivers if people take the time to complain. Here the passenger can rate the driver and vice versa. Without the chance to defend the ratings, there could be some unlucky drivers finding they are not getting much work.
For some time, Uber has run UberEATS, and now Bolt has decided to set up their delivery service and is calling it Bolt Food. Although it is rare for a cab firm to do this, there is a lot of competition in the food delivery industry. Although the timing may have been good as 2020 saw so many people stuck at home, it is going to take several years before they will see a profit.
Modes of Transport
It is not only the services that have been added by Uber and Bolt, but Bolt has gone a step further and added another type of transport. It is now possible to order an electric scooter through their app.
Although popular with the public for many reasons, the business practices of both have landed them with legal problems. The companies class their drivers as self-employed and yet do not always allow them the freedom of a self-employed person. They were happy to fail to provide sick pay and holiday pay yet wanted to tell drivers how many hours to work and what jobs to take.
Both companies have a plan for the years ahead. The introduction of hybrid and electric cars, as well as self-driving vehicles, may lead to one of them changing the way they conduct business again.