International rideshare company Bolt launches operations in Kazakh capital

NUR-SULTAN – Bolt, a major European transport platform, began operating Sept. 4 in the capital. Several thousand drivers have already started working.

Bolt car in Nur-Sultan

“More than 25 million users in more than 30 countries use Bolt services. Now, the European quality of Bolt taxi service is also available in Kazakhstan. We are convinced that happy drivers are the key to the best service; therefore, we offer more favourable conditions for cooperation for drivers who continue to join Bolt in Nur-Sultan,” said founder and CEO Marcus Willig.

The minimum trip fee is 500 tenge (US$1.30). Landing costs passengers 330 tenge (US$0.85), with additional fees of 40 tenge (US$0.10) per kilometre and 10 tenge (US$0.026) per minute of travel.

Bolt provides discounts of up to 50 percent to everyone who downloads the application. By using the app, for example, a trip from Baiterek to the EXPO 2017 location will be approximately 400 tenge (less than US$1). Users will be able to see the exact price when ordering a vehicle.

The commission for Bolt drivers is much lower compared to the 12 percent for other taxi services. The company, however, offers additional benefits such as driver travel guarantees with fixed rates, a branding programme and daily bonuses.

“The launch of Bolt is a great event for Nur-Sultan. We tried to meet the needs of city residents in a comfortable taxi for a reasonable price. We are pleased to start our work in Kazakhstan precisely from the capital and we hope that new Bolt users will appreciate our service. In the near future, we plan to start work in other cities and we are also considering the possibility of launching other Bolt services in the country, including renting electric scooters and food delivery,” said Bolt Representative Office in Kazakhstan head Arai Bekembayev.

Bolt car in Nur-Sultan

Bolt will face challenges in the market, regional manager Juris Krumins told The Astana Times, but the company has overcome similar tests in the past. The capital transportation market has intense competition and Bolt will face strong rivals such as Yandex. Combined with lower commission for drivers, the company will seek to provide very comfortable conditions and offer sessions and support in Kazakh and Russian.