Bolt taxi hailing app launches in Cork

28 Mar 2022

Image: Bolt

Users in Cork will now be able to call a cab using the Bolt app, which in future will also enable bookings for shared mobility schemes.

Bolt is branching out in Ireland and bringing its taxi-booking app to a second city.

Starting tomorrow (29 March), users in Cork city and surrounding areas will be able to download the Bolt app to hail a taxi to their location.

The Bolt taxi app is already available in Dublin where it launched in December 2020 with more than 1,000 drivers signed up.

Bolt hopes to attract drivers in Cork with competitive commission rates, while customers can avail of an introductory offer of 50pc of their first 10 trips.

“The appetite for socialising is back across the country but we are aware of the concerns some might have around the availability of taxis, especially at night,” said James Bowpitt, Bolt’s operations manager for Ireland.

“Bolt has been trialling incentives and commission-free trips for drivers during busy periods to get more taxis on the road.”

The Bolt app also allows users to book a taxi with a shield between the driver and passengers for added Covid-19 protection, and to opt for a hybrid or electric vehicle.

Transforming transport

The Estonian start-up behind the Bolt app aims to eventually bring its full suite of mobility services to Ireland, including e-scooter, e-bike and car sharing schemes. It also operates food and grocery delivery services.

Last year, Bolt announced its plans to launch 10,000 of its e-scooters in Ireland, though regulation for their use was not yet established.

Since then, the Government has inched closer to finalising this legislation and has also set ambitious carbon reduction targets for the coming decade, which will require changes to transport across the country.

“There is a real opportunity now to harness new and innovative approaches to transport,” wrote Bolt Ireland head of public policy Aisling Dunne earlier this month. “We see Ireland as having unique characteristics to ultimately deliver world-leading levels of shared ownership.”

Bolt is currently operating in more than 400 cities across Europe and Africa.

In Cork, as with Dublin, Bolt faces competition from Free Now, which is a long-established taxi-booking service in Ireland.

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.