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Ride-sharing app Bolt launches new taxi service in Zurich

Ride-sharing app Bolt launches new taxi service in Zurich

Ride-sharing app Bolt has confirmed that it has launched its first taxis in Zurich, the first part of Switzerland to benefit from the service. The Estonian company hopes that it will be able to beat both ride-sharing apps and conventional taxis on price, and aims to break Uber’s “quasi-monopoly” in the Swiss metropolis.

Bolt launches new super-cheap taxi service in Switzerland

Speaking to 20 Minuten, Bolt country manager Patrick Frei confirmed that from April 30, people in Zurich will be able to use the Bolt app on their mobile phones to book car rides in and around the city. Bolt had already been operating its e-scooters and e-bikes in Zurich, but now the city will join around 500 others around the world that have Bolt taxis.

According to the international company, journeys booked with them are around 5 percent cheaper than those booked via Uber, and are up to half the price of a conventional Swiss taxi. They also promised that 50 percent discounts would be available in the first few weeks of service, designed to help break up what Frei described as Uber's "quasi-monopoly" over taxis in Zurich.

Already 600 drivers signed up for Bolt in Zurich

Frei confirmed that between 400 and 600 drivers have already registered to work for Bolt in Zurich, all of whom adhere to the new language requirements for taxi drivers in the city. He added that Bolt drivers are free to work for other providers: “As a self-employed person, you should therefore be on different platforms in order to earn as much as possible.”

As the quote suggests, unlike Uber in Geneva, those who work for Bolt are considered freelancers. This means that they do not get employer contributions to social security and pensions.

Bolt car-sharing and food delivery services in Zurich are on the horizon

Bolt also hinted that the launch in Zurich was the first step in expanding its services nationwide. “As of today, we are focusing on the transportation service in Zurich. Once we have proven ourselves here, other Swiss cities and Bolt's other services, such as Bolt Food or Bolt Drive, will follow suit,” Frei concluded.

Thumb image credit: Iurii Vlasenko / Shutterstock.com

Jan de Boer

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Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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