Ride-hailing app Bolt launches in Portsmouth as University of Portsmouth students set to return

A RIDE-HAILING app is launching in Portsmouth today – despite a shortage of taxi drivers in the city.

By Emily Jessica Turner
Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 11:01 am

Bolt, the UK’s second largest ride-hailing app, has arrived in the city in time for the return of university students for the upcoming Freshers’ Week on September 20.

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The app is also promising to support the private hire industry by allowing drivers to earn more per trip than other service providers.

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Ride-hailing app launches in Portsmouth

In August, The News reported that the number of taxi drivers in Portsmouth dropped by a quarter following repeated lockdowns - but Bolt says that its low commission rates will give the industry a much-needed boost.

It also says that the launch of the app will help the hospitality and retail sectors continue their bounce back by transporting residents to their local businesses and other hotspots.

A spokeswoman for Bolt said: ‘Bolt offers highly favourable commission rates to drivers at just 7.5 per cent for the first two months, rising to 15 per cent thereafter, compared to competitors’ who charge drivers up to 25 per cent.

‘With university students returning to Portsmouth for the upcoming Fresher’s Week, Bolt hopes that increased rider demand, coupled with low commission rates for drivers will help to support the local private hire industry.’

Bolt also says that it will offer residents a safe, affordable, and sustainable way to get about the city, as ride-hailing is a great alternative to car ownership.

Sam Raciti, Bolt’s UK general manager, said: ‘As a city where countless historical journeys have started and finished, we’re incredibly excited to be launching into Portsmouth.

‘Bolt’s mission is to keep people connected to the places they love and as students new and old return, we can’t wait to get them moving around the city again so they can bring even more life and energy to the famous Pompey streets and waterfront.’

The app is offering a promotional code to celebrate its arrival in Portsmouth.

First time riders will receive £8 off their first Bolt ride with the code BOLT2POMPEY helping them get anywhere in the city.

The code should be entered into the Promotions section of the Bolt app.

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