Bolt has announced that it has introduced a feature on its platform that will enable customers to cancel trips if the driver goes offline.

Drivers on on demand taxi platforms sometimes ask riders to allow them to cancel the trip and instead allow them to take them to their destination offline. This means that the revenue from the trip goes to the driver without giving the cab hailing companies their commission. It also means that the rider safety is compromised in case something happens and that’s why many cab hailing companies do not encourage it.

Bolt customers will now be able to cancel a trip by selecting the option driver asked to pay off-the-app under specific circumstances. This feature enables riders to take action should they encounter situations where the driver asks for payment for a trip outside the app, requests payment exceeding the agreed-upon trip fare, or encourages cancellation of the trip to go offline.

Linda Ndungu, Country Manager said: “We’re happy to introduce our latest cancellation option, designed to cut down on offline trips and address instances where drivers insist on charging rates exceeding those on the app. At Bolt, we strongly discourage both drivers and riders from using the platform to exchange contact details or negotiate for offline trips. This goes against the safety and reliability we aim to uphold for our users. When drivers and riders go offline, essential safety features like GPS tracking and SOS coverage in the app become inactive, leaving users vulnerable and without access to critical in-app safety tools. Remaining online ensures the effectiveness of these features and prioritises the safety of our users. Mitigating actions are also in place for drivers continuously reported as soliciting offline trips. These actions include temporary bans and account suspensions, as we remain dedicated to providing a secure platform for everyone.”

Bolt is also encouraging both passengers and drivers to take advantage of the safety features provided in the app’s Safety Toolkit. These features are designed to operate during active (in-app) trips.