Bolt SA riders can now add profile pics

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 08 May 2024
Enabling drivers to accurately identify riders is a crucial step towards enhancing safety, says Bolt.
Enabling drivers to accurately identify riders is a crucial step towards enhancing safety, says Bolt.

E-hailing firm Bolt has introduced rider profile photos in South Africa − a new feature that allows riders to take a photo of themselves and add it to their Bolt profile.

According to a statement, the new in-app feature is part of Bolt’s ongoing investment in safety capabilities on its platform, reinforcing its commitment to driver safety and strengthening driver-rider trust.

Driver-partners can view the rider’s photo during pick-up and throughout the trip. This additional identification step will help ensure driver-partners pick up the correct person, enhancing safety measures, it says.

“At Bolt, we're committed to providing our driver partners with the information they need to deliver a top-notch ride-hailing experience,” says Sandra Buyole, PR manager at Bolt.

“Enabling drivers to identify riders accurately is a crucial step towards enhancing safety on our platform and building trust between all parties involved.”

In the event that a driver feels uncomfortable because the rider's photo does not match the person at the pick-up point, they have the option to decline the trip.

Photos cannot be uploaded from the gallery; they must be taken in real-time, according to Bolt.

This new feature complements existing safety measures on the platform, such as the in-app safety toolkit, which allows driver-partners to share ride details with loved ones, access emergency assistance and start an audio recording of the trip if needed.

New riders on the platform are also required to upload a copy of their identification document, which Bolt will check against the image.

Additionally, Bolt's trip safety monitoring automatically checks in with riders and driver-partners if a vehicle remains stationary for an extended period, to ensure everything is okay.

Meanwhile, Bolt says it is investigating an incident that took place in Cape Town over the weekend, where a Bolt driver allegedly stabbed two female riders during an altercation.

The driver, who was transporting women in Table View, has since been blocked by the e-hailer, it says.