Car travel made up 58% of all journeys in the UK in 2020¹. The opportunity for a cleaner, greener future lies in cutting that number down into more bike, scooter, car club and ride hailing journeys.
The impact of the pandemic led to more active travel journeys, but the UK now stands at the edge of losing these gains and slipping back into a car led recovery, with car journeys in the first week of February rising to 92% of their pre pandemic levels.
Since 2013, Bolt’s mission has been to move people in a more cost effective and sustainable way. Our goal is to help cities and residents reduce dependency on private cars by offering the full range of shared transport modes.
But it’s not just enough to be a multimodal platform, we want to be an ‘active’ platform — using technology to nudge passengers into selecting the optimal mode for their journey.
In 2021, Bolt trialled in-app changes that recommended a scooter trip instead of a ride hailing journey if a passenger requested a journey that was less than 3km. If there was a scooter within 300m of their position, Bolt moved the scooter option up to second place in the app.
For most cities, this simple change increased the share of passengers choosing e-scooters over ride-hailing by between 40-60%. The study, analysed by TOI in Norway² shows the exciting potential of the interplay between shared mobility modes, all of which have significant potential in the UK market.
Bolt hopes this type of nudging could be replicated for our 4m customers in the UK, suggesting its car club vehicles, or even electric bike trips, to ride hailing passengers.
This could support many councils as they consider more radical measures to reduce private car ownership. These measures often take the form of clean air zones, expanded public transport networks and encouraging multimodal providers to tender for shared mobility contracts. With the support and backing of councils, there has never been a better time to offer a fully multimodal transport app in cities.
One of Bolt’s earliest priorities in the UK was to join CoMoUK in 2020 — aiming to be provisionally accredited by 2021 to demonstrate to councils that it could run effective shared mobility schemes. With this secured, and Bolt now established as one of the largest ride hailing operators in the UK, our plan is to become the largest multimodal transport app in the UK by launching shared mobility options in cities where we operate ride hailing.
We firmly believe in the power of shared mobility to remove private car ownership. If you’re interested in joining our mission, we’re hiring across the UK right now.
by Johnny Munro, Public Policy Manager – Bolt