The drivers behind the e-hailing industry

Between a pandemic, government insurrections, a blocked trade route, and losing Betty White at the very last minute, 2021 was a tough year for everyone. However, despite some of the toughest times, good news stories still brought light to dispel the darkness and helped us remember the finest parts of the human spirit.

eHailing drivers spend their days helping strangers get around their cities, whether it’s from work to home and back, to the shops, or even to emergency medical appointments. They get to meet people at their best – when they’ve just had good news or when they’re on their way to a date with that special person – and at their worst – when they may be heartbroken or lonely.

Bolt, the ehailing platform that operates in 45 countries worldwide, including in more than 35 locations in South Africa, has gathered some of the most heart-warming stories by and about drivers that use the platform, across the world.

o   In South Africa, a passenger was phoning friends and family to inform them of her sister’s death, while on the ride. When the trip ended and she handed over the cash to pay for it, the driver instead returned her money, and added more, as a way of paying his respects to the passenger’s late sister.

o   In Ukraine, a Bolt driver was racing through the city of Odessa to take a mother and her unconscious child to the hospital. The car was stopped by the police, who luckily understood the gravity of the situation and provided an official blue light escort to the Bolt car. Together, they reached the hospital on time and the child is doing well.

o   In Croatia, a passenger fell in love at first sight with her Bolt driver and the feeling was mutual. It took a few months for the couple to find each other, but finally, they got together.

o   Two Bolt drivers from Bydgoszcz, Poland met each other by driving for the same fleet. When they decided to get married in September this year, a large part of the local Bolt driver community took part in their wedding ceremony.               

o   In Lithuania, a loving dog owner got into the elevator. Unfortunately, the dog didn’t follow in time, the leash got stuck between elevator doors and the elevator started moving despite the owner’s best efforts to stop it. The owner rushed back down, fearing the worst, only to find the dog happily hopping around a Bolt Food courier who had been at the right place at the right time and had freed the dog from its leash.                         

o   In Bangkok, Thailand, a passenger was looking for a good way to get around town in an affordable way. She happened to be on a ride with a Bolt driver who talked so enthusiastically about the company from faraway Estonia that it made her curious. After doing some research on the internet, she applied for a job at Bolt and is now working in the Bolt PR team in the company’s headquarters in Tallinn, Estonia.

o   In Abuja, Nigeria, a passenger accidentally added extra zeros to the amount and sent the driver 100 times more money than the amount he was due. The honest driver called the rider and returned the money immediately.

o   In Ukraine, a woman arrived home after a long flight from Madrid. She was quite tired, so her Bolt driver decided to cheer her up with some good Ukrainian music. She was so happy to hear the tunes that she started singing and the rider-driver couple did some cool carpool karaoke together. You can watch (or join in) the karaoke moment here.

“A stranger is just a friend that you haven’t met yet and driving with Bolt gives drivers the opportunity to meet a vast range of people,” says Gareth Taylor, regional manager for Bolt in Southern Africa. “A conversation on a ride could see you meet a life partner or a new employer. At the very least, you could have an interesting conversation and gain different insights and perspectives – adding even more value to your ride.”