Bolt vehicle

Uber competitor Bolt enters Israeli market

The company, which provides transportation services similar to Uber, food deliveries, and electric scooters for rent, published a job advertisement for private car drivers, who are not necessarily taxi drivers, but according to current Israeli law only taxi drivers are allowed to drive for a fee

European transport giant Bolt is starting operations in Israel, Calcalist has learned. In the ads published by the company in various media in Israel it is trying to recruit drivers, but the ads don’t indicate whether it is looking for taxi drivers. The ads offer Israeli drivers fares at "zero commission" as a supplement to income beyond their regular jobs.
Bolt is known for its ride sharing transportation services that allow anyone to pick up passengers and drive them as an alternative to taxi services and similar to services such as UberX. However, the company also provides other services, including food delivery services such as 10bis and Wolt, grocery delivery services similar to Yango Deli, and even cooperative scooter services, car rental and carpools.
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מונית של BOLT
מונית של BOLT
Bolt vehicle
(Photo: Shutterstock)
As mentioned, according to the ads that the company published, it appears that it is recruiting private car drivers who are not actually taxi drivers. These ads create the impression that the company intends to launch the Bolt Ride service where drivers without a taxi driver's license transport passengers. However, this service is illegal in Israel and therefore companies like Uber and Yandex operate in Israel only as taxi companies similar to Gett. If the company intends to enter the field of taxis, then it must recruit licensed taxi drivers. In the past, Yango's Yandex also entered with an illegal service in Israel, called Fix, but in the end the company folded and canceled the service under pressure from the Ministry of Transport.
Bolt started its journey in 2013 in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and currently operates in 45 countries and hundreds of cities with over 100 million customers so far and three million drivers. According to the company's website, it currently defines itself as the first European super application for the field of mobility and transportation. "We fight for better cities and against private cars, offering a better alternative for every purpose that a private car serves."

Calcalist has learned that Bolt company representatives did not contact the Ministry of Transportation and the move is not coordinated with the ministry.
Bolt said in response: "Unfortunately, we are not able to comment on our business plans in more detail. We will definitely let you know once we are opening our operations in Israel."