Uber officially launched its ride-hailing app in 2010 and has revolutionized the taxi or ride-sharing industry. The ride-hailing giant officially launched on South African shores in 2013 amid an aggressive global expansion and thereafter, Uber’s biggest competitor, Bolt (formerly known as Taxify), launched in 2015. Today, Uber and Bolt dominate the ride-sharing space in South Africa. Uber and Bolt’s on-demand ride mechanism ushered in a culture of convenience, accessibility, and affordability for public transport users that traditional South African taxi’s failed to provide. The advantages of using these platforms are:

  • Ride-hailing services are convenient and cashless
  • Competitive pricing 
  • Flexibility

With the advantages also come disadvantages which range from:

  • Trip cancellations
  • Safety concerns
  • Surge pricing

We’ll be doing an Uber and Bolt comparison, to see which e-hailing service reigns supreme.

Uber and Bolt Price Comparison:

Myboradband.co.za compared the price of five trips for Uber and Bolt for locations in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria:

Destination Bolt UberX
Sandton City to Rosebank Mall R53-R65 (R59) R58
Hyde Park Corner to Wits University R78-R95 (R86) R93
Menlyn Park to Sandton City R344-R421 (R383) R450
Cape Town International Airport to Canal Walk R145-R177 (R161) R206
Two Oceans Aquarium to Camps Bay Beach R77-R94 (R85) R88

 

You should also note that Bolt does not provide a fixed fare price.

I conducted a little experiment where I used both apps at the same time, from the same location and set it to the same destination to get a price estimate.

 

Company Registration at CIPC

Comparing Bolt and Uber’s vetting systems for drivers

Bolt is the most affordable. But are you sacrificing safety for affordability when opting to use Bolt? There has been an overwhelming number of safety concerns on social media platforms regarding Bolt drivers endangering the lives of passengers and some time, causing harm.

As seen on the respective e-hailing platform’s websites

Platform

Driver Requirements

Uber

A valid South African Professional driving permit (PrDP)

Complete a safety screening

Pass a driving evaluation

You have to be a minimum of 21 years of age

Provide a driver profile photo

Bolt

Valid driver’s license

Vehicle registration

Proof of insurance

Driving experience

Vehicle requirements

Clean criminal record.

 

On paper, the two platforms seem to be doing their due diligence, but in a country rife with crime like South Africa, it’s essential to be on constant alert when taking public transport. Here are some safety tips to take note of when taking either Bolt or Uber:

Safety Tips For Bolt and Uber Users 

  • Request the ride while you’re inside
  • Check the driver’s rating
  • Double-check the vehicle registration
  • Request that the driver confirm your name
  • Sit at the back of the car
  • Share your trip details with friends or family
  • Follow your intuition and use the emergency button – both apps have one
  • Provide feedback about your trip