Bolt launches ‘pet’ category to offer clarity to London pet owners

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Ride-hailing operator Bolt has launched a dedicated Pet category in London, with a supplementary charge for passengers wishing to bring animals with them on their journeys.

Deborah Meijer, Head of Operations for Bolt in London said: “The category implements a level of transparency which will be appreciated by both sides and make for a more valuable, stress-free relationship.”

The additional charge represents an opportunity for drivers to increase their earnings. Bolt has 6 million passengers signed up in London. Those with an assistance dog do not need to request the ‘Pet’ category.

Signing up to the category is not mandatory for drivers, who can opt out by unticking it in the Bolt Driver app. Furthermore, drivers who remain in the category will be able to see if a passenger is requesting a ‘Pet’ category ride and will be free to accept, decline, or ignore the request as they wish.

Bolt is taking efforts to educate the driver and passenger communities on the ins-and-outs of the category. If there’s only one passenger, they may bring two small pets. These include small to medium-sized dogs, cats, and other commonly recognised household pets.

In order to share the details of the category with drivers and passengers, the company is initiating a variety of communications including emails, blog posts, content and advertising on social media, and in-app pushes. Passengers are recommended to have a blanket on their person.

Consumer research indicates the category should bring a peace of mind to multiple use cases. Bolt data says 14% of Londoners are cat owners while 9% are dog owners. 

Deborah Meijer, head of operations for Bolt in London said: “Many Londoners sometimes can be reluctant to book a trip when they have their furry friend in tow as they don’t want to be a hassle. Similarly, drivers can be surprised when they find out it isn’t just humans that have requested a ride. The ‘Pet’ category gives transparency to both sides so should consequently make for a more valuable, stress-free relationship for all involved.”