Problems for Bolt in Poland? The company sends a surprisingly short message

If you are using Bolt maybe even for business trips in Poland then there is some bad news. The reason is that Bolt in Poland has lost it´s passenger transport agent licence

Bolt has applied for reconsideration

One of the companies lost its authorization to perform road transport in the field of intermediation in the transport of passengers after administrative proceedings lasting from autumn 2022. – The entrepreneur has applied for reconsideration of the case. The case is in the second instance – says GITD spokeswoman Monika Niżniak. The appeal is being investigated by the inspectorate’s legal office and should be resolved within a dozen or so days. GITD consistently does not disclose which company it is about. We were able to confirm that the case concerns Bolt.

According to GITD, the reason for the decision was to outsource transport services to companies and entrepreneurs who did not have the appropriate licences. But there were more allegations. They are enumerated by Tadeusz Stasiów, who knows the case, the president of the Self-Governing Trade Union of Taxi Drivers of the Republic of Poland. – This is, for example, the unlawful use of the application for billing for transport. It is also employing drivers to the left, i.e. for one-sixteenth of the time, while they actually drive almost around the clock.

Among the accusations is also the failure to report employees to any office – says Stasiów. He adds that even if the revocation of the licence becomes final, Bolt will probably still provide services because it will act as an intermediary in transport through another company.

New entry last year

In the summer of 2022, Bolt established a new entity, Bolt Ride sp. z o. o. It started operating in parallel to the existing Bolt Services company. In response to DGP’s questions, the company did not admit that GITD was conducting proceedings against it. – We operate in Poland on the basis of a valid taxi broker’s licence – only Martyna Kurkowska, Bolt’s spokeswoman in Poland, points out.

The creation of the new company took place after it became known about cases of harassment of passengers by drivers driving under the banner of carriers ordered through the application. Bolt’s representatives do not want to reveal why the new entity was established or which company is now commissioning the transport. In response to DGP’s questions, the company writes that “corporate changes, including those regarding the new company, are introduced in connection with operational changes.”

The company also claims that it has tightened the requirements for drivers. – Drivers providing services through the Bolt app must go through a rigorous verification process of the following documents: ID card ,driving licence, a clean criminal record certificate, confirmation of passing medical and psychological tests, a taxi driver ID issued by the city office and a photo of the driver – indicates Kurkowska.

– Drivers’ documents are verified by experts from our team or personally at a driver service point in Warsaw. It is planned to open another 27 points in Poland, he adds. Kurkowska says that the tightening of the verification process resulted in the removal of more than 8,000 from the Bolt platform in Januar. drivers. – Since then, about 30 percent. of them provided the missing documents, which allowed them to cooperate with the platform again. Others who have not submitted the mandatory documents remain permanently blocked and cannot travel with our application – emphasises Kurkowska.

The City is Ours Association claims that the law adopted a few years ago called “lex Uber” did not civilise the transport market. “As a result of a significant reduction in legal requirements for this type of transport, the level of personal safety of passengers has deteriorated, the qualifications of drivers have deteriorated, and consequently also the level of road safety” – write MJN activists on the website.

They add that the problem is especially accidental drivers, often without the right to stay in Poland legally, with false documents, verified only on the basis of document scans. MJN adds that drivers do not currently need a taxi licence, and Uber, Bolt or Free Now mainly cooperate with fleet partners. As a result, it is these large companies that often have several hundred cars, and not Uber or Bolt, that contract drivers.

It is also the fleet partners that have taxi licences, and in the best case, the vehicles contain only excerpts from the licence (assigned to the vehicles, not to the drivers). In response, MJN proposes to eliminate the possibility of lending copies of taxi licences assigned to cars and restore licences for a specific driver. In turn, in order to prevent the transfer of business to another company, according to the MJN association, there should be a requirement to certify the application and link it to one specific intermediary.

Changes coming up?

Changes to the regulations that would improve the safety of travellers using transport via the application were announced by Janusz Cieszyński, government plenipotentiary for cybersecurity. The proposal will be considered by the parliamentary infrastructure committee next week.

The amended regulation is to introduce provisions that companies will have to more thoroughly verify the identity of potential drivers, their driving licence and clean criminal record, as well as check whether the course is actually performed by a person employed by them. Each potential driver will have to report to the company in person before starting cooperation with him.

You will need to leave a photo of yourself, present your driver’s licence and a certificate of good conduct. If the driver has a Polish driving licence, the company will have to check the authenticity of the document in the government’s Central Register of Vehicles and Drivers. The proposals, however, do not please the taxi unions. They believe that the changes will not help much. 

Source: Gazeta Prawna


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