Shared mobility operator Bolt is offering two transport modes within the same app for the first time in Ireland today with a new e-bike rollout in Bray, in the south of Dublin.
The new fleet adds to the company’s existing ride-hailing service, allowing users to either rent an e-bike or a taxi through the Bolt app.
“This moves us towards having a multimodal offering in Ireland like what we have in many countries across Europe,” Aisling Dunne, Head of Public Policy for Bolt Ireland, told Zag Daily.
Bolt Ireland currently offers taxis in Dublin and Cork. E-bikes are available in Sligo, Kilkenny, Wexford and now Bray, which is part of greater Dublin and also includes taxis.
“We hope in the future to have both e-bikes and taxis in all of our markets, as well as e-scooters. We are still waiting for legislation in Ireland to allow them to be legally used on the roads, which will hopefully come later this year.”
One of the advantages of conducting a multimodal service, according to Dunne, is the possibility to “nudge” users towards more convenient transport solutions.
“When it’s a really short journey, you can try and nudge them away from taxis to e-bikes or scooters, for example. Or encourage people that fail our cognitive reaction test towards public transport or a taxi that we have available on the one app,” said Dunne.
Bolt employs an in-app cognitive reaction test every day between 11 pm and 5 am. This means that riders have to prove they are in a fit state to ride a bicycle through their reaction time.
New e-bike rollout
In partnership with Wicklow County Council, Bolt will gradually deploy e-bikes in Bray, from an initial 50 vehicles scaling up to 100 pending positive feedback.
“Even before we made any announcements, 40 bikes that we had placed in preparation for it had already travelled 800 kilometres between Monday and Wednesday,” said Dunne. “This gives us the enthusiasm to think that this really could take off before we even announce it.”
The e-bikes have been initially priced at €0.18 per minute, with no unlock fee. They will be stationed in designated mandatory parking locations on the public realm and private property, as agreed with landowners.