Bolt Ireland strengthens commitment to the Irish market with electric scooter legislation announced


European super-app Bolt has a mission to make urban mobility more affordable, safe and sustainable. It has strengthened its Irish team with the appointment of Aisling Dunne as Head of Public Policy. Ms. Dunne joins as the legislative environment around electric scooters gains momentum, with the Government’s Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021 being published by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD. She will be responsible for Ireland’s public policy and regulatory affairs with Bolt preparing to provide a range of mobility services in the country.

Coming from a background in transport and road safety, Aisling is eager to unlock the positive benefits electric scooters can bring to the country, whil staying acutely aware of any concerns held by Irish cities and towns about the transport mode. With Bolt offering micro-mobility services in more than 160 cities across 20 countries, Aisling will collaborate with Government and Local Authorities to provide insight into best practices, based on similar European markets. This will ensure that policymakers can introduce scooters in a safe and sustainable way, and provide passengers with a range of mobility options.

Before joining Bolt, Ms. Dunne worked with Arup as a Senior Transport Advisory Consultant and as a Special Adviser to the Minister of Transport, Tourism & Sport for four years. In her role with the Department of Transport, Dunne worked closely with road safety organisations and advocacy groups to successfully deliver the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018. She also helped to craft safety regulations introduced in 2019 to improve safety on Irish roads for cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

Bolt offers a range of mobility services including ride-hailing, shared cars and scooters, and food and grocery delivery to more than 75 million customers in over 45 countries across Europe and Africa.

Announcing Aisling Dunne’s appointment, Sam Raciti, Regional Manager, Western Europe for Bolt said, “As we aim to bring a multi-modal mobility app to Dublin, Aisling will be integral to guiding the strategy behind our electric scooter roll out, ensuring Bolt thoughtfully and safely integrates with the infrastructure, transport system and wellbeing of the public.”

Following the successful launch of its taxi-hailing service in Dublin, Bolt is excited to create Ireland’s first multi-modal transport platform, where the public can choose between a car, scooter or even an e-bike. Looking at the legislative process, Aisling Dunne indicated, “Ireland and e-scooter companies still have three hurdles to overcome before the introduction of rentals. Firstly, we welcome the publication of the Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021 today. The legislative process will potentially take several months, bringing us into the new year. The Minister will then be required to prepare secondary legislation, which will also take a period of time, and may require input from the European Commission. For that reason, we envision the tendering process for local authorities is unlikely to begin before Summer 2022 and it realistically could be Christmas 2022 before rental electric scooters become accessible for Irish users. It is paramount that proper legislation is introduced to curb unsafe e-scooter habits emerging from private use, such as multiple people using scooters at once and their use on paths and pedestrian areas. We look forward to complementing safeguards introduced with our innovative safety features developed by our engineering team. Since our successful taxi launch, Bolt is in Ireland for the long haul and is ready to meet scooter demand and provide Bolt’s proprietary, 4th generation, sustainable e-scooters to Irish towns and cities.”

The Bolt 4 scooter, has a maximum speed of 25 km/h, a 40 km battery range, is weather-resistant to the IP67 standard and has a 5-year lifespan. It is designed and engineered by Bolt and is the safest model in the industry, with a lower and wider foot-deck to provide an optimal centre of gravity, in-built audio guidance, and dual mechanical and electronic brakes.

The Irish public can already order taxis via the Bolt app, with options including Bolt Shield, where the car has a protective shield, and Bolt Green, for a hybrid or electric taxi. In Ireland, 33% of cars on the Bolt platform are hybrid or electric, and over 65% have protective shields between drivers and passengers, with these numbers expected to rise. All Bolt trips in Europe are 100% carbon-neutral, as part of Bolt’s Green Plan, a long-term commitment to minimise the ecological footprint of the company.