Bolt Patrol is a patrol team that plays a fundamental role in ensuring safe and correct e-bike and scooter parking.
This team ensures our shared scooters and e-bikes are parked correctly and, if needed, redistributes them more evenly across cities.
Bolt Patrol’s currently active in seven countries, and we plan to extend its operations to other cities and countries this year.
Our approach to ensuring correct parking
Before we go into detail about our patrol team, let’s take a quick look at the other measures we’ve taken to promote correct e-bike and scooter parking.
We’ve adopted a comprehensive approach consisting of five components:
- Education and raising awareness;
- Parking infrastructure, including parking racks and charging docks;
- Technology, such as an AI-based parking photo analysis feature that verifies each photo to ensure that all light vehicles are correctly parked;
- Local operations, including Bolt Patrol;
- Enforcement, including penalties and bans (temporary and permanent) from our services.
We base this approach on two guiding principles: continuous dialogue with cities and local stakeholders to address local needs, and assessing our impact for eventual improvement.
Bolt’s on-street operations
As mentioned above, local operations are essential to ensure correct parking. Our operational team consists of two units:
- A deployment and rebalancing unit that deals with day-to-day fleet distribution and battery swaps;
- Bolt Patrol, which deals exclusively with correcting improper parking.
With these two units’ efforts combined, we can ensure an uninterrupted service for users.
Bolt Patrol as an ad hoc and preventive unit
Bolt Patrol is an ad hoc unit but has a preventive role in identifying and correcting improper parking. When a problematic vehicle needs to be collected or re-parked, we get notified by:
- Sensor and telematics data that identifies an overturned vehicle and flags the vehicle to Bolt Patrol;
- Third parties (users and non-users) who send us messages via our customer support, an in-app button, or online.
We designate Bolt Patrol routes based on a city’s requirements, targeting areas with a higher probability of incorrectly parked scooters, e.g., locations with higher footfall and public transport stations.
Additionally, a real-time tracking system monitors any possible scooter vandalism or theft attempts, automatically alerting the Bolt Patrol and broader operational teams.
Our data shows that in the first two months of Bolt Patrol’s implementation, complaints regarding poor parking decreased by 50% globally.
Bolt Patrol as a means of education
There’s more to Bolt Patrol than just cruising the streets and re-parking vehicles.
Our patrollers are also on the lookout for any improper behaviour involving shared light vehicles, such as tandem-riding or skidding. They remind riders of the dangers and applicable safety and parking rules.
“We cannot and don’t seek to punish. It’s just that people are different, and each person requires a different approach. For some, the rules are enough. For others, face-to-face interaction and dialogue is more efficient.” – Eimantas Balta, Country Manager at Bolt.
Bolt Patrol and sustainability
With sustainability at the core of everything we do, we seek to reduce our operational teams’ carbon footprint and noise pollution impact by gradually replacing petrol vehicles with electric ones.
In Oslo, for example, we have a 100% electric fleet.
Behind the scenes: What it’s like to be a Bolt patroller
We also caught up with Bolt patroller Oskars Bačiulis, based in Latvia, to ask some questions and learn about the team.
What do you like about being a Bolt patroller?
I like meeting Bolt customers in person. People approach me, ask questions, and provide feedback. It’s great that they trust Bolt Patrol and are willing to start a conversation.
I’m also happy I’m doing a valuable job by improving the urban environment.
What does your shift look like?
Before starting our patrolling shift, we usually look at a real-time map and create a route to pass by the streets with the most parked scooters.
If a scooter needs to be removed urgently, then our partners — who work 24/7 and swap batteries — take care of it.
What are the peak times for Bolt Patrol?
It depends. The busiest times are usually the beginning of the week or the holidays. As experienced Bolt patrollers, we know the places in the city where our help is generally needed and act accordingly.
Is Bolt Patrol a viable solution for combatting poor scooter parking?
Of course! Bolt Patrol helps to improve parking both from a preventive and corrective perspective.
On the one hand, we prevent incorrect parking by keeping parking spots in order, which helps people understand where to park. And this then creates a knock-on effect — users who see a row of nicely parked scooters will be less likely to park improperly.
We also intervene to correct poor parking. Our goal? Making sure poorly parked scooters obstruct public space as little as possible!
It’s also important to say that we’re only one part of the equation. A lot more is being done to improve the scooter parking situation. My colleagues at Bolt are constantly educating customers on correct parking behaviour and developing new in-app features.
Want to know more about Bolt Patrol or other Bolt solutions for safer public spaces? Contact us via [email protected].