Lebanon’s Caretaker Interior Minister, Bassam Mawlawi, has called on the Ministry of Telecommunications to suspend the operation of the Bolt app in the country starting from May 8, 2023. This decision comes in response to a surge in complaints from public transport unions and a series of protests that have taken place across various Lebanese regions. Mawlawi’s request aims to ensure compliance with traffic laws and other regulations in force, addressing concerns raised by the unions.
In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Communications, Mawlawi highlighted the need to confirm that Bolt’s operations do not violate the traffic law and other laws and regulations in force. The move follows a series of sit-ins and complaints by public transport unions last week, demonstrating the growing dissatisfaction with the ride-hailing app’s operations in Lebanon.
Furthermore, Mawlawi has instructed the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces to strictly pursue and penalise drivers who use forged public license plates or operate public transport vehicles with private license plates. This measure is expected to clamp down on illegal practices within the transportation sector and further address the concerns of public transport unions.
It remains to be seen how the suspension of the Bolt app will impact the transportation landscape in Lebanon and whether the company will be able to address the concerns raised by the authorities and public transport unions to resume its operations in the country.
Image Credit: Bolt