I think we’re confusing Bolts. And we were.
This was the first thing we noticed when we made efforts to understand why “Bolt” had stopped operating in eight North American cities and the risk of this affecting the company’s operations in Portugal.
But one thing is the Bolt that operates on national soil and in several other parts of the world, known for the green color, and the one that was founded by Usain Bolt, once the fastest man in the world, based in Miami and who suddenly left serving the cities of Portland, Oregon, Burlington, South Burlington, Winooski (Vermont), Richmond, California (Virginia) and St. Augustine (Florida).
According to a report by TechCrunch, the company’s departure was, in some cases, “abrupt”, leaving cities to deal with “abandoned equipment, unanswered calls and emails, and many questions”.
Local officials told the technology website that they were unable to contact anyone at the company, including CEO Ignacio Tzoumas. Also the attempts by TechCrunch itself to get clarification from Usain Bolt or company officials came to nothing — “not even the customer service seems to have people”, he writes.
In Winooski, the company informed the local authorities that it was going to cease operations a week after the scheduled date. In Burlington they talk about “silent radio”, that is, a communications blackout.
This Bolt, which, again, should not be confused with the European company that also operates in Portugal, seemed to be growing rapidly for 18 months, having acquired in January 2021 assets from Last Mile Holding, which owns the micromobility companies Gotcha and OjO Electric. Bolt Mobility also launched into 48 new markets, mainly in small towns.
Now, the company is laying off employees and “hanging” North American cities are studying what to do with the material abandoned by the company on their streets.
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