Uber teams up with Thames Clippers for riverboat service
Uber is splashing out on a partnership with Thames Clippers to extend its involvement with London’s transport network by taking to the water. The firm has bought naming rights to the 20-strong fleet of river boats and the piers they serve, from Putney to Woolwich, and its users will be able to book journeys on the Uber app.
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers will launch later this summer.
Thames Clippers will continue to run the rebranded vessels, which will operate just as they do now, except that people who have booked via the Uber app will be able to board using a QR code on their phone. Passengers will still have the option to buy tickets from other sources, or use a contactless or Oyster card to pay for journeys, and prices will not increase.
Uber has trialled boat services before, notably an island-hopping service in Croatia in 2017 and punting trips in Cambridge last summer, but this will be its first foray into waterborne commuting.
“Many Londoners are looking for new ways to travel around the city, particularly when they start commuting back to work,” says Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe.
For now, passengers will have to embark from piers and the boats will run to a timetable – so, unlike with Uber’s taxis, you won’t be able to hail a ride from wherever you are for your own private cruise.
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