Uber Boat takes London commuter ferries for a ride on the water

Update: August 3, 2020, 10:03am BST Uber Boat has been launched in London by leaving on the River Thames on Monday.

Uber will soon have a boat option, but unlike its ride-hailing service, it won’t be on-demand.

Uber Boat is launching in London as the ride-sharing app takes over one of the city’s ferries, the Thames Clippers(opens in a new tab), Later this summer, the water transit service will be rebranded as “Uber Boats by Thames Clippers”. The 20 boats and 23 ferries will prominently display the Uber logo, but all operations for the company will remain the same; Uber drivers won’t be at the helm or anything.

The partnership is supposed to encourage people to use the ferry, which resumed service last month after the coronavirus pandemic shut it down for months. Commuting and public transport are resuming life in cities like London, but studies show commuters are hesitant to go back to their old ways.

Mashable Image
A “before” look at the commuter ferry.
Credits: Thames Clippers

A survey this week by mobility data and analytics firm Arity found that more than 40 percent of US commuters think public transportation options (including buses, subways, trains and other modes) are still somewhat or very unsafe. Yet London officials are trying to fast-track rentable e-scooters(opens in a new tab), like from Bird and Lime, in the city. The new Lime electric-assist bicycle comes after Uber’s Jump e-bike and e-scooter division was sold to Lime.

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To make it easy to get onboard, the Uber Boat option is built into the Uber app and should streamline the ticketing process, especially since all of your payment information is already loaded. A QR code generated in the app will become your boat boarding pass.

Mashable Image
Plans for Uber Boats.
Credits: Thames Clippers

But for anyone ordering an Uber car whenever they wanted, to and from where they wanted, it would be a new, more disciplined system. ferry schedule(opens in a new tab) It will be fixed, so the passengers will have to get down at the ghat at a fixed time. If you miss the ferry, you can always order an Uber…

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