Oh there Uber! The online taxi company will launch a Thames boat service for app users to hail Clipper services between Putney and Woolwich this summer
- Taxi app hails deal on 20-boat fleet, says it will help people commute
- Partnership with Thames Clipper will allow users to book trips on their phone
- Uber still does not have a license to operate taxis in London, pending an appeal in September
Taxi app Uber has announced the launch of a boat service in London, although it still does not have a license to operate rental cars in the city.
Branded ships bearing the company’s name will operate on the Thames between Putney and Woolwich later this summer.
It will be the company’s first permanent commuter boat service and can be booked through its app.
The move is effectively a rebranding deal with current service Thames Clipper to see Uber’s name on its fleet of 20 riverboats and its piers from Putney to Woolwich.
Uber has released mock-ups of what its London boat service on the Thames will look like
The route Uber boats will take when they arrive later this year
Previously, Thames Clipper boats sported a white and blue design
The partnership between the two companies is expected to last at least three years and will allow customers to purchase tickets on their app and on board after showing a QR code.
Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Jamie Heywood, said: “Many Londoners are looking for new ways to get around the city, especially when they start commuting to the job.
“Later this summer, we will launch the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers in London to allow people to organize trips on the river and on the road, all through the Uber app.
Thames Clippers co-founder and chief executive Sean Collins said: “In our 22nd year in business, it’s essential that we continue to support London and its commuters with the ease of lockdown and back to work. .
Uber is famous for its taxis but currently does not have a license to operate in London
“The new partnership sees Thames Clippers and Uber, who both pride themselves on safety, reliability and convenience, come together.
“This will allow us to link the two modes of river and road transport, giving Londoners and visitors even more options to get around, visit, explore and enjoy our city by the river.”
This isn’t Uber’s first foray into the world of boating.
In June 2017, she launched a maritime service in Croatia.
This was a private service for Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik and allowed people to request two speedboats of different sizes.
Croatia was the first place in the world where Uber offered a service that customers could book
Uber offered two services: one for up to eight people and a larger one for up to 12 people.
The news comes at a strange time for the company, which still does not have a license to operate taxis in the capital.
His request was rejected in November on security grounds after evidence was discovered that drivers had faked and shared their identities.
The company launched an appeal, which should have been heard by the magistrates this week, but was postponed until September due to the Coronavirus.
It had been allowed to continue operating in the meantime and is still used by thousands of Londoners.
TfL said it granted licenses to river operators such as Thames Clippers “that meet our high safety standards”, but had no role in partnerships with other companies and organisations.