Uber launches commuter boat service on the Thames

Uber has announced to launch a commuter boat service with the Thames Clipper.

Taking to the water, passengers will be able to book tickets via the Uber app and board using a QR code.

The contract between Thames Clipper and the ride-hailing app will launch over the summer and is expected to last three years. Despite the partnership with Uber, customers will still be able to use Oyster cards for the journey.

“In our 22nd year of operation it is key that we continue to support London and its commuters with the ease of lockdown and return to work. The new partnership will allow us to link the two travel modes of river and road, providing Londoners and visitors with even more options to commute, visit, explore and enjoy our city by river,” said the Thames Clipper chief executive, Sean Collins.

Journeys on the boats from Putney to Woolwich and are expected to see a growth in popularity as commuters wish to avoid crowded forms of travel.

“Many Londoners are looking for new ways to travel around the city, particularly when they start commuting back to work,” explained Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe.

Since closing, the boating service has reopened with reduced seating and required use of face masks.

Uber was hit hard during the pandemic, with April seeing global bookings fall by 80%. In June the app made it mandatory for drivers and passengers to wear face masks.


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Safiya focuses on business and political stories for UK Investor Magazine. Her interests include international development, travel and politics.