Coffee, wine and social distancing: Londoners can now upgrade their commute with Uber Boat

Aug 4, 2020

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As of Monday, Uber users in London can book a trip along the Thames using the Uber app. Thanks to the partnership between the ride-sharing company and Thames Clippers, the operator that runs the service, commuters and leisure travellers can now use Uber Boat as an alternative to the Tube. The service is more expensive, however, with one-way rides starting at £4.50.

While passengers won’t be able to hail their own personal boat as they would a car, tickets for journeys will be available to book through the Uber app. Passengers will be required to scan a QR code at the gates before boarding.

In a recent update released by Uber, the company has confirmed that all passengers using Uber boat will be guaranteed a seat on board. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, some seats will also be blocked out.

Each boat has an onboard café bar where morning commuters can get their caffeine-fix, and those returning in the evening can relax with a glass of wine. For those who need to be connected at all times, Wi-Fi is available at some of the 23 piers along the route.

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This summer will see the Thames Clippers branding disappear and be replaced with a distinctly Uber livery in black and white. The boats stop at a total of 23 river piers along the Thames from Putney in the west to Woolwich in the east, giving Uber users another option for their commute rather than the Tube or trains where social distancing isn’t always easy.

“Many Londoners are looking for new ways to travel around the city, particularly when they start commuting back to work”, said Jamie Heywood, Uber’s general manager for northern and eastern Europe. “Later this summer we will launch the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers in London as a means for people to arrange travel on the river and road, all through the Uber app”.

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There is currently a temporary timetable in place, but boat goers can expect to be able to get from Battersea Power Station to Blackfriars in just 22 minutes with services starting as early as 7 a.m. A journey from the most westerly pier at Putney to the most easterly at Woolwich would take just less than two hours via a switch in services at one of many of the central piers.

Featured image courtesy of Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

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