Plan Insurance Blog

Uber Attempts to Rule the Waves

Private Hire App operator Uber has announced plans to connect their services to the Thames Clippers service. In a multi-year partnership, the boats will receive the firm’s branding and tickets for so the called Uber Boat service will be available to purchase from their app.

This is the firm’s latest move away from private hire vehicles. Previous attempts have included push bikes and electric scooters. 2019 also saw the company integrate public transport updates into its interface. This is the first time it’s offered commuters a boat service, and it could prove a shrewd move with traffic in the Capital often gridlocked and Government policy leading to greater amounts of road space being given over to cycling and walking initiatives during the Covid-19 Crisis.

Thames Clippers dock along a network of 23 piers stretching from Putney to Woolwich Arsenal. Tickets bought on the Uber App will generate a scan-able QR code. This contactless tech is one of the features that should appeal to passengers concerned by social distancing as lockdown eases and greater numbers of workers are expected to return to their offices.

Who Will be Steering the Ship?

Like on public transport the wearing of face masks will be mandatory and staff have been issued suitable PPE. At 0.85, the number of passengers per square metre on the Clippers compares favourably with London Underground trains, which has reduced significantly but remains much higher at 1.3. For those concerned about the San Francisco based business’s track record on safety the service will be fully operated by the riverboat service when it launches later this summer. Sean Collins, CEO and co-founder of Thames Clippers was keen to emphasise that this is a partnership and “there’s been no change in ownership of Thames Clippers.”

The service is currently used by over 4 million people each year and this is likely to rise as commuters and visitors seek alternative means of travelling around London in the wake of Coronavirus.

Image – Uber

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