Uber Boat launches today as the ride-sharing firm takes to London waters weeks before court battle

Image credit: Thames Clippers

Uber Boats launches today, 3 August, in conjunction with Thames Clippers, just weeks before the controversial ride-sharing app battles Transport for London in court over its private hire operating licence refusal.

The service will allow users to buy tickets for Thames Clippers boats in advance through the Uber app and then use QR technology to board.

The payment will be processed using Uber account details.

Passengers will be able to use the service across a fleet of 20 boats on the River Thames, with departures from 23 piers across London.

According to Thames Clippers, more than 4.3 million people use their network on the River Thames for commuting and leisure trips each year.

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said: “As Londoners begin to head back to work and move safely across the city, they will now be able to book travel on both the river and road through the Uber app.

“We must ensure that everyone does not return to their cars in response to the crisis so our vision is to end private car ownership in favour of shared, electric vehicles, as well as making greater use of the river network for urban mobility.”

In relation to Uber’s upcoming London licence appeal, which is due to take place mid-September, Heywood said via a City A.M podcast on 16 July, that he remains “optimistic” that the ride-sharing firm will be granted a new operator’s licence in the capital.

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