Thames Clippers enter partnership with Uber

BayPaul

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Thames Clippers are being rebranded as Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, with a new black and white livery. It seems like you will be able to buy tickets and board using the Uber app, as well as using the existing payment methods.
https://www.thamesclippers.com/about-thames-clippers/news/uber-boat-by-thames-clippers

Sean Collins, our co-founder and CEO, said: “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 sees Thames Clippers and Uber, who both pride themselves on safety, reliability and comfort, come together. It 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. Watch this space; the partnership will support the ongoing expansion of our network, opening up more of London to fast, reliable journeys by water.”
Jamie Heywood, Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Uber, said: “Londoners are looking for new ways to travel around the city, particularly when they start commuting back to work. Later this summer we will launch the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers partnership in London as a means for people to travel into the City by water, which will be fully integrated through the Uber app.
Background
  • Uber and Thames Clippers will formally announce a partnership later this summer to launch Uber Boat by Thames Clippers.
  • This is a partnership and there is no change in ownership for Thames Clippers; AEG, owners and operators of The O2, own the majority stake in the company.
  • The partnership between Uber and Thames Clippers encourages more people to travel by boat around the city and supports the ongoing expansion of the river network across London
  • Uber users can purchase tickets in advance through the Uber app and then use QR technology to board the boats.
  • The payment will be processed using the user’s Uber account details.
  • Passengers will continue to be able to purchase tickets via the existing Thames Clippers sales channels, including touching in and out with contactless or Oyster to pay as you go at the piers they serve across London
  • The boats and piers will be branded with a newly-created Uber Boat by Thames Clippers brand but the service will continue to be fully operated by Thames Clippers.
 
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Bletchleyite

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That's an interesting idea. It's good to know that they seem to be keeping the brand i.e. "Uber Boat by Thames Clippers", as there's something just quite nice about the brand. No doubt it will mean far more people using it due to the accessibility and promotion.
 

BayPaul

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That's an interesting idea. It's good to know that they seem to be keeping the brand i.e. "Uber Boat by Thames Clippers", as there's something just quite nice about the brand. No doubt it will mean far more people using it due to the accessibility and promotion.
They've used co-branding for most of their lives, generally with banks - MNBA, Natwest etc. My only concern with this one is that people might think that it is only bookable via Uber, which could see the numbers going down.
 

Camden

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And then there are those of us that would sooner chew our arms off than use the likes of Uber. I appreciate it's just a fancy sponsorship with added prepayment but you let them into your ecosystem at your peril. Uber won't be bothered by people being confused, as they'll coin it as a result. And so the clippers start their slip out of the Oyster.
 

BayPaul

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And then there are those of us that would sooner chew our arms off than use the likes of Uber. I appreciate it's just a fancy sponsorship with added prepayment but you let them into your ecosystem at your peril. Uber won't be bothered by people being confused, as they'll coin it as a result. And so the clippers start their slip out of the Oyster.
I can't say I disagree with you, though I personally don't mind using Uber. The cynic in me sees this as being one more weapon in Ubers fight against TfL as well, so that they can claim that if TfL ban them from London's streets the ridership on Thames Clippers will drop by whatever % of passengers are using the app.

On the other side, Thames Clippers are very well run, and part of a large company (AEG), and so I don't think they will let themselves be bullied by Uber.
 

mmh

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That's a shame, I used to rather like taking one for the sake of it if on a day out in London. I will never, ever, knowingly use anything that Uber are involved with.
 

MotCO

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What is the latest in the Uber dispute with TfL? When is the outcome due?

And then there are those of us that would sooner chew our arms off than use the likes of Uber. I appreciate it's just a fancy sponsorship with added prepayment but you let them into your ecosystem at your peril. Uber won't be bothered by people being confused, as they'll coin it as a result. And so the clippers start their slip out of the Oyster.
Also, I read the Thames Clipper deal as more than just sponsorship. If TfL ban Uber, how will that affect Thames Clippers, or is it just a ruse to muddy the waters (no pun intended)?
 

Domh245

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My understanding is that the Uber issue is just to do with the private hire side (Uber London Limited), rather than Uber as a company. The Clippers are remaining Clippers, they're just being branded as Ubers so they shouldn't be affected if TfL's case goes in their favour. Similarly Uber Eats should still be capable of operating even if TfL revoke Uber's Private Hire Operators license
 

BayPaul

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Also, I read the Thames Clipper deal as more than just sponsorship. If TfL ban Uber, how will that affect Thames Clippers, or is it just a ruse to muddy the waters (no pun intended)?
I certainly don't think that any TfL ban could impact Thames Clippers, other than losing any increased revenue from the use of the app.
 

Taunton

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who both pride themselves on safety, reliability and comfort
Some joke, surely. Drivers who have no idea where they are going, just slavishly go with eyes bolted on their satnav, park all across our school entrance waiting for a job, etc, etc.
 

AlbertBeale

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And then there are those of us that would sooner chew our arms off than use the likes of Uber. I appreciate it's just a fancy sponsorship with added prepayment but you let them into your ecosystem at your peril. Uber won't be bothered by people being confused, as they'll coin it as a result. And so the clippers start their slip out of the Oyster.
Yes - it'll make me think twice (or more) about using them in future. Maybe I'd try wearing a big bold anti-Uber t-shirt to see what happened...

I think Uber have, in other countries too, tried to slip into part of what's seen as the public transport system, to try to improve their image so at to help their main private hire (and largely anti-public transport) business.
 

AlbertBeale

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Black cabs are paragons of virtue on that front aren’t they..
As someone cycling in central London most days for decades now, I know well that they're not. But the problems with proper taxis pale into insignificance - in my experience - compared to the behaviour of the increased number of mini-cabs / private hires / ubers. At the end of the day, licensed cabbies are (genrally quite skilled) professionals; I've only once, in all my years cycling in London, had a prang causing damage which was the fault of a cabbie - he was quite decent about it, and paid for the repair without question.
 

py_megapixel

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This doesn't bother me at all to be honest. I won't use the app to buy tickets but it won't put me off using the boats.

I wonder if Uber will attempt to sell "through journeys" on the boats - as in you get a car to a pier, then a boat to the nearest pier to your destination, then a car for the rest of the journey, booked all at once as one trip. That would be interesting.

However, it does strike me as Uber trying to prove they aren't anti-public-transport because "oh look, we sponsor a public transport company."
 

Ralph Ayres

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At least there is some relevance to Uber's involvement as they are introducing a new ticketing option. The previous sponsors added nothing except their name.
 

matt_world2004

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An element makes me think this is Trojan horse. Because Thames clippers operate from TfL owned piers , uses the Ibus system for customer service information and accepts oyster and travelcards for discounted travel . It is often erronously associated with being s TfL service. Now Uber get to include their logo next to the roundel and imply association of endorsement from TfL particularly in relation to their taxi business
 

AlbertBeale

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An element makes me think this is Trojan horse. Because Thames clippers operate from TfL owned piers , uses the Ibus system for customer service information and accepts oyster and travelcards for discounted travel . It is often erronously associated with being s TfL service. Now Uber get to include their logo next to the roundel and imply association of endorsement from TfL particularly in relation to their taxi business
Yes - that seems likely to be their idea - and the danger for the rest of us.
 

Starmill

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Does anyone know if the app provides any distinct functionalities? Can it offer cheaper tickets than at the ferry pier?
 

py_megapixel

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Does anyone know if the app provides any distinct functionalities? Can it offer cheaper tickets than at the ferry pier?
I doubt it. I imagine it's just used as an advertising platform (i.e. when people search for an Uber between two places near piers it will offer them a boat ride along with the car options).
 

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