Uber and Thames Clippers announced a deal this morning which will see the Thames Clippers commuter boat service rebranded as Uber Boat.
The service had previously been sponsored by MBNA, although that deal did not including naming rights.
When you scratch the surface, this appears to be more of a PR campaign and less of an attempt to do anything radically new:
Uber is not buying Thames Clippers, it has simply signed a three year sponsorship deal (Thames Clippers is, oddly, majority owned by AEG, operator of the O2 Arena in Greenwich). The service will be known as Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. Take a look here as the branding mock-ups:
You WILL be able to buy Thames Clipper tickets via the Uber app, but all other ticketing methods, including Oyster discounts, will remain
End-to-end ticketing, linking an Uber car ride and a boat trip, will not be possible
Uber will have no role in the management of the business
4.3 million passengers used the Thames Clippers service last year. The fleet comprises 20 boats and operates from 23 piers between Putney and Woolwich.
Services resumed last month after a suspension during the coronavirus peak. The new branding arrangement is due to launch “in late Summer”.