Thames Clippers — Uber Boat
Canary Wharf Pier
Uber expands it’s offering
Launched in August 2020, Uber Boat is a new addition to the ride-sharing apps growing portfolio of transportation options!
Things you can currently order via uber:
- Electric scooters
- Freight truckers
Uber Boat covers three sections of the Thames Clipper network, west, central and east. Canary Wharf pier falls across the central and east section border, and is one of the networks 23 stations.
Here we will take a brief look at what exactly Uber Boat is, and how to use it.
What is Uber Boat?
Uber Boat is the name given to the re-branding of the Thames Clipper network of boats.
The boats themselves are no different to before, but as of August 2020, all 20 Thames Clipper boats have had Uber Boat decals applied. The riverboat service has also been renamed ‘Uber Boat by Thames Clippers’.
This is not the first time that Uber have tried providing boat services, and previously the company have had branded boats in Miami, Croatia and Istanbul. They also currently provide boat services in 4 US cities.
Ordering an Uber Boat at Canary Wharf
Unfortunately Uber Boats are not an on-demand services like the taxis! It is the standard Thames Clipper timetable and route map.
What Uber is good at though, is simplifying the booking process and making the existing transport option easier to access.
By having a complete overview of the booking process, Uber Boats also control the total number of seats sold. So one small advantage that didn’t previously exist, is that you are always guaranteed a seat, and – post covid – social distancing restrictions are in place too.
The app uses geo-location, and if you are in Canary Wharf – or the nearby vicinity of any of the piers – only then will you see the option to buy boat tickets. These tickets come in multiple flavours, from singles to hop-on hop-off all-day tickets, and everything in between.
There are also the usual options that reduce the price significantly. You can apply TFL Travelcard holder reductions, buy family tickets and use Freedom Pass holders discount.
For those travelling more frequently there are Carnets of 4/6/10 and 20 tickets. 4 and 6 ticket carnets need to be used within 7 days but the 10 and 20 ticket carnets can be used anytime within the next 90 days.
Do you have to use the Uber app to buy boat tickets now?
No. While you can choose to buy the entire range of ticket options via the app – including £2000 annual season passes! – all the existing ticket options are still available.
That means you can pay via your oyster card, contactless payment or at the station itself. As before all Thames Clipper services continue to be integrated with TFL, so you can check times and purchase tickets on the TFL website too.
Where is Canary Wharf pier?
An often overlooked part of the transport network, Canary Wharf pier itself is only a 10-minute walk from the DLR and Jubilee line stations.
Located right at the north western tip of the peninsula, the pier is also well placed for future connections from Crossrail Place, also located north of the financial center.
For residential developments, Canary Wharf pier is quite far away from the main Ballymore and Galliard regeneration hubs in the central section of the Isle of dogs. However, for developments like 1 West India Quay and the Landmark docklands area it is surprisingly convenient.
The Uber Boat route map
There are 2 full service routes available from Canary Wharf.
- The RB1 transits the central zone and as far east as North Greenwich.
- The smaller RB4 that just crosses between Canary Wharf and the Hilton DoubleTree in Rotherhithe.
In addition the RB6 service calls at Canary Wharf, albeit in a limited capacity, and stretches as far west as Putney on weekdays.
It’s not the quickest way into the center of London, with journeys to Westminster taking just over half an hour – in comparison to 11 minutes on the Jubilee line. However it is a much more pleasant journey than the rush hour tube!
Full time tables can be found on the Thames Clipper website.
If you are after a revolutionary new way to travel from Canary Wharf, it probably isn’t Uber Boat.
It is effectively just a well spun advertising campaign. Long time partners and international branding experts Wolff Olins – who have worked from everyone from Google to Tesco – masterminded the campaign to turn the Thames Clippers service into Uber Boats.
Digging beneath the surface, Thames Clippers were already using the ticketing company that Uber use for their platform – and had been since 2014. The tickets are still available from Thames Clippers themselves, and the only thing Uber actually bought were the naming rights.
What the Uber Boat rebranding has done, is brought visibility to a lesser used part of London – and Canary Wharf’s – transportation options! That can only be a good thing.