Uber has teamed up with the river bus service Thames Clippers to take commuters across London via the River Thames, offering passengers a less jam-packed transport alternative to the Tube.

The service began operating on August 3 from 23 piers across the city, as far west as Putney and as far east as Woolwich. A fleet of 20 Thames Clippers boat are being used as river busses, decked out in distinct black and white Uber branding. Passengers can book tickets booked through Uber's app and then use QR codes on their phone when boarding to facilitate a contactless journey.

An Uber Boat river bus services crosses through the Thames in central London
An Uber boat operated in partnership with Thames Clippers travels along the River Thames as it passes under the Millennium Bridge ©Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Thames Clippers co-founder Sean Collins said over 4.3 million people already use the River Thames for commuting on leisure on the company's network, enjoying the increased space per passenger and fresh air a river bus service offers. But the company hopes its partnership with Uber will encourage even more people to do so, and help it reach its goal of expanding services further along the Thames and connecting more suburbs.

On top of that, Uber may eventually be able to offer an integrated service, allowing customers to book an end-to-end journey with a connecting car on the ride-hailing app.

"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," said Jamie Heywood, Uber's regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe.

"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," he added.

All Uber Boat journeys are fully contactless. Some seats on board have been blocked off to ensure social distancing and floor markings have been laid out to help people queue safely. All passengers must use face coverings if they wish to use the service. Tickets can be purchased here or through the Uber app. Journeys start from £4.50 for an adult ticket.

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