Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

Uber Boat: travellers can now explore Mumbai via on-demand speedboats

Uber now deploys boats in order to let riders beat traffic in India’s busiest city

Travellers in India can now get around by on-demand speedboat thanks to a new service from ridesharing company Uber. Courtesy Uber
Travellers in India can now get around by on-demand speedboat thanks to a new service from ridesharing company Uber. Courtesy Uber

Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is the bustling, crowded, colourful gateway to India known for being the heartland of Bollywood and one of the world’s most densely populated cities. That's why ridesharing company Uber has picked it as the launchpad for Uber Boat in India. And it costs less than Dh300.

With almost 20 million people living in the city, getting around isn’t easy, but Uber’s boat hailing service is hoping to change that. In partnership with the Maharashtra Maritime Board, the on-demand speedboats will sail along three of the city’s popular coastal routes.

Currently in pilot phase, riders can hail a speedboat to the rock-cut temples on Elephanta Island, which is both a Unesco World Heritage Site and home to some of India’s most impressive cave temples.

The service will also be available from the Gateway of India port and from Mandwa Jetty, a fantastic place from which to head out to Mandwa beach for amazing views right across the bay.

Uber Boat can fit up to eight passengers, but if you’re travelling in a bigger group you'll need the Uber Boat XL, which has space for 10 folks on board. All boats are fitted with life jackets and rides cost INR5,700 (Dh292) for Uber Boat or INR9,500 (Dh487) for Uber Boat XL.

Alongside avoiding city traffic, travellers can use the app to book a ride without having to worry about language barriers or haggling for fares.

India is Uber’s biggest market in Asia and there are plans to roll out the on-demand boat service to other cities if the pilot project is deemed successful.

The company already operates a similar service in Croatia.

Updated: February 6, 2019 04:44 PM

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