Uber may be seeing resistance in some parts of the world (ahem, East Hampton), but the car service app is expanding to new forms of transportation in others. The company just announced their first foray into the world of boating with UberBOAT and the debut location couldn't be more perfect: Istanbul's Bosporus Strait. The waterway divides two continents (Europe and Asia) and sees millions of commuters every day.
Once an Uber user nears the Istanbul's central waterway, the UberBOAT option will become available on the smartphone app. There are currently a number of services travelers and locals can use to get from Point A to Point B: a public ferry system currently running 20 routes per day, an underground metro tunnel, and two suspension bridges for drivers and other public transportation services. There is also another bridge and a car tunnel in the works. The new UberBOAT service will hold seven-to-ten passengers and rates will start at 50 liras—about $19—per trip. Local company Navette-Tezman Holding will offer the boat rides using their Beneteau boats, bringing customers wherever they want to go along the coast. Austin Kim—Uber's operations manager in Istanbul—shared a few words with Skift: "This is a good addition to help solve Istanbul's traffic problems by offering transport on the Bosporus, which is obviously underutilized."
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.
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