Istanbul’s Uber passengers will soon have a new way to travel: Speed boats.
The ride-hailing company just announced a new boat service in Istanbul. The service, called UberBOAT, will ferry passengers across the Bosphorus river, which divides the Asian and European sides of the city.
As with Uber’s other offerings, UberBOAT will now appear as a separate option within the main Uber app. Rather than owner-operated boats, all of the speed boats are operated by a Turkish company called Navette and can hold six to eight people each.
The boats will ferry passengers along several popular routes across the Bosphorus and fares will be calculated based on distance traveled, Uber says (no word on surge pricing, though). Depending on the route, prices will range from about $18 to $161 USD according to Uber’sestimates.
As others have pointed out, these fares are considerably more than most pay to cross the river by ferry or even by car (there are two bridges that span the river), though Uber’s service could theoretically be much faster than the city’s congested roads or crowded ferry lines.
UberBOAT, wich comes one year after the company first brought its ride-hailing service to Istanbul, is not the first time the company has offered a water taxi service. The company introduced a version of UberBOAT in Boston last summer, though it’s offering in Istanbul is the first permanent boat service.
As Uber’s reach continues to grow around the world, the company has increasingly experimented with different types of transportation. The company added an auto-rickshaw service in parts of India earlier this year in an effort to compete with local ride-sharing services.
Image and article via Mashable