Uber on Wednesday formally announced the launch of UberBoat, its speedboat service, in Mumbai.

Prabhjeet Singh, who heads the India and South Asia operations of Uber, said the company will commence operations between Gateway of India in downtown Mumbai and the Elephanta Caves and Mandwa on the mainland across the Arabian Sea.

The services which will commence on February 1 will offer two options, according to Singh. While UberBoat with a capacity of six to eight passengers can be hired at Rs 5,700, UberBoat XL with a capacity of around 10 passengers could be hired for Rs 9,500. The speed boats can reach either Elephanta or Mandwa in around 20 minutes. Conventional ferries which ply on these routes take an hour to reach these destinations.

The services will operate from 8 am to 5 pm. Customers will need to book the speedboat at least 15 minutes before reaching the boarding point, according to Uber.

“We are still evaluating launch of more routes within Mumbai and in other cities,” Singh told reporters here.

Uber officials said the company will resort to its dynamic pricing depending on demand once the services stabilise.

The Maharashtra government is said to be pushing for launch of water transport service between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai’s Nerul and Belapur areas.

However, services are not operated during the monsoon months when the sea is rough. In the past, ferry and catamaran services between Mumbai were launched and then discontinued due to losses.

~source