It’s good news for people in Mumbai – Uber has just launched UberBOAT, a speedboat service between Gateway of India, Mandwa (near Alibaug) and Elephanta Caves. The service will kick off tomorrow, February 1 and can be booked through the Uber app. This will perhaps be the first time in India where speedboat can be hired through an app. After Croatia, Turkey and Egypt, India is the fourth country where Uber runs UberBOAT services.

There’s currently two ride options on Uber’s marine service: UberBOAT that can take 6-8 passengers and is priced flat at Rs 5,70o and UberBOAT XL where larger speedboats can take 10+ passengers and will cost Rs 9,500. These fares are for a point-to-point journey between any two of the three ports.

It’s completely fuss-free and works exactly like when you book a cab. All you need to do is book your speedboat at least 15 minutes prior to showing up at the port. The service will be available from 8am to 5pm. The expected travel time between Mumbai and Mandwa (Alibaug) is likely to be around 20 minutes.

Uber may also expand its services to the suburbs later, with some help from the Mumbai Maritime Board. The speedboat service is being introduced as a permanent alternative to travel by road or using a ferry service. Depending on the success of this service, Uber has plans to explore other routes as well such as Navi Mumbai (Nerul or Belapur) to South Bombay, a route which otherwise takes an average of 2 hours by road. Imagine if  UberBOAT is launched to connect these two ends; it would be of immense benefit to those travelling the distance daily for work.