Uber to take on sea and sky

Uber is taking to the sky and sea with two new rideshare offerings that could change the face of travel.

The ridesharing company has teamed up with the Queensland Government to launch scUber – the world’s first rideshare submarine experience.

For just $3000, scUber riders will have access to unparalleled views of the Great Barrier Reef through the windows of a specially designed mini sub.

Two passengers and a pilot can dive to depths of 30 metres and enjoy 180° views of Australia’s most recognisable World Heritage Site in a battery-powered sub.

According to Uber, the sub has no negative impact on the reef and the company will donate the equivalent fare to reef conservation group Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef with each booking.

The scUber experience includes:

  • pick-up from a rider’s location with the Uber app
  • return scenic helicopter ride to either Heron Island (for riders requesting from Gladstone) or the Quicksilver Cruises pontoon off the coast of Port Douglas (for riders requesting from Cairns, Port Douglas and Palm Cove)
  • one-hour ride in a scUber submarine
  • return trip back to the rider’s original pick-up address with Uber.

“In late 2018, consumer research identified that exploring the Great Barrier Reef in a submarine was the most desired future travel experience sought by visitors,” said Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington.

“scUber makes this wish a reality and reaffirms Queensland tourism’s commitment to providing locals and visitors alike with truly remarkable ways to explore nature’s wonderland.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Uber to showcase the beauty of the reef through this innovative experience.”

The launch of scUber marks the beginning of Uber’s partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.

“Uber is committed to harnessing the power of technology for good. We are proud to partner with Queensland to help showcase the reef to the world with the launch of scUber,” said Susan Anderson, regional general manager of Uber for Australia and New Zealand.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how visitors to the Great Barrier Reef embrace this new form of movement and become advocates of the reef for years to come.”

And if the company’s launch into underwater ridesharing wasn’t enough, Uber is also looking to take over the skies with trial runs of its aerial ridesharing expansion – Uber Air – expected to take place in either Sydney or Melbourne as early as next year.

Uber Air would work the same way as the existing ridesharing app. After entering your pick-up address, you’d be picked up by car and taken to the nearest high-rise structure, where you’ll fly off to your destination in a small manned electric aircraft that takes off and lands vertically.

While exact pricing hasn’t been announced, Uber says Uber Air rides would cost roughly the same as UberX car rides, except, instead of an hour by car to the airport, the Uber Air ride could take around five minutes.

Would you try either of these innovative ridesharing platforms?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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