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Uber will help you hail a boat in Istanbul

Uber will help you hail a boat in Istanbul

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Uber launched a new intercontinental service this week, but it's not what you would expect. If you're in Istanbul, you can now hail an UberBoat to take you across the Bosphorous, the strait that divides the European and Asian halves of the city.

According to a blog post, the company says you'll see UberBoat service offered whenever you're near the waterside. The speedboats — which hold six to eight passengers each — are owned and operated by a Turkish company, Navette. Depending on the destination, rides could cost anywhere from roughly $20 to $150. Of course, Uber does face some competition for transportation across the Bosphorous: in addition to the public ferry (which costs just about 81 cents according to Bloomberg Businessweek), there's an underground metro and two highway bridges that shuttle millions across the strait daily. Uber entered Istanbul last year with its traditional car-hire service.

This isn't the first time Uber has introduced an on-demand boat service, but it does appear to be the first permanent offering. Last summer, Uber offered ferry services around Boston in partnership with Boston Harbor Cruises, but the temporary service ended once the seasons changed.