Controversial app-based taxi company Uber has announced that it is launching a new service in Thailand – the UberBoat service, which will work alongside the existing UberX and UberBlack taxi services currently running in Bangkok.
A trial of the UberBoat service will run exclusively on 1 April and both new and existing users can enter the promotional code "HELPIDONTLIVEONAHILL" in order to get a discount on their ride.
"We asked ourselves 'How can we be even more reliable?' And also 'Wouldn't it be nice if we could all live on a hill?'" Uber writes in a blog post.
"Alas, we can't help with the hill. We can be more reliable, however, and so we're testing a new UberBOAT service for one day ahead of the rainy season.
"We're not talking the Chaopraya River or the multitude of canals around the city. Innovative to the core, we're talking boats on the streets of Bangkok."
According to the firm, the rates for the UberBoat service will also be rather conventional – there will be a base fare of THB 25, and then the rider will be charged an additional THB 50 for every klilometre driven, as well as THB 25 per minute that the ride takes.
Uber says that if the rider is willing to help the driver with the ride (maybe help steer the boat? Mind the tiller perhaps?), the driver will reward the rider with a discount "based on effort".
However, if the driver feels that the rider is obnoxious and "impedes progress", the driver has the right to double the fare at the end of the ride, and UberBoat "reserves the right to decline prickly riders".
The company also apologises ahead of time for any problems that the one-day trial might encounter during the testing phase.
On 31 March, Uber officially complained to the European Commission about the ban on its services by the Spanish government.
The government in New Delhi, India is also trying to get the mobile app blocked in their city, and on 18 March, Uber's Paris offices were raided at the same time as Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick being charged on suspicion of running an illegal taxi ring in South Korea.