Intelligent Transport Podcast Episode 32 – Sean Collins, Uber Boats by Thames Clippers

In this latest episode of the Intelligent Transport Podcast, Editorial Assistant Halimah Haque sat down with Sean Collins, Managing Director of Uber Boats by Thames Clippers, to discuss the company’s pioneering efforts in sustainable urban water transportation and future plans for London’s river transport infrastructure.

Beginning the conversation for this episode, Sean Collins, Managing Director of Uber Boats by Thames Clippers, discusses the innovative steps the company is taking to enhance sustainability in urban water transportation, delving into the journey of transitioning from diesel-powered vessels to hybrid and fully electric ferries. Sean also highlights the technological advancements and regulatory challenges involved in this transition, providing insights into how Thames Clippers is working closely with industry partners and regulatory bodies to pioneer new standards in the marine sector. 

Then, Sean highlights Uber Boat by Thames Clippers’ focus on technological innovation with the integration of hybrid and electric vessels, aiming to meet rigorous environmental standards while enhancing customer experience through digital infrastructure investments. He also emphasises the economic benefits of these initiatives, particularly their impact on local economies and job creation in regions like the Isle of Wight.

In the second half of this episode, we shift our focus to the future, as Sean discusses Uber Boat by Thames Clippers’ ambitious plans for expanding its fleet with fully electric, zero-emission cross-river ferries. He elaborates on the company’s efforts to integrate light freight transport into river services, aiming to alleviate road congestion in partnership with logistic companies like DHL. Sean also outlines his vision for a 24-hour river transportation service in London, contingent upon robust infrastructure investment and collaboration with all London boroughs to maximise the river’s potential as a sustainable urban transport network.

seanSean Collins, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, has been at the helm of Thames Clippers since the inception of the business in 1999. At that time, the company operated one boat with a capacity of just 62 that served three piers and employed two people. Sean began his career aged 16 in 1984, when he was apprenticed to the Company of Watermen and Lighterman and is a third-generation Waterman. This includes serving as a Waterman to HM The Queen since 2008. During his career on the River Thames, Collins has worked as a Captain on passenger vessels and tug boats. Collins has also been National Rowing Champion and represented Great Britain at an international level, including the World Rowing Championships.

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