Uber taxi service launches in cottage country this weekend

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Uber, the U.S.-based company that launched a smartphone app in Toronto and Montreal to make hailing a cab easier, is launching a water taxi service dubbed UberBOAT. And they’re doing it just in time for the first long weekend of the summer.

UberBOAT will be an on-demand service, available in arguably Canada’s most popular cottaging region. The company launched a similar service in Australia and the Netherlands earlier this year. Ontario’s UberBOAT will operate on long weekends throughout the summer, serving Muskoka’s Lake Rosseau and Lake Joseph.

The cost is $1 per minute, which might sound cheap if it’s a quick jaunt across the lake, but there is a minimum $20 fare. Still, it’s a small price to pay to ensure everyone makes it home safely.

The boats can hold up to five passengers, and while they do allow food on board, alcohol consumption is prohibited (just in case you had thoughts of turning the ride into a private cruise with your friends).

The service kicks off today at 5 p.m. and will run until 1 a.m. It will also be available on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

The company expects demand for UberBOAT to be high, but because it’s their “first foray into cottage country,” they do caution users that this long weekend will be a learning experience for them.

If you’re interested in using the service, you’ll have to download the Uber app to your smartphone first.