A new non-stop rush hour Thames Clippers river boat service between London Bridge City and Canary Wharf was launched on Monday. Oyster pre-pay will be accepted on the boat services from November.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson boarded a City Cruises boat at Tower Pier on Monday morning to announce a new river concordat between pier owners, boat operators, borough councils and Transport for London.
However Travelcard holders will still have to pay a premium for using the river although they will continue to receive the one-third discount already available to them for paper tickets.
Thames Clippers has also launched a new direct service between London Bridge and Canary Wharf with four additional sailings to Docklands in the morning peak and four extra westbound journeys in the evening.
The non-stop boat service will take just 10 minutes which compares favourably with the 8-minute journey on the Jubilee line from London Bridge. The main boat service which stops at Tower Pier take 13 minutes to complete the same journey.
The extra boats will leave London Bridge City Pier at 6.57am, 7.27am, 7.57am and 8.22am, returning from Canary Wharf at 5.48pm, 6.08pm, 6.28pm and 6.48pm.
Together with Thames Clippers' existing commuter service there will be a boat every 10 minutes between London Bridge and Canary Wharf during the height of the rush hour.
"With the right mixture of investment and imagination river services can become a truly integral, as well as an extremely pleasant, part of the capital's transport network," says Boris Johnson.
"Oysterising the Thames as well as providing clearer signage to the piers and services available will make it much easier for Londoners to travel on the river.
"The Thames is also a vital part of the 2012 transport strategy and with the Games now so close the members of the Concordat fully realise the importance of making an Olympic effort to get our services and piers up to scratch.
"When the world comes to London I want visitors to be able to glory in the beauty of our great waterway as they whiz between the centre of the capital and Olympic venues at Greenwich."
Sean Collins, managing director of Thames Clippers, said: "I welcome the launch of the river concordat and the importance that the Mayor has placed on it.
"Thames Clippers carried 2.7 million passengers in 2008, a 388 per cent increase in passenger numbers over a 2 year period as a direct result of our investment in 6 new fast ferries.
"I believe that the areas that the Concordat focuses on, especially the Oyster card, will increase demand even further, providing Londoners and visitors to our great city with the high standard of service they deserve and to showcase this to the world in 2012."
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