Uber-inspired water taxi app launched for UK’s coolest commute
Travelling between the centre of Leeds and Leeds Dock is set to get even easier, with the launch of an Uber-style tracking app. Due to be unveiled at this weekend’s Waterfront Festival, the software will provide live location updates of the city’s water taxis.
Developed by engineers from FinTech firm, DealTrak the brand-new ‘TaxiTrak’ service will provide real-time GPS tracking of the city’s water taxis, Twee and Drie – which carry in excess of 120,000 passengers each year.
The app – which is part of an ambitious redevelopment plan by landlords Allied London – will include functions enabling passengers to pinpoint each boat’s exact location and plan journeys based on their current status – with refuelling and maintenance updates also enabled.
Martin Hill, Managing Director at DealTrak explained: “Although our ‘bread and butter’ is connecting the automotive finance and insurance industry, when we heard about Allied London’s plans to launch a GPS tracking app for the water taxi – and as a Leeds Dock resident – we couldn’t resist the opportunity to get involved.
“The nature of our work means we have a lot of meetings with people who travel into Yorkshire by rail, and the water taxi provides a great – and impressive – link between our office and the station. There aren’t many places where you can float between offices and apartments on your daily commute, and we’re delighted to be able to enhance people’s experience of the service – and our vibrant city.”
Ste Bickers, Estate Manager at Allied London added: “Since we began operating the water taxis, one of our biggest aspirations has been to create a trackable app for the service. It’s been great partnering with one of our own tenants, DealTrak, and the boat’s skippers on the project. Their enthusiasm and love of the service has been evident throughout development – they have both smashed it out the park!
“We always wanted the water taxis to be a sustainable means of travel for the entire Leeds Dock community, creating a solid connection between the railway station and the Dock. The app DealTrak has built delivers a heightened level of service allowing the skippers to communicate effectively with the end user, providing real-time updates of the boats.
“We will continue to improve and invest in the service and have more enhancements planned towards the end of the year.”
Matt Cavanagh, DevOps Engineer at DealTrak added: “As a regular passenger on the Leeds water taxi, my colleagues and I used to get frustrated with the guesswork which surrounded the arrival of the next boat – or whether it would be quicker to walk. As such, myself and Greg Sanderson – who contributed considerably to the project delivery – jumped at the chance to create the app.
“A lot of development work has gone into the delivery of the project because it’s something we’re incredibly passionate about delivering for the people who live in – and visit – Leeds. I’m very excited to see it come to life this weekend, and what better place to launch than at the Waterfront Festival?”
The boats, which can carry up to 12 passengers, currently run between Granary Wharf – at the South entrance of the city’s train station – and Leeds Dock, from 07.00 – 19.00 on weekdays, and 10.00 – 18.00 on weekends.
The past seven years has seen a considerable overhaul of the Leeds Dock site by landlord, Allied London. As part of the rebrand, the location has evolved into a vibrant mix of residential living and a creative hub of innovative technology and media, home to eleven digital companies, including Sky’s Digital HQ.