Mobility

Canadian town turns Uber into its public transit system

Posted on May 23, 2017

(Shown left to right) CAO Jason Reynar, Innisfil-Barrie Taxi Representative Tom Watson, Uber Ontario Public Policy Manager Chris Schafer, Uber Driver Jeff Wilton, Mayor Gord Wauchope, Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin, Manager of Land Use Planning Tim Cane and Senior Policy Planner Paul Pentikainen.
(Shown left to right) CAO Jason Reynar, Innisfil-Barrie Taxi Representative Tom Watson, Uber Ontario Public Policy Manager Chris Schafer, Uber Driver Jeff Wilton, Mayor Gord Wauchope, Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin, Manager of Land Use Planning Tim Cane and Senior Policy Planner Paul Pentikainen.

The Town of Innisfil, Ontario and Uber launched Canada’s first ridesharing-transit partnership.

Through this partnership, the town will subsidize a portion of the fare for all trips taken by residents within Innisfil, while offering additional subsidies for rides going to and from transit hubs. In addition, the Town of Innisfil has also partnered with the local taxi service, Barrie Taxi as part of this new on-demand transit model to provide accessible rides.

“Rather than place a bus on the road to serve just a few residents, we are moving ahead with a better service that can transport people from all across our town to wherever they need to go,” said Innisfil Mayor Gord Wauchope.

This partnership will help Innisfil residents connect with the Barrie-South GO Station, and the local GO Bus line. Ridesharing has become a first mile/last mile complement with public transit in cities around the world. According to a study published last year by the American Public Transportation Association, people who routinely use “shared modes” of transportation (e.g., bikesharing, carsharing, and ridesharing) were more likely to use public transit.

Today, people are combining ridesharing and public transit to substitute for a car and create shared journeys. As a case in point, in London, 30% of Uber rides in the outer boroughs during the morning rush hour end within 200 metres of a Tube or train station.

Realizing these trends are already happening, more and more transit authorities and cities are entering into formal agreements with ridesharing companies to help connect people to public transit, like in the feeder communities of New York City and Orlando , or improve paratransit services for the elderly and disabled, as with a pilot program in Boston.

Situated just south of Barrie and about 45 minutes north of Toronto, the Town of Innisfil is a growing community with a population of approximately 36,000 people. Innisfil prides itself on having a small-town feel while offering modern amenities such as cutting-edge libraries, sports facilities and access to the beautiful Lake Simcoe. Town staff and its Council are dedicated to helping the community grow in a sustainable way to become a place that is connected physically, socially, culturally and digitally.


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