Last year, the town of Innisfil decided to partner with Uber instead of spending piles of money to build its own transit system from scratch. I said then that it was an interesting idea and that I was pulling for it to work out.
So how is it working out? Pretty well, it appears.
Innisfil, Ont., estimates an experimental transit partnership with Uber is saving the town more than $8 million a year compared to using an equivalent door-to-door bus service.
“This worked for us, and we’re thrilled,” Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin told guest host David Common on CBC’s Metro Morning on Thursday.
“If we were to try to offer the service that we offer now — so 24 hours a day, to any resident in the municipality — it would cost $8 million, so there’s absolutely no way we could have done that.”
The town and company say 3,400 users have completed more than 26,700 trips in the first eight months of the program.
I don’t know that the more rural parts of Waterloo Region will ever try out something like this at least in part because the taxi lobby would flip its lid, but it’s certainly something worth thinking about. It would be much more efficient and convenient than trying to connect them through bus routes that only run a few times a day.