On-Demand Transit Partnership with Uber, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada, 2017

  • Date Enacted: May 15, 2017


The Toronto exurb of Innisfil considered traditional fixed-route bus service to address demand for public transit. They considered and calculated costs for both one-bus and two-bus acquisitions and operations for a smaller and larger service area, respectively. Desiring a larger service area, the department of transportation staff recommended issuing a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEOI), followed by a Request for Proposal (RFP) for demand-responsive transit.

The government decided to execute a partnership agreement with Uber, to be followed by the taxi companies (to cover WAV trips) to use the UberPool ridesharing platform as their Stage 1 pilot.

The operation is explained in full in a presentation, but the basic form is that the user pays within the range of a bus fare, and the city, with a subsidy from the Ministry of Transportation, subsidizes the remainder of the cost.  The lower costs are for quasi-fixed service from established pick-up areas, while “custom” door-to-door service costs at the upper range.  Stage 2 not only extends the funding, and reports results, but formalizes taxi participation, waiving permit fees, etc.

Citylab reported in April 2019 that “As of April 1, flat fares for the city-brokered Ubers rose by $1. Trip discounts dropped to $4, and a 30-ride monthly cap was implemented.” According to the article, which is also linked below, the service remains popular. A mode like rail might enjoy economies of scale with rider adoption, but smaller vehicles require more supply to meet demand.

Innisfil Transit fares as of April 1, 2019

  • $4 for any trip to/from Innisfil Recreational Complex/Town Hall area
  • $4 for any trip to/from the Innisfil ideaLAB and Library, Lakeshore branch (967 Innisfil beach Road.)
  • $4 for any trip to/from the South Innisfil Community Centre (Lefroy)
  • $5 for any trip to/from closest GO bus stop along Yonge St
  • $6 for any trip to/from Barrie South GO train station
  • $6 for any trip to/from Innisfil Heights Employment Area and Highway 400 carpool lot
  • When you travel anywhere else going within Innisfil boundaries you’ll save $4 off your fare.

Source: Innisfil DRT fares in 2019. https://innisfil.ca/transit/


Updated May 2019

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