Uber partners with the Town of Innisfil
The transportation network company Uber has made waves around the world for its innovation, utility and, quite often, its tenuous relationship with governments. Canadian municipalities have tended to avoid formal partnerships with Uber as part of the city’s transportation services. Though legislation has been passed in some Canadian municipalities to allow Uber’s operations to be legal, other municipalities have band the service entirely. Meanwhile in the US, there have been a number of formal partnerships between municipalities and transportation network companies, including Uber.
It was reported this week that the first municipality in Canada to enter a formal partnership with Uber has arrived; but It’s not who you might think. No, it’s not modern mega-city Toronto, innovative Vancouver or tech-centric Montreal—it’s the Town of Innisfil, Ontario.
Innisfil, which is home to about 36,000 residents, will offer discounted trips to certain destinations in town when someone uses Uber. What is interesting, from a transit perspective, is this is being done instead of the town starting a transit service.
According to the Star, “Council was really being pressured to bring transit to the town of Innisfil,” [Innisfil Mayor Gord] Wauchope said. “You can’t have taxpayers pay for a transit system which they cannot use. And this was a transit system that people can get from anywhere in the town of Innisfil, and use it for a reasonable price.”
This is a very innovative approach to small community transit and the results will prove an excellent case study for other municipalities considering partnerships with transportation network companies.
In other Innisfil news, the town is looking for a new home for its 20-foot high, over 10,000 pound, former Guinness record holding, giant wooden rocking horse.