In reviewing Taxi ByLaws, Town Clerk Brent Larmer expanded his report to Council to include a short review of what the Town of Innisfil was doing with Uber to substitute for a Town Transit System. Innisfil didn’t have a Transit system but citizens wanted something cheaper than a taxi to get around. Typically, Towns do this by subsidizing a Transit system with fixed route buses but Innisfil decided to look into teaming up with Uber to provide transport between designated spots in the Town for a price of $4 – $6 with the balance of the cost paid by the Town. They can also go anywhere in the Town door-to-door with a $5 discount over the Uber fee. The Town saves on Capital costs and they have found their system to be popular.
To get more detail, read Brent’s report (see link below) but here’s a summary
- Innisfil is larger than Cobourg with a population of 36,566 and an area of 263 sq. km compared to Cobourg at 19,440 and 22 sq. km. Innisfil is just south of Barrie on Lake Simcoe.
- To get a ride, citizens need a phone with a special App but it works 24/7 with wait times typically around 6 minutes – not bad compared to a bus or even a taxi.
- The original idea included a partnership with local taxis for an accessible service but this has never been used – probably because the local Red Cross provides a transportation service in the Innisfil area for persons with disabilities. (Community Care does something similar in Cobourg).
- In 2018 there were 85,943 trips, 2,203 drivers and 5,749 riders.
- The cost to the Town in 2018 was $640K
Brent finished this section of his report with a request that if Council wants staff to investigate this ridesharing partnership option, then:
Council should direct Staff to provide a detailed report and analysis comparing the current system that is in place (Public Transit, Taxi Services and other transportation networks) to determine if the market, public interest, cost analysis and feasibility based on demographic is an option for consideration.
Councillors Emily Chorley and Nicole Beatty liked this idea and moved that this be done with a report back (if possible) by 22 June 2020. The motion was carried.
The way it works in Innisfil may not be right for Cobourg but maybe there’s something similar that will.
- Brent Larmer’s report – extracted from his Taxi By-Law Review report.
- Uber Innisfil – includes typical fares
- Innisfil Transit
- Cobourg Transit – details of Cobourg’s current Transit services