Ontario town launches Uber public transit service

Instead of building transit infrastructure from scratch, the town is helping subsidize Uber rides to certain areas

The Uber logo is seen in front of protesting taxi drivers at the Montreal courthouse, on February 2, 2016. Calgary city council has passed a bylaw that would allow for the operation of ride-sharing companies, but officials with Uber say the rules are too strict. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)

(Ryan Remiorz/CP)

INNISFIL, Ont. – An Ontario town is turning to Uber to provide its public transit service.

Councillors in Innisfil, Ont., say they conducted a study and determined traditional transit would be too expensive and inefficient to serve the community north of Toronto.

The town has a population of about 36,000 people spread over 270 square kilometres, much of which consists of rural roads and remote areas.

Instead of building transit infrastructure from scratch, the town says it’s helping subsidize the cost of Uber rides to certain areas.

Passengers can hail a ride through a mobile app and pay $3 to go to local community centres, $4 to be taken to any of the local GO Bus regional transit stops, and $5 to be taken to the GO train station in neighbouring Barrie, Ont.

Innisfil says it will also kick in $5 a ride for every person who wants to travel within the town to destinations other than the various designated points.