Innisfil, Ont., estimates it saves $8M yearly using Uber as alternative to public transit

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.

Town began partnership with ride-hailing service last May

Innisfil, Ont., turned to Uber last year as an alternative to a traditional public transit system. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

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.

Innisfil turned to the ride-hailing company last year as an alternative to a traditional public transit system.

"This worked for us, and we're thrilled," Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin told guest host David Common on CBC's Metro Morning on Thursday.

The 2016 population of Innisfil was just below 24,000 people, according to Statistics Canada. (Google)

"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.

'This worked for us, and we're thrilled,' Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin said on CBC's Metro Morning on Thursday about the town's partnership with Uber. (CBC)

Innisfil subsidizes the cost of rides for its residents with Uber Canada, offering flat rates to certain public hubs and a discount for travel anywhere else within the community.

The town says it has signed a deal with Uber to expand their partnership by adding two new flat fare destinations.

A partnership between Uber and the Town of Innisfil is taking off, so much so that the town is planning to expand a microtransit project. We speak to the town's Deputy Mayor about why it's working so well. 6:29

Rides to the Innisfil ideaLAB and Library as well as the South Innisfil Community Centre will be $3.

Dollin said the town is able to collect data from the rides residents take in order to "look at the evolution of this transit system as we go."

Sample fares through the Uber partnership with Innisfil from May 2017. Uber is adding two new flat-fare destinations. (Town of Innisfil)

With files from Metro Morning