Uber takes over Canadian town’s public transit

The Uber experiment was a success in Innisfil, a low-profile town south of Barrie in Ontario, Canada. The project began in May  as Innisfil was looking for a way to solve growing solving public transit issues, The Financial Post reports. Senior Policy Advisor Paul Pentikainen is “really pleased” that the local government has taken the Uber route, which replaces public transit with Uber.

Since the project started, local commuters paid an average of $5.43 per ride over a total of 4,868 Uber rides taken. Reported cost to the town of 31,000 was $26,461.41, which subsidized the cost of the rides.

Pentikainen said the project was “cost-effective.” The decision to go with Uber was based on the savings compared to funding a fixed-route bus service. The projected expenses for one bus alone under this system was $270,000 annually.

The success of Uber in Innisfil may beg the question as to whether Uber Freight might be close behind. As of yet, there is no indication that will happen, but one  Canadian start-up has positioned itself to be “The Uber of Trucking” in Canada, Nanalyze reports. While Vancouver-based Freightera has offered on-demand trucking services in the United States as well, it is the closest thing that Canada has to the trucking version that Uber is known for.

Uber Freight recently expanded its service to California and other states, SF Gate reports. Southern states Georgia and the Carolinas were also beneficiaries of the expansion initiatives.

Uber Freight’s Eric Berdinis told SF Gate, “We are growing at an Uber-like pace, tenfold since the beginning of the year.”

With Uber Freight preoccupied with taking over the United States first before maximizing opportunities in Canada, the “Uber of Canada” has secured its hold on the territory it dominates in its home country. With services available across Canada, Freightera has secured a deal with Natural Resource Canada’s SmartWay program. This was described as an “initiative to reduce fuel costs and emissions from freight transportation.” Shippers may now pick freight quotes based on “lower emissions.”

These initiatives were espoused by Freightera’s founder, Erick Beckwitt, after attending the UN Climate Conference in Marrakech. He served as resource speaker for the presentation “A Green Future for Freight.”

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