Ontario funding model undermines transit, favours Uber

Categories: News
Published on: September 8, 2020

The Energy Mix / 07 September 2020

As Ontario’s Doug Ford government signals an ever-increasing enthusiasm for microtransit services like Uber, critics warn that, far from being a panacea for transit woes, ridesharing undermines public transit and leads to reduced accessibility, rising fares, and more congestion and emissions.

And the federal government isn’t helping matters, they add, with plans to tie a C$1.8-billion bailout for the country’s pandemic-devastated transit systems to a requirement that provinces kick in an equal amount.

The 50/50 breakdown for the transit funds has “led to several calamitous outcomes,” freelance reporter James Wilt reports on Passage. The government of New Brunswick, for example, simply turned down the funding, allowing systems like Saint John Transit to remain underserviced. But more “insidious” still is the Ontario government’s decision to place even more conditions on releasing the combined funds to municipalities, ordering them to “review the lowest performing bus routes and consider whether they may be better serviced by microtransit”.