by Sarin CHEMILIAN, Raktim MITRA & Matthias SWEET
This study explores the social impacts of the Innisfil Transit service – a partnership between the
Town of Innisfil and Uber which enables residents of Innisfil to travel within the town and to
specific destinations at a reduced cost.
The Town’s policy framework indicates that the Innisfil Transit service is designed to provide
mobility to all. Towards interpreting this policy direction, this study focuses on two population
groups with historically established transit-related mobility disadvantages: those without cars and
those with lower household incomes.
This study asks the following fundamental question:
What have the social implications of Innisfil Transit been on transportation system users?
This broad question is broken into four sub-questions,
1 discussed in Sections E-2.1 through E2.4. Each of these sub-questions are answered using survey data from the Town of Innisfil travel
satisfaction survey (2019-2020), which collected responses from 736 Innisfil residents. Using
available data, both descriptive (illustrating the univariate or bivariate relationships between
different variables of interest) and inferential (modeling the predictive links with fundamental
outcomes of interest, controlling for other variations) analyses are conducted.
E-2.1 Innisfil Transit Users
Sub-Question 1. What are the demographic profiles of Innisfil Transit users and how
frequently are they using Innisfil Transit? How is that different from how Uber is used?
Characteristics of Innisfil Transit users and their use frequencies are explored and compared with
Uber use (independently of the Innisfil Transit program). Differences provide some guidance on
the user groups most benefitting from Innisfil Transit – in short, who is benefitting from Innisfil
Transit who would not have, should Uber alone have been available.
E-2.2. Innisfil Transit Use Purposes
Sub-Question 2. What types of trips are being accommodated by Innisfil Transit? And by
The trip purposes for which users employ Innisfil Transit are estimated and compared with
typical sociodemographic characteristics of survey respondents, focusing on what trip purposes
are related to household income and/or household vehicle ownership. Trip purposes include
work, school, shopping, social, recreational, medical purposes, and other.
E-2.3. Innisfil Travel Satisfaction
Sub-question 3. How satisfied are Innisfil Transit users? And what are the predictors of
Innisfil Transit satisfaction?
Using survey data on travel satisfaction, this study explores which Innisfil Transit users are most
satisfied with the service. Descriptive findings are presented, and probit models are estimated to
explore the predictors of Innisfil Transit satisfaction when controlling for other explanations.
E-2.4. Alternative Services to Innisfil Transit
Sub-question 4. What are survey respondents’ attitudes towards other travel services
considered as alternatives to Innisfil Transit?
Survey data is used to explore survey respondents’ attitudes towards a bus service which had
been considered in 2015 as an alternative to the current delivery of Innisfil Transit. Survey
questions relate to respondents’ willingness to walk to specific prospective bus stops, willingness
to walk particular durations to a transit stop, and expectations of contemplated bus services to
meet daily travel needs. As the contemplated bus service is much more temporally and
geographically constrained (primarily serving Alcona) than the ultimately implemented Innisfil
Transit service, results focus on respondents’ views of this service as an alternative.
E-3.1. Innisfil Transit Users
Of survey respondents, approximately two-thirds (64.7%) have used Innisfil Transit, while
approximately half (52.4%) have used Uber before (independently of the Innisfil Transit
program). Innisfil Transit is equally likely to serve individuals from all household income levels
– in contrast to Uber, which is more prominently used by higher-income households. Like Uber
use, Innisfil Transit is significantly more likely to be used by households with fewer vehicles.
Together, these findings suggest that Innisfil Transit provides an additional mobility option for
low-vehicle households and that it expands the availability of on-demand ride-hailing across
household income levels.
E-3.2. Innisfil Transit Use Purposes
Results indicate that Innisfil Transit is expanding mobility for many users and filling a
significant mobility gap for lower-income and lower-vehicle households – particularly for work
trips. Innisfil Transit is likely to be used for a broader variety of trip purposes than Uber by
itself. Innisfil Transit also appears to connect individuals with work opportunities, and it is
significantly more likely to be used by individuals with household incomes under $100,000 for
work purposes. Other income thresholds were tested but were not preferred based on the survey
income distribution. Likewise, Innisfil Transit appears to be significantly more likely to serve
low-vehicle households in meeting work and shopping trips.
E-3.3. Innisfil Travel Satisfaction
Most users state benefits from Innisfil Transit related to increased independence and a greater
quality of life and over 70 percent of users are either happy or very happy with the service.
Inferential model results indicate that, among Innisfil Transit users, those most satisfied with the
service are older (notably over 65) and more likely to be frequent (one or more times per week)
or (especially) moderate users (one to three times in the last month) compared with younger,
E-3.4. Alternative Services to Innisfil Transit
Several survey questions were asked of Innisfil residents to explore the prospective benefits from
the bus routes considered in the transit feasibility study (MMM Group Limited, 2015). Overall,
findings indicate that one-third of survey respondents indicated either a willingness to walk to
one of the transit stations identified in the 2015 transit feasibility study or that the bus service
hours would be enough for their daily needs
E-4. Discussion and Conclusion
Innisfil Transit appears to deliver significant benefits to Innisfil residents. Results indicate that it
expands services to historically underserved populations, expanding trip purposes, is generating
significant travel satisfaction among users, and that it serves significantly more residents than the
bus service contemplated in 2015.
In sum, Innisfil Transit represents a novel approach towards delivering transit in rural and smalltown settings. In this study, its social benefits are explored using guidance from existing Town
of Innisfil policies. Findings of this study suggest that Innisfil Transit significantly expands the
mobility of Innisfil residents, including user groups with documented mobility gaps – notably lower-income households and low-vehicle households. The results indicate that Innisfil Transit
supports current Town of Innisfil mobility and transportation policy objectives related to the
expansion of mobility for all and may inform future policy directions for this novel transit