Transcript: Taking the Uber Bus | Apr 13, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pink shirt, and spotted purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Taking the Uber bus. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says INNISFIL, ONTARIO,
POPULATION 36,000, IS A TOWN
SOUTH OF BARRIE, ON THE WESTERN
SHORES OF LAKE SIMCOE.
IT SPREADS OVER 270 SQUARE
KILOMETRES.
ONCE LARGELY RURAL, IT'S QUICKLY
TRANSITIONING INTO THE
ORBIT OF THE GREATER TORONTO
AREA, WITH A GROWING POPULATION,
AND NOT SURPRISINGLY, A GROWING
DEMAND FOR BETTER TRANSIT.
TO MEET THAT DEMAND, THE TOWN
HAS DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING
QUITE DIFFERENT: RATHER THAN
SETTING UP ITS OWN BUS SERVICE,
IT'S PARTNERING WITH UBER.
IT'S A BOLD MOVE.
IS IT THE RIGHT MOVE?
LET'S ASK:
LYNN DOLLIN, SHE'S THE DEPUTY
MAYOR OF INNISFIL...

Lynn is in her late thirties, with long wavy blond hair. She's wearing a red blazer over a white blouse.

Steve continues MARCY BURCHFIELD, EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE NEPTIS FOUNDATION...

Marcy is in her late thirties, with brown hair in a short bob. She's wearing a gray blazer over a white blouse, and solver hoop earrings.

Steve continues TOM SLEE, AUTHOR OF "WHAT'S
YOURS IS MINE: AGAINST THE SHARING ECONOMY."

Tom is in his fifties, with short, receding gray hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a gray suit, lilac shirt and striped yellow tie.

Steve continues AND SUNIL JOHAL, POLICY DIRECTOR
WITH THE MOWAT CENTRE.

Sunil is in his forties, balding, with a stubble. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, and a blue shirt.

Steve continues IT'S REALLY GOOD TO HAVE ALL OF
YOU HERE AT OUR TABLE AT TVO
TONIGHT FOR THIS DISCUSSION
ABOUT HOW THIS NEW, AND WE SHALL
FIND OUT, DARING PLAN IS GOING
TO WORK.
DEPUTY MAYOR, LET'S PUT YOU TO
WORK HERE.
WHAT'S THE IDEA HERE?

The caption changes to "Lynn Dollin. Deputy Mayor of Innisfil."
Then, it changes again to "Over in Innisfil."

Lynn says FIRST, STEVE, YOU HAVE TO
UNDERSTAND THE LOCAL CONTEXT AND
WHAT THE SITUATION IS.
WE ARE IN A LARGE GEOGRAPHIC
AREA, ALMOST THE SIZE OF
MISSISSAUGA BUT WITH 1 twentieth OF
THE POPULATION.
WE HAVE COMMUNITIES SCATTERED
THROUGHOUT THAT MUNICIPALITY,
AND BETWEEN THAT, KNITTED
TOGETHER BY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF
ACRES OF AGRICULTURE, RURAL
PROPERTIES, AND ALSO A LOT OF
GRAVEL ROADS.
SO NOT TOTALLY CONDUCIVE TO A
TRANSIT SERVICE.
SO WHAT WE DID IS WE HIRED A
CONSULTANT, AS MOST
MUNICIPALITIES DO, AND WE WERE
TWICE ACTUALLY, AND WE GOT BACK
DIFFERENT IDEAS, MOST OF THEM
FOR A TRADITIONAL FIXED TRANSIT
SYSTEM.

Steve says FIXED TRANSIT SYSTEM
MEANING A BUS ROUTE?

Lynn says MEANING A BUS
ROUTE, A FIXED BUS ROUTE.

Steve says HOW MUCH WOULD IT
COST TO PUT IN ONE BUS ROUTE IN
INNIS FILL?

Lynn says ONE BUS ROUTE
THAT WOULD SERVICE ABOUT 20 percent OF
THE GEOGRAPHIC WOULD COST ABOUT
270,000 dollars A YEAR.

Steve says FOR ONE BUS ROUTE.
DOES THAT INCLUDE SHELTERS,
MAINTENANCE ON THE BUSES, ALL
THAT OTHER KIND OF STUFF?

Lynn says ALL OF THAT
WOULD HAVE TO BE BUILT AS WELL.
WHEN YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT,
CAN YOU REALLY RUN A SERVICE
WITH ONE BUS?
IT HAS TO GO IN FOR MAINTENANCE.
IT BREAKS DOWN.
REALLY YOU WERE LOOKING AT MORE
THE 600,000 dollar MODEL FOR INNISFILL.

Steve says COMPARE THAT,
600,000, TO THE ALTERNATIVE.
WHERE DID UBER COME AS AN IDEA?

The caption changes to "Lynn Dollin, @LynnDollin."

Lynn says WHEN WE WENT
THROUGH THE MODEL OF THE
TRADITIONAL BUS SERVICE, WE GOT
COMPLAINTS BACK FROM THE 80 percent OF
THE GEOGRAPHY THAT WASN'T
GETTING THE SERVICE SAYING, HEY,
WHAT ABOUT US?
WE'RE HAVING TO PAY INTO THIS
SERVICE BECAUSE BUS SERVICES, AS
YOU KNOW, ARE HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED
BY THE TAXPAYER.
WE'RE HAVING TO PAY INTO A
SERVICE THAT IS NOT AVAILABLE TO
US.
SO THAT'S WHEN WE WENT BACK TO
THE DRAWING BOARD, WE HIRED...
OR WE GOT OUR OWN STAFF AND A
GROUP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS
THAT WE PUT ON A TRANSIT
COMMITTEE AND WE PUT OUT
REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS FOR
SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT AND
WE GOT A HANDFUL BACK IN AND THE
ONE THAT WE CHOSE AND THAT WE'RE
VERY EXCITED ABOUT IS THE PUBLIC
TRANSIT SYSTEM ON DEMAND TRANSIT
SYSTEM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH UBER.

The caption changes to "The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Weeknights at 8 on TVO and theagenda.tvo.org"

Steve says ON DEMAND, MEANING,
AND LET'S... LET'S PUT THIS UP
NOW, SHELDON.
WE HAVE A FEW OPTIONS HERE OF
HOW THIS WOULD WORK.
FOR EXAMPLE, NO BUS.
CALL THE UBER CAR FOR THOSE WHO
USE THE SERVICE UNDERSTAND HOW IT WORKS...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Innisfil's flat rate Uber fares."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
AND FOR 3 dollars YOU COULD
GO TO THE INNISFIL RECREATION
COMPLEX.
4 dollars TO THE GO BUS STOP.
AND FOR 5 dollars TO THE INNISFIL
THAT'S ESSENTIALLY HOW THAT
WOULD WORK.
600 GRAND FOR THE BUS SERVICE
COMPARED TO WHAT WILL THE TOWN
SPEND TO PUT THIS UBER DEAL IN PLACE?

Lynn says WHAT COUNCIL
HAS COMMITTED AT THIS POINT FOR
STAGE ONE OF THIS AGREEMENT IS
100,000 dollars.
STAGE 2 WE'RE GOING TO COMMIT
ANOTHER 125,000 dollars.

Steve says SO A LOT CHEAPER.

Lynn says MUCH CHEAPER.

Steve says AND GOES TO 100 percent OF
THE TOWN INSTEAD OF 20 percent?

Lynn says ANYBODY IN THE
TOWN CAN USE THIS SERVICE.

Steve says ONE LAST QUESTION
BEFORE WE GET EVERYBODY ELSE
INVOLVED HERE: HOW ARE THE LOCAL
TAXI SERVICES IN INNISFIL
REACTING TO THIS DEVELOPMENT?

Lynn says WELL, I'D BE
LYING IF I SAID THEY WERE
THRILLED ABOUT IT.
THEY'RE NOT.
WE ARE IN CONSULTATION WITH
THEM.
WE ARE HOPING THAT WE ARE GOING
TO WORK OUT A DEAL WITH THEM
WHERE THEY COULD GET INVOLVED
WITH US IN THE FUTURE ON THIS
INITIATIVE, AND CERTAINLY WE'RE
REQUIRED BY LAW TO HAVE
ACCEPTABLE TRANSIT, SO WE WILL
BE USING OUR TAXI SERVICES FOR
THAT PART OF THE SERVICE.

Steve says AND TO THE BEST OF
YOUR KNOWLEDGE, IS THIS THE
FIRST TIME ANY OF ONTARIO'S 444
MUNICIPALITIES HAVE STRUCK THIS
KIND OF DEAL?

Lynn says I THINK IT IS, STEVE.
I THINK THERE HAS BEEN I THINK
WHAT THEY CALL THE LAST MILE.
SO THERE'S BEEN ISSUES WHERE
THEY'VE GONE TO MORE TRADITIONAL
TRANSIT SERVICE.
BUT AS FAR AS A STANDALONE
TRANSIT SERVICE, I BELIEVE WE
ARE FIRST.

Steve says LET'S GET SOME
FEEDBACK.
MARCY, YOU'VE HEARD THE PLAN.
INITIAL THOUGHTS?

The caption changes to "Marcy Burchfield. Neptis Foundation."
Then, it changes again to "An innovative idea?"

Marcy says I THINK
FROM A SHORT-TERM QUICK FIX
PERSPECTIVE WHERE THERE'S THIS
GROWING DEMAND FOR DIFFERENT
MOBILITY CHOICES BY THE
COMMUNITY, YOU KNOW, MAYBE THIS
IS... SUBSIDIZING UBER RIDES IN
THE SHORT TERM MAY BE A GOOD
DECISION IN THE SHORT TERM.
BUT IT DEPENDS SORT OF OBJECT
WHAT THAT PARTNERSHIP LOOKS
LIKE, WHAT YOU'RE GETTING OUT OF
THAT PARTNERSHIP IN THE LONG
TERM.
I THINK IT'S WHO YOU'RE ACTUALLY
SERVING AND WHO THE SERVICE IS
MEANT TO SERVE ESSENTIALLY.
BUT FROM A PLANNING PERSPECTIVE,
I THINK THERE'S A GROWING
CONCERN THAT MORE AND MORE
GOVERNMENTS ARE CONSIDERING
THESE RIDE-SHARING SERVICES AS A
SUBSTITUTE FOR SOME KIND OF
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PLANNING.

Steve says WHY IS THAT
PROBLEMATIC FOR YOU?

Marcy says AS
OPPOSED TO A MIX WHICH LYNN
SUGGESTED.
SO IT'S OFTEN SEEN AS KIND OF
SERVING THE FIRST AND LAST MILE
PROBLEM.
I THINK IN A GROWING COMMUNITY,
YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT LONG
TERM WHETHER THIS PARTICULAR
SERVICE, WHICH IS A PRIVATE
SERVICE ESSENTIALLY SERVING A
PUBLIC NEED, WHETHER IT'S REALLY
SERVING THAT SEGMENT OF THE
POPULATION THAT REALLY NEEDS THE
SERVICE.

Steve says SUNIL, YOUR INITIAL
REACTION?

The caption changes to "Sunil Johal. Mowat Centre."

Sunil says I THINK IT'S
GREAT, QUITE HONESTLY.
WE OFTEN CRITICIZE GOVERNMENTS
FOR NOT TRYING SOMETHING NEW,
FOR STICKING TO THE TRIED AND
TRUE.
BUT IN THIS DAY AND AGE, MANY
GOVERNMENTS ARE FACING A FISCAL
CRUNCH, THEY'RE FACING A
CITIZENRY THAT IS EXPECTING MORE
SERVICES, ON DEMAND SERVICES,
AND GIVEN THE CONTEXT THAT THE
DEPUTY MAYOR HAS OUTLINED, I
THINK THAT THIS TYPE OF SERVICE
ACTUALLY IS GOING TO SERVE MORE
CITIZENS MORE EFFECTIVELY AND AT
A BETTER PRICE THAN ANY OF THE
ALTERNATIVES THAT ARE ON THE
TABLE FOR THEM.
SO I THINK WE SHOULD REALLY
COMMEND THE DEPUTY MAYOR AND THE
TOWN FOR LOOKING AT THIS.
MAYBE IT WON'T BE A LONG-TERM,
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION, BUT I
THINK IT'S ABSOLUTELY WORTH A
TRY TO SEE HOW IT GOES AND TO
SEE IF THE CITIZENS FIND THIS TO
BE A USEFUL SERVICE.

The caption changes to "The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Weeknights at 8 on TVO and theagenda.tvo.org"

Steve says TOM, YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Tom Slee. Author, 'What's yours is mine.'"

Tom says I'M LESS OPTIMISTIC.
I THINK FOR UBER IN PARTICULAR,
WHO ARE CASTING ABOUT FOR AS
MANY WAYS TO MAKE MONEY AS
POSSIBLE, THIS IS FOR THEM I
THINK A STEP IN THE DOOR.
THEY WOULD LOVE TO BE PART OF
THE TRANSIT INFRASTRUCTURE OF
NORTH AMERICA.
BUT I THINK WHAT THEY'VE SHOWN
OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS IS THAT
THEY'RE NOT A GOOD PARTNER FOR
THAT KIND OF BUSINESS.

Steve says WHY NOT?

Tom says WELL, BECAUSE IN
ESSENCE I THINK WHAT YOU END UP
DOING HERE IS, IN A SENSE,
OFFSHORING OUR OWN LIVES.
JUST AS IF YOU OFFSHORE
MANUFACTURING OF SOMETHING, YOU
MAY GET IT CHEAPER, BUT THEN
THERE'S PRICES TO BE PAID FOR
THAT, YOU KNOW, ARE THERE THE
SAME KIND OF ENVIRONMENTAL
STANDARDS FOLLOWED, LABOUR
STANDARDS, THOSE KINDS OF
THINGS.
SO WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE IS THAT
UBER WILL SAY, WELL, YOU KNOW,
WE CAN MAKE A BUSINESS HERE BY
AVOIDING ALL KINDS OF COSTS:
AVOIDING THE COSTS OF PROPERLY
SCREENING PEOPLE, AVOIDING
INSURANCE COSTS, AVOIDING TAXES,
AND SO I THINK THE DANGER WE RUN
IS OF RUNNING DOWN ALL THESE
KIND OF STANDARDS THAT IS PART
OF WHAT MAKES CANADA CANADA.

Steve says IN WHICH CASE LET'S
ASK DEPUTY MAYOR DOLLIN IF THE
MUNICIPALITY WILL HAVE MORE AND
TOUGHER STANDARDS TO ENABLE UBER
TO OPERATE IN YOUR TOWN.

Lynn says WHEN WE
ORIGINALLY STARTED TALKING WITH
THEM AND WE WORKED ON A
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH
A FEW BASIC POINTS, ONE BEING
THAT ONE OF THE CRITICAL PIECES
FOR US IS THAT WE GET DATA FROM THIS.
WE NEED TO KNOW WHERE PEOPLE ARE
GOING AND WHY... MAYBE NOT WHY
BUT WHERE THEY'RE GOING AND HOW
OFTEN THEY'RE GOING AND WHAT'S
ATTRACTING THEM TO GO TO
DIFFERENT PLACES IN THE TOWN.
WE'VE DONE STUDIES LIKE THAT
BEFORE BUT IT'S RANDOMLY ASKING
PEOPLE WHERE THEY MIGHT GO, AND
THIS IS SHOWING THAT IF THEY'RE
WILLING TO PAY TO GO SOMEWHERE,
THEN WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO
COLLECT THAT DATA AND UBER HAS
AGREED TO SHARE THAT WITH US.

Steve says LET'S CONFIRM THAT.
THEY'RE A PRIVATE COMPANY,
RIGHT?
NORMALLY VERY PROPRIETARY ABOUT
THAT KIND OF INFORMATION.
THEY HAVE DEFINITELY AGREED TO
SHARE THAT INFORMATION WITH YOU?

Lynn says THEY HAVE.
THAT'S A CRITICAL PART OF OUR
ARRANGEMENT, BECAUSE WE NEED TO
KNOW THAT.
BECAUSE IF WE'RE GETTING A
PATTERN SHOWING IN CERTAIN
AREAS, THEN, YOU KNOW, THAT WILL
BE STAGE 2 OR STAGE 3 OF THE
PLAN, IS TO GET A MORE
TRADITIONAL SYSTEM.

Steve says LET ME CHECK THAT
OUT WITH... OKAY.
BECAUSE I KNOW ONE OF YOUR
CONCERNS IS, THEY'RE UNWILLING
TO SHARE THAT KIND OF
INFORMATION.
YOU HAVE IT FROM THE DEPUTY
MAYOR HERE THAT THEY ARE.
DOES THAT ALLAY YOUR CONCERNS AT ALL?

The caption changes to "Tom Slee, @whimsley."

Tom says I THINK UBER HAS
IN THE PAST OFFERED TO SHARE
THIS KIND OF GROSS TRAFFIC DATA,
SORT OF TRAFFIC DATA.
I THINK THAT KIND OF EFFORT HAS
TURNED OUT TO BE LESS EXCITING
THAN MUNICIPALITIES THOUGHT.
THE FIRST ONE WAS WITH THE CITY
OF BOSTON, I THINK, THEY SAID,
YEAH, WE'LL GIVE YOU ALL THIS
STUFF ABOUT WHO'S GOING WHERE IN
BOSTON AND BOSTON BASICALLY
BACKED OUT AFTER A YEAR OR SO.
THEY SAID IT'S JUST NOT OF
INTEREST.
I SUSPECT IT WILL BE LESS
INTERESTING THAN YOU THINK.
I THINK UBER IS IN OTHER
RESPECTS IS VERY SECRETIVE.
IT'S VERY SECRETIVE... WELL, WE
DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ITS
FINANCES.
WE HAVE RECENTLY FOUND...

Steve says THEY'VE GOT A LOT OF
MONEY, TOM.

Tom says AND THEY'RE
LOSING A LOT OF MONEY.
THEY'RE LOSING ABOUT 3 BILLION dollars
EVERY YEAR.
THEY'RE UNDER PRESSURE TO FIND A
WAY TO MAKE A PROFIT AND THEY
HAVE NOT YET FOUND THAT.

Steve says WE SHOULD EXPLAIN WE
OBVIOUSLY INVITED UBER TO BE
WITH US FOR THIS DISCUSSION AND
THEY WERE SIMPLY UNABLE TO MAKE
SOMEBODY AVAILABLE AT THE TIME.
I DON'T THINK THEY'RE BOYCOTTING
THE SHOW BUT THEY'RE UNABLE TO
HAVE SOMEBODY HERE.
THIS BUSINESS OF INFORMATION IS
KEY.
IF THEY DISCOVER AFTER PHASE 1
IS IN, SUNIL, THAT THEY'RE
ACTUALLY NOT GETTING THE KIND OF
INDEPTH, WHAT UBER MIGHT
DESCRIBE AS PROPRIETARY
INFORMATION, WHAT THEN?

The caption changes to "Sunil Johal, @JohalSunil."

Sunil says THEN LOOK TO
OTHER ALTERNATIVES.
I THINK THE GOOD THING THAT'S
HAPPENING HERE IS THEY'RE NOT
LOCKING INTO A LONG-TERM DEAL,
LET'S SEE HOW THIS GOES.
UBER, TO SAY THEY'VE HAD P.R.
CHALLENGES IN THE LAST YEAR
WOULD BE THE UNDERSTATEMENT OF
THE CENTURY AND THEY MAY NOT BE
THE BEST CORPORATE PARTNER FOR
THIS TYPE OF INITIATIVE BUT
THERE ARE OTHER RIDE SHARING
PROGRAMS, THERE ARE OTHER
CANADIANS AT A SMALLER STAGE,
THERE IS LYFT WHICH IS A SMALLER
AMERICAN FIRM.
THEY'RE NOT IN CANADA YET.
THEY'VE COMMITTED TO COMING TO
TORONTO ABOUT A YEAR AGO AND
THEY STILL HAVEN'T MOVED IN.
BUT THE QUESTION ISN'T REALLY
ABOUT UBER HERE, IT'S ABOUT RIDE
SHARING AND RIDE SOURCING
GENERALLY.
UBER IS KIND OF THE MOST
WELL-KNOWN EXAMPLE OF THIS AND
THEY HAPPEN TO BE THE ONES THAT
CAME FORWARD WITH A DEAL FOR THE
TOWN.
BUT I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD
THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE
BATHWATER HERE.
JUST BECAUSE UBER HAS SOME
PROBLEMS, WE SHOULD THINK ALL
RIDE SHARING AND RIDE SOURCING
INITIATIVES ARE BAD, BECAUSE I
DON'T THINK THEY ARE.

Steve says LET'S LOOK AT THE
WHOLE BATHWATER.
BOSTON WAS AN EXAMPLE.
I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'VE HEARD OF
OTHER SITUATIONS IN NORTH
AMERICA WHERE THIS KIND OF
PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN RIDE SHARING
PRIVATE COMPANIES AND PUBLIC
INSTITUTIONS, LIKE TOWNS, HAS
WORKED.
HAVE YOU HEARD OF ANY?

The caption changes to "Marcy Burchfield, @burchfie."

Marcy says OR NOT.
SO THERE'S AN ARTICLE THAT CAME
OUT LAST YEAR ABOUT A FLORIDA
TOWN... ACTUALLY, NOT MUCH
DIFFERENT IN TERMS OF THE
SITUATION AS INNISFIL, ALTAMOT
SPRINGS, FLORIDA.
THEY'RE ESSENTIALLY A MORE RURAL
TOWN, THAT SAME KIND OF THING,
THAT THEY HAVE A DISPERSED
COMMUNITY, DISPERSED SETTLEMENT.
THEY'RE ABOUT THE SAME SIZE.
THEY ACTUALLY DID THE MORE
TRADITIONAL MODEL OF HAVING UBER
COME IN AS A MIX WITH THEIR
TRANSIT, BECAUSE THEY DO HAVE A
TRANSIT SYSTEM IN PLACE.
AND I THINK THERE WAS MIXED
RESULTS, PARTICULARLY I THINK
THAT THE TOWN ALSO WANTED TO
KNOW ABOUT WHO UBER WAS SERVING,
AND I THINK IT WAS A BIT OF AN
ISSUE.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE TOWN OF
INNISFIL IS SUBSIDIZING ALL UBER
RIDES... I KNOW THERE ARE
CERTAIN DESTINATIONS WHERE
THERE'S MORE SUBSIDIES THAN
OTHERS, BUT THERE IS A 5 dollar
DISCOUNT FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND,
ANY TRIP WITHIN THE TOWN, AND SO
HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE A TRIP
OF, SAY, A CARE-GIVER WHO IS
GOING TO A CLIENT'S HOUSE, A
SENIOR'S HOUSE, AND CAN'T GET TO
WORK OTHERWISE THROUGH ANY OTHER
SERVICE OR CAR VERSUS A GUY OR
GAL WHO'S GOING TO THEIR BUDDY'S
HOUSE TO WATCH A LEAFS GAME AND
WANT TO HAVE A FEW POPS KIND OF
THING.
WHAT TRIP DO YOU WANT TO
SUBSIDIZE THERE?
THAT'S PART OF THE QUESTION AND
YOU NEED DATA TO ANSWER THAT
QUESTION.

Steve says TRANSPO OR TTC DON'T
CARE IF YOU'RE GOING TO THE
LEAFS OR SENATORS GAME OR YOU'RE
GOING TO A BAR OR...

Marcy says BUT YOU
HAVE A MASS TRANSIT SYSTEM IN
PLACE THERE AND ESSENTIALLY
PEOPLE ARE PAYING TO GO TO
DIFFERENT DESTINATIONS.
THIS IS... YOU KNOW, THIS IS
PART OF... THIS IS A QUESTION
OF, WHAT'S THE LONG-TERM PUBLIC
VALUE FOR THIS KIND OF SERVICE,
RIGHT?
SO IF YOU'RE TRYING TO GET
PUBLIC VALUE OUT OF AN INITIAL
INVESTMENT, DO YOU WANT TO PUT
IT TOWARD SOMETHING THAT IS A
SHORT-TERM SOLUTION FOR SOME
PEOPLE OR A LONGER-TERM SOLUTION
FOR THE PEOPLE WHO NEED IT?
I THINK THAT'S THE QUESTION.

Steve says LOTS TO UNPACK HERE.
THAT'S NOT A BAD QUESTION.
DO YOU WANT TO TACKLE THAT FIRST?

Lynn says CERTAINLY.
IF WE CAN TAKE ANY DRUNK DRIVERS
OFF THE ROAD, I AM ALL FOR THAT.

Marcy says BUT CABS
DO THAT AS WELL.

Lynn says THEY DO.
BUT IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, AND
IT'S NOT... IT'S A STAGE 1, IT'S
THE FIRST STAGE OF OUR TRANSIT
SYSTEM, AND IT'S NOT ABOUT UBER
OR RIDE SHARING, IT'S ABOUT
PUBLIC TRANSIT.
WE HAVE PEOPLE WALKING ON THE
SIDES OF ROADS, GRAVEL ROADS,
OPEN DITCHES, NO SIDEWALKS,
GOING TO WORK, GOING HOME FROM
WORK, KIDS GOING TO THE REC.
CENTRE, PULLING A HOCKEY BAG
BEHIND THEM.
THAT IS HAPPENING AS WE SPEAK.
SO I GUESS MY QUESTION IS: IF
NOT THIS, WHAT?
AND WE SIMPLY CAN'T AFFORD
600,000 dollars A YEAR FOR A TRANSIT
SYSTEM ON TOP OF WHAT EVERYTHING
ELSE THAT'S ADDED ON TO THE
TAXES FOR MUNICIPALITIES.
AND I'M NOT SUGGESTING FOR A
MOMENT THAT THIS IS THE ANSWER
TO EVERYBODY'S TRANSIT ISSUE ON
ALL 444 MUNICIPALITIES.
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT AND WE HAVE
OUR OWN CHALLENGES, AND I THINK
THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT
WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT AND I THINK
THAT IT'S A BEGINNING FOR US.
WE HAVE A LOT OF OLDER
COMMUNITIES, HISTORICAL
COMMUNITIES, LARGE LOTS, NOT THE
DENSITIES THAT ARE BUILT TODAY.
ARE WE DOING... ARE WE BUILDING
IN THE FUTURE FOR A MORE URBAN
DENSE ENVIRONMENT?
CERTAINLY WE ARE.
WE'RE FINALLY GOING TO BE SEEING
A GO-TRAIN STATION.
WE'RE SO EXCITED.
WE'VE BEEN WORKING FOR YEARS ON
IT.
IT'S ON THE SHORT LIST NOW, THEY
TELL US 3 TO 5 YEARS.
THE DENSITY AROUND THAT, IT WILL
BE TRANSIT FRIENDLY.
WE'RE BUILDING WALKABLE
COMMUNITIES NOW, AND WE ARE
WORKING WITH ALL OF THE
DEVELOPERS TO MAKE SURE THAT
HAPPENS.
WE JUST FINISHED A TRAILS MASTER
PLAN.
AND THAT IS THE WAY OF THE
FUTURE.

Steve says LYNN, LET ME ASK YOU
ABOUT THIS: I DON'T KNOW HOW
YOU'VE GOT IT WORKED AND YOU'LL
TELL US RIGHT NOW, BUT CERTAINLY
IN BIGGER CITIES, IT'S VERY MUCH
SUPPLY AND DEMAND.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE
UBER DURING A VERY HOT PEAK TIME
OF TRAFFIC, THEY'VE GOT
SO-CALLED SURGE PRICING AND
YOU'RE GOING TO PAY A LOT MORE
TO USE THE SERVICE THAN YOU
WOULD AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING.
HAVE YOU GOT A DEAL WORKED OUT
ON THIS ISSUE?

Lynn says WE HAVE.
SO STAFF HAVE TALKED TO THEM
ABOUT THAT AND THEY HAVE AGREED
NOT TO CHARGE THE SURGE PRICING
FOR THE INNISFIL MODEL.

Steve says SO IT'S FLAT RATE
ALL THE TIME, 24-7.

Lynn says YES.
AND WHAT WE'RE ALSO HOPING FOR
IS IT'S GOING TO PROVIDE SOME
EMPLOYMENT FOR PEOPLE IN THE
AREA AS WELL BECAUSE RIGHT NOW,
AS I UNDERSTAND, WE ONLY HAVE
ABOUT THREE UBER DRIVERS THAT ARE...

Steve says THAT ARE DOING IT
RIGHT NOW?

Lynn says THAT ARE DOING IT.
BUT, SINCE THIS TOPIC HAS COME
UP AND SINCE WE DID OUR PUBLIC
MEETING, WE HAVE HAD A NUMBER OF
RESIDENTS THAT ARE VERY
INTERESTED IN DOING THIS AS A
PART-TIME JOB.
PERHAPS A MOTHER WHOSE KIDS ARE
AT SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
DAY, YOU KNOW, MIGHT BE ABLE TO
AUGMENT HER INCOME.

Steve says I SEE TOM FURIOUSLY
SCRIBBLING NOTES OVER THERE.
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU'VE BEEN
WRITING DOWN BECAUSE I THINK YOU
WANT TO COME BACK ON THE DEPUTY
MAYOR ON SOMETHING.

The caption changes to "A controversial company."

Tom says I THINK THE
QUESTION OF WHAT DOES IT MEAN
FOR THE DRIVERS IS A GOOD
QUESTION, RIGHT?
AND OBVIOUSLY... IT'S A VERY
TEMPTING THING TO SAY MAYBE
PEOPLE CAN MAKE A BIT OF EXTRA
MONEY.
THAT RAISES THE QUESTION OF, IS
THIS A JOB OR IS THIS NOT A JOB,
RIGHT?
FROM UBER'S POINT OF VIEW, IT
KIND OF IS AND IT KIND OF ISN'T.
THAT IS TO SAY THEY SOMETIMES
CLAIM THESE ARE JOBS BUT THEN
THEY SAY YOU'RE NOT AN EMPLOYEE,
YOU'RE AN INDEPENDENT
CONTRACTOR.
WHAT WE'VE SEEN OVER THE LAST 2
YEARS IS THE CLAIMS ABOUT HOW
WELL PEOPLE DO FROM UBER HAVE
BEEN SORT OF... THE LEVEL HAS
BEEN GOING DOWN LIKE THAT,
RIGHT?
SO TWO YEARS AGO, YOU CAN MAKE
90,000 dollars A YEAR ON UBER.
THIS IS THE END OF THE POORLY
PAID TAXI DRIVER.
AND THAT'S JUST COME DOWN AND
DOWN AND DOWN UNTIL NOW WE'RE
SEEING STORIES LIKE, YOU KNOW,
THERE WAS A STORY IN I THINK THE
WASHINGTON POST THE OTHER DAY OF
A WOMAN WHO WAS OUT OF WORK.
SHE LEASED A CAR FROM UBER IN
ORDER TO TRY TO MAKE A LITTLE
EXTRA MONEY, YOU KNOW?
THEN GOT SICK.
WASN'T ABLE TO GET... WASN'T
EARNING WHAT SHE EXPECTED AND
ENDED UP KIND OF IN HOCK.
IT SOUNDS LIKE 19TH CENTURY
BRITAIN WHERE YOU'RE ALWAYS IN
HOCK TO THE FACTORY OWNER.
IT'S BEEN WORSE THAN NOTHING FOR
HER.
SO I THINK THERE IS A QUESTION
THERE.

Steve says THAT SOUNDS LIKE AN
ISOLATED CASE OF BAD LUCK AS
OPPOSED TO A SYSTEM-WIDE
FAILURE, DOESN'T IT?

Tom says I THINK IF YOU
LOOK AROUND AND YOU SEE THE
PLACES WHERE UBER DRIVERS ARE
NOW STARTING TO PROTEST AGAINST
THE COMPANY, TRYING TO ORGANIZE
IN UNIONS LIKE IN SEATTLE, THEN
I THINK IT'S BECOMING A FAIRLY
GENERAL THING, THAT THEIR PAY
RATES HAVE BEEN PUSHED DOWN AND
DOWN AND DOWN.

Steve says SUNIL, I KNOW YOU'RE
A FAN OF GOVERNMENTS
EXPERIMENTING AND TRYING THIS
IDEA.
WHAT MIGHT CONCERN YOU?

Sunil says SO I THINK
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS
WE'VE ALREADY HEARD THAT COULD
BE OF CONCERN.
I MEAN, ACCESSIBILITY IS AN
ISSUE.
IF WE ARE BUILDING PUBLIC
TRANSIT AND WE'RE FUNDING PUBLIC
TRANSIT, WE'RE ALWAYS WANTING TO
MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE.

Steve says ACCESSIBLE TO WHOM?

Sunil says TO FOLKS WITH
DISABILITIES OR WHO MIGHT HAVE
ACCESSIBILITY CHALLENGES, FOR
EXAMPLE.
WE HAVE CHALLENGES WITH TAKE-UP
OF THIS PROGRAM.
THE DEPUTY MAYOR MENTIONED
THERE'S 100,000 dollars SET ASIDE IN
THE FIRST YEAR FOR THIS BUT UBER
IS NOT GOING TO SURGE PRICE.
I DON'T KNOW HOW THAT'S GOING TO
WORK BECAUSE UBER'S FUNDAMENTAL
MODEL IS IF ENOUGH DRIVERS
AREN'T COMING OUT ONTO THE
ROADS, THEY RAISE THEIR PRICES
TO A POINT WHERE IT'S PALATABLE.
ALL RIGHT, I'M GOING TO GET OFF
MY COUCH AND START DRIVING.
I DON'T KNOW IF THAT MODEL
ACTUALLY WORKS, WHERE THERE'S NO
INCREASES IN PRICE FOR PEOPLE.
SO WE MIGHT FIND THERE ARE NOT
ENOUGH DRIVERS OR THAT MAYBE
UBER WILL RAISE PRICES, IN WHICH
CASE YOU'RE GOING TO BURN
THROUGH THE 100,000 dollar BUDGET VERY
QUICKLY.
THOSE ARE ALL CHALLENGES.
NONE OF THEM ARE INSURMOUNTABLE.
AND WE NEED TO MOVE THIS BEYOND
A CONVERSATION ABOUT UBER AS A
COMPANY, WHICH OBVIOUSLY HAS
MANY CHALLENGES AND MANY FLAWS
AND MORE TO A CONVERSATION
AROUND, FOR FOLKS IN PLACES LIKE
INNISFIL, HOW DO WE MAKE SURE
THEY CAN GET FROM POINT "A" TO
POINT "B" IN A SAFE, REASONABLY
COST-EFFECTIVE, CONVENIENT WAY.

Steve says I DO WANT TO FOLLOW
UP ON THE FIRST PART OF THAT
ANSWER, BECAUSE GIVEN THAT THERE
IS GOING TO BE A DEAL NOW
BETWEEN THE TOWN AND A PRIVATE
COMPANY, THIS PRIVATE COMPANY
DOES HAVE SOME PUBLIC MISSION AS
PART OF ITS ROLE GOING FORWARD.
AND TO THAT END, LET'S PLAY THIS
CLIP.
WE HAVE JONATHAN KAY WHO WRITES
FOR THE WALRUS MAGAZINE, HE USED
TO WRITE FOR THE POST, HE WENT
THROUGH A TRAINING PROGRAM TO
LEARN HOW TO BE A TAXI DRIVER
AND HE ALSO SPENT SOME TIME AS
AN UBER DRIVER AND HE CAME ON
THIS PROGRAM A WHILE AGO AND
TALKED ABOUT IT.
WE'LL PLAY A CLIP ABOUT THAT
EXPERIENCE AND COME BACK AND
CHAT.
SHELDON, GO AHEAD.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Uber everywhere. The public interest."
In the clip, Jonathan Kay speaks in the studio. He's in his forties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair and glasses.

He says IF YOU LOOK AT THE PRO-UBER
COLUMNS IN THE MEDIA, THEY'RE
WRITTEN BY 25-YEAR-OLD
JOURNALISTS WHO SAY THIS IS
FANTASTIC.
IT'S CHEAP.
EVERYBODY SHOULD RIDE UBER.
AND IT'S TRUE.
AS I SAY IN THE ARTICLE, IF YOU
ARE A 25-YEAR-OLD GOING TO A
CONCERT OR BASEBALL GAME, YOU'RE
IN THE BACK SEAT OF SOMEONE'S
CAR.
WHO CARES WHETHER THE CAR IS
YELLOW OR NOT?
HOWEVER, IF YOU'RE OLDER, IF YOU
HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS, IF YOU
REQUIRE A CAR THAT HAS SPECIAL
TRAINING OR EQUIPMENT, THERE IS
A DIFFERENCE AND THAT'S WHERE
THE PUBLIC INTEREST THING COMES IN.

The clip ends.

Steve says IN WHICH CASE,
DEPUTY MAYOR, DO YOU HAVE A
COMMITMENT FROM UBER THAT
THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE EVERYBODY
REGARDLESS OF DISABILITY?

Lynn says WE'RE IN
CONSULTATION WITH THE TAXI
COMPANIES NOW TO DO THE
ACCESSIBILITY PART OF THE
PACKAGE.
AND I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS MIGHT
BE NEW FOR SOME OF THE OLDER
FOLKS, BUT WE'VE GOT A GREAT
LIBRARY SYSTEM, WE'VE GOT GROUPS
THAT COME IN, OF SENIORS THAT
COME IN TO LEARN NEW APPS ON
THEIR PHONE ALL THE TIME IN THE
LIBRARY, AND WE'RE QUITE EXCITED
AND WORKING WITH MANY OF OUR
COMMUNITY PARTNERS TO HELP
PEOPLE WHO MAYBE DON'T HAVE A
SMARTPHONE, SO THAT THEY CAN
CALL IN AND ORDER A RIDE.

Steve says THAT'S A GOOD POINT.
NORMALLY YOU'VE GOT TO DO IT ON
A SMARTPHONE, RIGHT?
YOU HIT THE APP. AND YOU ORDER
IT THAT WAY.
BUT IF YOU DON'T HAVE A
SMARTPHONE OR YOU...

Marcy says OR CREDIT CARD.

Steve says OR BlackBerry OR
CREDIT CARD AND BlackBerry
DOESN'T TAKE THAT APP., THEN WHAT?

Lynn says THAT'S STILL
BEEN FINALIZED IN THE AGREEMENT.
WE'RE PUTTING iPADS IN ALL OF
OUR LIBRARIES WITH PEOPLE THERE
TO HELP THEM, PLUS OUR
RECREATION CENTRE, OUR TOWN
HALL... ANY OF THE PLACES LIKE
THAT.
AND ALSO WE'RE LOOKING AT HAVING
A PHONE-IN OPTION.
WE'LL DO SOME ISSUE WITH THE
CREDIT CARD SO THAT WE CAN MAYBE
PAY AND THEN THEY REIMBURSE US
BACK.
SO ALL OF THOSE THINGS STAFF ARE
WORKING ON RIGHT NOW.
THERE IS DEFINITELY... IT'S
DIFFICULT TO BE FIRST.
THERE IS GOING TO BE UNINTENDED
CONSEQUENCES.
THERE IS GOING TO BE THINGS THAT
HAPPEN THAT WE HAVEN'T
ANTICIPATED.
WE HAVE NEVER SHIED AWAY.
WE'VE TOLD OUR STAFF, WE WANT
BOLD THINKING, THAT'S THE
CULTURE IN INNISFIL, AND WE'RE
GOING TO WORK THROUGH THAT.
WE'RE NIMBLE ENOUGH TO MAKE
THESE CHANGES AS WE GO ALONG AND
TO MAKE THIS WORK.
IT'S EXCITING, AND WE'RE EXCITED
ABOUT IT.
I THINK THAT THE RESIDENTS OF
INNISFIL ARE GOING TO APPRECIATE
IT.
AND, AGAIN, IT COMES BACK TO, IF
WE DON'T DO THIS, WHAT DO WE DO?

Steve says LET ME ASK TOM ABOUT
THIS.
YOU HEARD SUNIL SAY A LITTLE
WHILE AGO THAT OF COURSE THERE
ARE GOING TO BE CHALLENGES,
BUMPS IN THE ROAD, BUT NONE OF
THEM AS HE FORESEES THEM ARE TOO
SIGNIFICANT TO NOT EVEN TRY.
HE SAYS IT'S WORTH... I KNOW YOU
DON'T LIKE THE WORD
EXPERIMENTATION, BUT IT'S WORTH
GIVING IT A SHOT.
CAN YOU SIGN ONTO THAT, THAT
IT'S AT LEAST WORTH GIVING IT A
SHOT?

The caption changes to "The right plan?"

Tom says THERE ARE SEVERAL
QUESTIONS.
ONE IS, IS IT WORTH
EXPERIMENTING?
YES.
IS IT WORTH... IS IT GOOD TO SEE
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TAKING
INITIATIVE AND DOING SOMETHING
DIFFERENT?
YES.
AND THAT'S HOW A LOT OF THINGS
HAPPEN IN THIS COUNTRY.
IT'S LIKE DIFFERENT AREAS TRY IT
AND OTHER PEOPLE LEARN FROM IT.
BUT I GUESS IT DOES COME BACK TO
ME TO, YOU KNOW, FOR UBER, THIS
IS... THEY WANT TO BE PART OF
THE INFRASTRUCTURE.
THEY WANT TO BUY IN, AND THIS IS
A FOOT IN THE DOOR FOR THEM, AND
THAT'S MY CONCERN.
I MEAN, HOW YOUR DEAL WILL WORK
OUT, WHO KNOWS?
WE WILL SEE.
BUT WHERE UBER IS A COMPLEMENT
OR A SUBSTITUTE FOR A PUBLIC
TRANSIT SYSTEM IS A VERY BAD
IDEA.
I MEAN, NUMBER ONE, THEY'RE NOT,
AS YOU'LL SEE IF YOU LOOK AT
THEIR LICENCE AGREEMENT, YOU
KNOW, UBER IS NOT A PROVIDER OF
TRANSIT SERVICES.
THEY WILL NOT TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENS
ON AN UBER RIDE.
AND I THINK...

Steve says BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT
A TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, THEY
ARE A... WHAT?

Tom says THEY SAY WE
ARE... YOU KNOW, WE BASICALLY
MATCH RIDERS WITH DRIVERS.
ANYTHING AFTER THAT, THAT'S UP
TO THE RIDER AND UP TO THE DRIVER.

Steve says THEY'RE A TECHNOLOGY
COMPANY.

Tom says THAT'S WHAT THEY
WOULD SAY.
AS A JUDGE IN THE U.K. SAID
RECENTLY, IF YOU'RE... IF YOU'VE
GOT 11 BILLION dollars INVESTED ON
MOVING PEOPLE FROM "A" TO "B," I
THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY YOU'RE IN
THE TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS, YOU
KNOW, SO...

Steve says DEPUTY MAYOR, LET ME
TRY THIS.
CAN YOU PLEASE PUT US IN THE ROOM?
I WANT YOU TO... I PRESUME AT
SOME POINT YOU TOWN COUNCILLORS
GOT TOGETHER PRIVATELY, AWAY
FROM THE CAMERAS, WHEN IT CAME
TIME TO MAKING A HARD AND FAST
DECISION ON THIS, AND SOMEBODY
AT SOME POINT SAID, OKAY, UBER
HAS MADE THE BEST BID HERE AND
WE WANT TO GO FORWARD WITH THIS.
BUT YOU KNOW THAT THEY HAVE HAD
SOME P.R. PROBLEMS IN THE PAST
AND YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE GOING
TO PROBABLY TAKE IT ON THE CHIN
FROM SOME PEOPLE ON THIS WHEN WE
SIGN A DEAL WITH THEM.
HOW DID THOSE CONVERSATIONS GO?

Lynn says SO FIRST OF
ALL, ANY TYPES OF CONVERSATIONS
LIKE THAT, ANY TIME THAT COUNCIL
IS ADVANCING BUSINESS, IT IS
ALWAYS IN PUBLIC.
WE ARE THE MOST PUBLIC AND
TRANSPARENT LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT
THERE IS, AND WE DON'T HAVE
THOSE TYPES OF BACK ROOM
DISCUSSIONS.
WE HAVE IT OUT IN THE PUBLIC.
WE ASK A STUPID QUESTION
SOMETIMES, BUT THAT'S PART OF
JUST BEING IN GOVERNMENT.

Steve says YOU DO PERSONNEL
DECISIONS IN PRIVATE?

Lynn says WE HAVE A VERY
LIMITED AMOUNT OF THINGS THAT
WE'RE ALLOWED TO DISCUSS IN
PRIVATE, AND THIS WOULD NOT BE
ONE OF THEM.

Steve says ALL OF THE
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT WHETHER TO GO
WITH UBER TOOK PLACE IN PUBLIC
FOR PEOPLE TO HEAR AND SEE?

Lynn says EXACTLY.
SO WE FIRST HEARD ABOUT THIS
LAST YEAR IN THE BUDGET WHERE
STAFF CAME BACK WITH THE FIXED
TRANSIT AND WE HAD DEBATE AFTER
DEBATE AFTER DEBATE ABOUT
WHETHER OR NOT WE COULD AFFORD
TO DO IT.
WE LOOKED AT SOME OF OUR
NEIGHBOURS AND PEOPLE WOULD COME
AND START... I STARTED EVEN
COUNTING HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE IN
BUSES AND IN SMALLER COMMUNITIES
TO SEE WHETHER OR NOT, YOU KNOW,
IT WAS FEASIBLE AND AFFORDABLE,
AND WE LEARNED FROM OTHER PEOPLE
WHAT THEIR BUDGETS WERE.
WE CAME BACK IN THE END AND WE
DECIDED THAT WE COULDN'T AFFORD
TO GO THROUGH WITH THE FIXED
RATE AND WE SENT STAFF BACK TO
THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE, TO LOOK
AT IT ANOTHER WAY, AND THEY DID.
AND WHEN THEY CAME BACK, THEY
HAD THE CITIZENS GROUP AND THEY
WERE... IT WAS OUR STAFF WHO
ORIGINALLY MET WITH UBER.

Steve says DID NOBODY AT ANY
POINT IN THE DISCUSSION SAY,
"HMM, UBER.
P.R. PROBLEMS.
OPTICS PROBLEMS.
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT
THAT?"
DID THAT COME UP?

Lynn says STAFF ASSURED
US THAT EVERYBODY THAT THEY HAVE
DEALT WITH SO FAR HAS BEEN VERY
PROFESSIONAL AND COOPERATIVE AND
THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO PROBLEM.
THE TOWN OF INNISFIL AND ALL
MUNICIPALITIES PARTNER WITH ALL
TYPES OF DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS
AND BUSINESSES.
IN OUR TOWN, WE HAVE A REC.
CENTRE THAT IS OPERATED BY THE
Y.M.C.A.
OTHER TOWNS HAVE THEIR
WASTEWATER SYSTEMS THAT ARE
OPERATED BY ANOTHER
ORGANIZATION.
SO YOU PUT THE BUSINESS OF THE
TOWN IN THOSE PEOPLE'S HANDS,
AND CERTAINLY THEY'RE HELD TO A
CERTAIN STANDARD.
AND WE WILL HOLD THEM TO THAT
STANDARD.
BUT IT'S HARD TO SAY, WELL,
SOMEBODY READ THIS IN THE PAPER,
SO, YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING TO
MARK AN "X" AGAINST YOU RIGHT
AWAY.
WE'RE GOING TO WORK FROM
EXPERIENCE.
SO FAR IT'S BEEN A POSITIVE
EXPERIENCE.
IF IT BECOMES NOT A POSITIVE
EXPERIENCE, WE WILL DEAL WITH IT.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP
WITH SUNIL ON THAT, BECAUSE OF
COURSE, NO DISRESPECT TO
INNISFIL, BUT INNISFIL IS A TOWN
IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO WITH
36,000 PEOPLE AND UBER IS A
MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR CORPORATE
ORGANIZATION.
YOU KNOW, YOU COULD ARGUE THAT
IF PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, THIS MAY
NOT BE A FAIR FIGHT.
DO YOU WORRY ABOUT DAVID VERSUS
GOLIATH HERE?

Sunil says A LITTLE BIT.
BUT QUITE HONESTLY, TORONTO IS
IN A PARTNERSHIP WITH UBER AND
OTHER COMPANIES LIKE IT.
THEY'VE REGULATED THEM INTO
ALLOWING THEM TO OPERATE, AND
QUITE HONESTLY...

Steve says AFTER MASSIVE PROTESTS.

Sunil says INNISFIL IS IN
A SITUATION, IF I HAD GONE TO
SCHOOL DANCES, WHICH I DIDN'T, I
WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN PICKY, WHO
WILL DANCE WITH YOU?

Steve says HAS IT GOTTEN BETTER
FOR YOU ON THE DANCE FLOOR?

Sunil says A LITTLE BIT.
A LITTLE BIT.
BUT THE ISSUE HERE IS, THEY PUT
OUT AN OPEN TENDER AND UBER IS
THE ONE WHO CAME IN WITH A DEAL.
SO YOU CAN'T REALLY FAULT THE
TOWN FOR SAYING, WELL, WE DIDN'T
HAVE 40 GREAT OPTIONS ON THE
TABLE.
WE HAD ONE OPTION.
IT WORKS.
THEY HAVE A GOOD ALGORITHM.
AND WE HAVE TO SEE HOW IT'S
GOING TO PLAY OUT.
BUT ABSOLUTELY, THERE IS A BIT
OF A POWER DIFFERENTIAL HERE IN
TERMS OF WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO
BE WILLING TO SHARE WITH THE
TOWN, IF THE TERMS OF TRADE
AREN'T ULTIMATELY FAVOURABLE FOR
UBER, THEY WON'T HAVE A TAPE TO
PULL OUT OF THE AGREEMENT, THEY
CAN'T SAY, WELL, WE'VE GOT A
DEAL WITH A SMALL TOWN AND WE'RE
COMMITTED TO IT NO MATTER WHAT.
ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE ISSUES.
BUT, AGAIN, I'M NOT GOING TO
STOP FLYING ON AIRPLANES BECAUSE
OF WHAT HAPPENED WITH UNITED
RECENTLY.
SO, AGAIN, WE CAN'T JUST FIXATE
ON THIS IS UBER.
400,000 PEOPLE IN TORONTO USE
UBER EVERY DAY AND TORONTO IS,
RELATIVELY SPEAKING, INUNDATED
WITH TRANSIT OPTIONS.
SO OBVIOUSLY PEOPLE SEE THERE'S
SOMETHING THERE THEY LIKE,
WHETHER IT'S COST, WHETHER IT'S
CONVENIENCE, WHETHER IT'S A
COMBINATION OF THOSE FACTORS.
SO TRANSIT AUTHORITIES,
GOVERNMENTS, POLICYMAKERS HAVE
TO START THINKING ABOUT, WELL,
IF PEOPLE ARE TURNING TO UBER,
GIVEN ALL OF THEIR BAGGAGE,
MAYBE WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT,
WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG HERE AND
HOW DO WE MEET PEOPLE'S NEEDS
BETTER?

Steve says MARCY, I WONDER IF
AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT'S NOT
THE POINT?
AS MUCH AS YOU MIGHT PREFER A
BUS SERVICE BECAUSE IT'S A REAL
SORT OF NORMAL, CONVENTIONAL
PUBLIC TRANSIT OPTION.

Marcy says UH-OH.

Steve says CAN I PUT IT THAT WAY?
THIS IS DIFFERENT.
AND THE MATH SEEMS COMPELLING.
FAIR POINT?

Marcy says NO, I
THINK IT'S A FAIR POINT, AND I
THINK MOST PROGRESSIVE
TRANSPORTATION ORGANIZATIONS,
TRANSPORTATION PLANNERS WOULD
SAY THAT RIDE-SHARING IS PART OF
THE MIX.
IT'S CERTAINLY PART OF THE MIX
IN A MASTER TRANSPORTATION PLAN.
I THINK, YOU KNOW, LET'S NOT...
SO INNISFIL IS A SMALL TOWN NOW
AND IT'S STILL A GROWING TOWN.
THE LAST 5 YEARS, IT GREW BY
17 percent.
THE POPULATION GREW BY 17 percent.
THAT'S WELL ABOVE AVERAGE AND
IT'S WITHIN AN HOUR COMMUTER OF
THE METRO TORONTO AREA.

Steve says IN 15 YEARS, YOU'LL
BE TWICE AS BIG.

Marcy says ABSOLUTELY.
SO IT'S THE LONGER TERM THAT'S NEEDED.
THE SHORTER TERM INVESTMENTS
NEED TO ALIGN WITH THE LONGER
TERM KIND OF TRANSPORTATION
INVESTMENTS, AND SO I THINK YOU
JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE
DATA THAT YOU'RE GETTING IS
GOING TO INFORM THOSE SORTS OF
DECISION MAKING AND I THINK
THAT'S A REALLY IMPORTANT PART.
NOT TO MENTION THAT
TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE
OFTEN ALLIANCE WITH GOOD LAND
USE PLANNING, ESSENTIALLY.
AND SO YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, YOU
KNOW, FOLKS WHO... THERE'S NO
SIDEWALKS TO WALK ON.
IS THAT A BETTER INVESTMENT
THAN, YOU KNOW, THAN THE
100,000 dollar KIND OF SUBSIDIES THAT
GO TO ANYBODY WHO IS RIDING
ANYWHERE?
SO I THINK THAT THOSE ARE THE
KINDS OF DECISIONS THAT
MUNICIPALITIES CERTAINLY HAVE TO
LOOK AT, BUT THERE IS DEFINITELY
A SYNERGY BETWEEN HOW YOU LOOK
AT YOUR TRANSPORTATION
INFRASTRUCTURE LONG TERM AND HOW
YOUR COMMUNITY GROWS AND IS
ACCESSIBLE TO ALL SORTS OF
RESIDENTS.

Steve says SUNIL?

Sunil says I ABSOLUTELY
AGREE WITH MARCY THAT LONG-TERM
THINKING AND PLANNING IS
REQUIRED BUT WHAT DO YOU SAY TO
THAT KID WHO HAS TO GET TO
HOCKEY PRACTICE NOW?
KEEP WALKING 5 KILOMETRES
DRAGGING YOUR 30-POUND BAG WITH YOU?
I DON'T THINK THAT'S FEASIBLE.
AND THE BENEFIT OF THE RIDE
SHARING MODEL IS THERE'S NO
CAPITAL INFRASTRUCTURE
INVESTMENT REQUIRED.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUY A BUS.
YOU'RE LEVERAGING CARS THAT
ALREADY EXIST IN YOUR TOWN AND
YOUR CITY AND YOU'RE MATCHING
PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DRIVE WITH
SOMEBODY WHO NEEDS A RIDE.
SO IT'S A MUCH MORE COST
EFFECTIVE, IN THEORY, MODEL
BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT HAVING TO
SPEND 100,000 dollars ON A BUS, YOU'RE
NOT HAVING TO PAY DRIVERS A
FULL-TIME SALARY, PENSION, SO ON
AND SO FORTH.
THERE ARE OBVIOUSLY LOTS OF
QUESTIONS AROUND WHAT THAT DOES
IN TERMS OF FAIR WORKING
PRACTICES, LABOUR STANDARDS AND
SO ON, BUT PURELY FROM AN
ECONOMIC, COST EFFECTIVENESS
CONVENIENCE POINT OF VIEW, THESE
MODELS HAVE A HUGE AMOUNT TO
OFFER AND WE SHOULDN'T IGNORE
THAT.

Steve says LAST COUPLE OF
MINUTES HERE.
I WANT TO... ONE QUESTION TO
EACH OF YOU HERE: WHAT IF THIS
WORKS?
WOULD YOU RE-EVALUATE YOUR
CONCERNS ABOUT UBER?

Tom says SO I THINK LET'S
SEE WHAT "WORKS" MEANS.
WHAT "WORK" MEANS IS IT'S A SAFE
SYSTEM, IT'S ONE WHERE DEMAND IS
MET, WHERE PEOPLE CAN GET RIDES
REPEATEDLY AND QUICKLY, WHICH
HAS NOT BEEN SHOWN, RIGHT, FOR
UBER IN LOW DENSITY AREAS, AND
WHERE IT'S SUSTAINABLE, WHICH IS
TO SAY NOT RUNNING ON UBER'S
CAPITAL AND PUTTING LOTS OF
MONEY IN AND TAKING A LOSS ON
EVERY RIDE BECAUSE, YOU KNOW
THAT'S AN EASY WAY TO GET A LOT
OF RIDES IS TO TAKE A LOSS ON
EVERY RIDE.
IF IT COMES THROUGH THAT, YOU
KNOW, I'M GOING TO CONTINUE TO
BE SKEPTICAL, RIGHT?
I'M GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE
SKEPTICAL BECAUSE THIS IS PART
OF... IT'S NOT EVEN JUST ABOUT
TRANSIT.
THERE'S A LOT OF EFFORT AROUND,
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH SMART
CITIES?
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH CITY
INFRASTRUCTURE?
GOOGLE WANTS TO PUT WI-FI... OR,
YOU KNOW, WANTS TO PUT NEW
CABLING THROUGH DIFFERENT CITIES
AND THEY'VE PUT THEM IN AND THEN
THEY'VE BACKED OUT.
SO I THINK IT'S AN ONGOING
CONVERSATION AND I THINK IT'LL
BE QUITE A WHILE BEFORE I CHANGE
MY MIND.

Steve says THAT SOUNDED LIKE A "NO."

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says LET'S GIVE THE LAST MINUTE HERE
TO LYNN DOLLIN.
THIS STARTS WHEN AND WHAT ARE
YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND HOPES FOR IT?

Lynn says SO WE'RE
STARTING MAY 1ST.
AND I'M HOPING THAT WE ROLL
THROUGH THAT FIRST 100,000 IN A
FEW MONTHS BECAUSE THAT WILL
MEAN IT'S SUCCESSFUL AND IT'S
WORKING WELL.
WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE
SOCIAL INTERACTION BETWEEN THE
PEOPLE WHO ARE DRIVING AND THE
PEOPLE WHO ARE RIDING.
MAYBE THEIR KIDS GO TO THE SAME
SCHOOL.
MAYBE THEY'RE LEARNING MORE
ABOUT A NEW STUDIO THAT'S OPENED UP.
MAYBE THEY'VE BECOME FRIENDS.
WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO KIDS
BEING ABLE TO GET FROM HIGH
SCHOOL TO THE REC. CENTRE
INSTEAD OF HANGING OUT IN THE
TIM HORTON'S PARKING LOT.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR... IT'S A
MADE-IN-INNISFIL SOLUTION.
IF WE COULD WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN
AND BUILD A COMMUNITY NOW, IT
WOULDN'T PROBABLY LOOK THE WAY
IT LOOKS TODAY, BUT OUR
COMMUNITIES ARE HISTORIC AND
WE'RE PROUD OF THEM AND WE WANT
EVERYBODY TO BE ABLE TO GET
AROUND, PARTICULARLY WITHIN
INNISFIL AND SHOP LOCALLY AND
USE THE LOCAL BUSINESSES.
THIS IS A MADE-IN-INNISFIL
SOLUTION.
IT IS NOT FOREVER, I DON'T
BELIEVE.
I THINK WE WILL, WHEN WE GROW,
WE WILL GROW INTO A MORE
TRADITIONAL SYSTEM.
BUT FOR STAGE 1, THIS IS THE
PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM THAT WE'RE
GOING TO OFFER FOR PEOPLE AND
IT'S AT THE RIGHT PRICE.

Steve says AND THAT'S OUR TIME.
I WANT TO THANK THOSE WHO HAVE
COME FROM NEAR AND FAR TO BE
WITH US TODAY, LYNN DOLLIN AND
TOM SLEE, AND SUNIL JOHAL AND
MARCY BURCHFIELD WHO CAME FROM
NEARBY AND I HOPE YOU BOTH TOOK
PUBLIC TRANSIT TO GET THERE.

Sunil says I DID.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says I HAVE A STRANGE
SENSE OF DEJA VU HAVING DONE
THIS DISCUSSION BEFORE, BUT IT
MUST JUST BE ME.
THAT'S A LITTLE IN-JOKE AT HOME.
NEVER MIND.
THANKS SO MUCH.

Lynn says THANK YOU, STEVE.

Watch: Taking the Uber Bus