Working from home impacted Innisfil’s Uber-based transit service

Lack of demand has led to a decrease in driver supply

It looks like the pandemic even affected things with Innisfil’s ride-share transit service, with some residents saying it’s taking too long.

Users of the town’s Uber-based transit service have lamented on social media of an increase in wait times for a vehicle to arrive. Innisfil Senior Policy Planner Paul Pentikainen says it’s a question of supply and demand: with so many people having worked from home over the last months, the number of Uber drivers supplying Innisfil has declined due to lack of demand.

Now that people are returning to the office, Pentikainen says drivers will return. “It’s really no different than many demand/supply shocks so many industries felt during the pandemic,” Pentikainen told Barrie 360. “When you have a sudden drop in demand for a product and then, all of a sudden, when the demand starts to really increase, then it takes some time for that supply to then start to build up again.”

While several users have noted wait times of up to 30 minutes in some cases, Pentikainen says the average is at just over ten minutes for most riders. That still represents a bit of an increase over pre-COVID days. “Wait times have increased slightly, to just 10.6 minutes for those trips. Overall, that’s still a pretty satisfactory wait time. We were at less than five minutes in 2019, so it has increased a little bit.”

While wait times are expected to improve as driver supply returns to pre-pandemic levels, Pentikainen says it would be prudent to plan ahead regardless. “Messaging on our website has always suggested to book your trip in advance, give yourself that added time, which is no different than if you were using a regular transit service.”

For details on Innisfil Transit, including COVID precautions and how to book a trip, visit the Town of Innisfil website.

Feature image: Brett Glover, Barrie 360