The question of public transportation was raised several times in this election but realistically, we probably won’t see buses operating on regular routes in Innisfil anytime soon. The cost of equipment and drivers would be substantial and there wouldn’t be enough daily riders going to the same destination to fill them up.
That doesn’t mean that we have to do without. Let’s think simple, low-cost but flexible and efficient. Specifically, I think a pedicab type of transit service could provide an excellent transportation alternative at a reasonable price. This type of vehicle is:
- Relatively inexpensive
- Easily operated by anyone
- Low maintenance
In Innisfil, a pedicab type of vehicle could provide local neighbourhood transportation in Alcona, Belle Ewart, Cookstown, Lefroy and Stroud. It could conceivably provide convenient, on-demand transportation to local businesses and recreation facilities, GO bus stops and commuter parking lots. A pedicab service could operate seasonally from about April to November and would provide employment to young people including students.
In Germany, the Velo-taxi has been in existence for more than 10 years. The vehicles include an electric motor for assistance on steep grades. Individual operators pay a daily rate to rent the vehicle and keep earnings from collected fares. There are about 1,000 Velo-taxi operators in Germany. This model could be implemented with a minimum of obstacles especially if it was initiated by local businesses and the Innisfil Chamber of Commerce.