In our Urban Innovation Café, we are pleased to bring you a morning discussion series focusing on innovative approaches to critical urban issues…with coffee. Join us for solutions-based conversation with industry thought leaders, academics, practitioners and policy makers.

Now Presenting

Taken for a Ride: Hailing On-Demand Transit for Good

As ride-hailing has surged in popularity, cities are witnessing various adverse effects. Time for a course correction using on-demand tech. 

December 3, 9 to 10:30 AM, 245 Church Street (3rd Floor)


Ride-hailing and private transportation companies (PTCs) like Uber and Lyft offer convenient individual options to get around cities. But these services have resulted in negative impacts on transportation networks more broadly, including diverting riders from transit, walking and cycling—rather than getting people out of cars. In Toronto, there are an estimated 70,000 PTC vehicles on the road, carrying about 176,000 trips each day and contributing to our city’s congestion, infrastructure costs and vehicle emissions.

To address the adverse impacts of PTCs, some cities have turned to taxes. New York City has imposed a surcharge on all hailed rides (including taxis) with revenue directed to its transit system. Chicago has a similar charge on PTCs with a portion directed to transit. San Francisco’s proposed scheme would introduce a sliding scale, giving EVs and shared rides a discount to encourage use. 

Meanwhile, other cities are looking to seize the benefits of PTCs by integrating ride hailing with public transit. In low-density areas, and as a “first and last mile” solution, PTCs offer technologies and services that can be more cost effective than fixed transit routes.

As Toronto struggles to curb congestion and fund transit, can we harness ride hailing to support our policy goals while correcting for negative effects? Join us for an exciting discussion on innovations to address ride-hailing challenges in Toronto and elsewhere.


Dr. Yemi Adediji, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Ryerson Urban Analytics Institute

Hamish Campbell, Country Lead, Canada, Via On-Demand Transit

Dr. Bilal Farooq, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, Ryerson University

Carleton Grant, Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, City of Toronto

Moderated by Cherise Burda, Executive Director, Ryerson CBI

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