The Social Benefits of On-demand Transit

June 4, 2020

Host: Luke Mellor, Marketing Director at Pantonium

Guests: Steven Farber, Associate Professor, Department of Human Geography at UTSC & Shauna Brail, Associate Professor at Urban Studies UofT


The City of Belleville introduced on-demand transit for their evening service in September of 2018. After a year in service, and 3,000 registered users, a research team from the University of Toronto conducted a survey to better understand the social benefits of on-demand transit service.

Professor Steven Farber, Department of Human Geography at University of Toronto Scarborough, and Professor Shauna Brail, Director and Associate Professor at University of Toronto, Urban Studies Program, joined us to discuss the social and economic outcomes uncovered in their report.

Covered Topics

  • How should “return on investment” be evaluated for transit solutions that assist disadvantaged groups? 
  • The social consequences of transport poverty , the research methodology, and collection of survey data. 
  • Who are the users? How frequently do they use the service? For what purposes are they making trips?
  • Are users satisfied? What opportunities does the ODT service provide users?
  • Can this service be applied by larger transit agencies? Are there projects in the works?

Check out this article for a summary of the four main takeaways from this new report.

You can read the full report, watch the webinar’s video replay, listen to the audio, and view presentation slides below. 




Full Report

The full report by the University of Toronto team can be be found here.




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