GUELPH POLITICAST #139 – Jason Hammond, Wroute

There’s been a lot of discussion about regional this year with elections at the two government levels most directly responsible for creating it. Transit within the city is important, but unless you’re going to Toronto, public transit out of Guelph is somewhat limited. Perhaps private industry can fill the void?

Now that’s something that people who listen to the Guelph Politicast probably didn’t expect to hear, but that’s the story of this week’s podcast. In this episode, we meet Wroute (pronounced as you would without the ‘W’) and its president, Jason Hammond. Wroute just launched a few weeks ago offering regular trips between Guelph Central Station and Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener. And it is a ride in style.

Utilizing a fleet of electric Tesla Model X 100Ds, Hammond and his drivers go back and forth, from Guelph to Kitchener, seven days a week. According to Wroute, they make a thousand trips a week, and for $40 you can make the round trip to and from Fairview Park Mall. So what do we call this? Is it transit? Is it a taxi service? A more exclusive Uber?

You might be surprised to learn that Hammond actually hopes that you’ll use his service not in competition, but in co-operation with other forms of transportation – walking, biking, taxis, and public transportation. In other words, he has his eyes on maybe being put out of business in the future. While he has plans to expand Wroute to other underserviced areas, part of his mission is to prove that people need, and will support, more regional transit options.

In this podcast, Hammond will talk about his inspiration for Wroute, his business considerations, his plans for expansion to other areas, and why he’s selling a luxury transit experience. You’ll also hear a bit about the politics of regional transit, if he’s worried about friction with the taxi companies, and how he see his business fitting in with local active transportation systems.

So let’s take a ride and talk about redefining regional transit on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

To learn more about Wroute, or to book a trip, you can check out their website here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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