The startup wants to operate a golf cart version of Uber for the Toronto Islands

A trip to the Toronto Islands has been a summer tradition for generations, but once passengers disembark the ferry, they often have to walk a lot.

Someone is trying to come up with a solution for point-to-point travel on the city’s island destination, with a recent lobbying filing revealing an unsolicited pitch that would create a service similar to Uber, with golf carts instead of cars .

The proposal to City of Toronto Parks and Business Licensing seeks special designation and allows “the use of multi-passenger golf carts as rental shuttle vehicles for people in City of Toronto parks.”

The brainchild of Christopher Lafleche, a startup called GOATRAIN (which might be a bit confusing for regional rail commuters) hopes to operate a shuttle service “on Toronto Island that provides an all-electric transportation solution for visitors.”

Lafleche tells blogTO that the plan is to use electric recumbent golf carts, similar to those used at outdoor wedding venues, saying, “they hold about eight passengers in the front and we have a trailer in the back. rear that could hold seven more.”

Motorized transportation might not be suitable for the islanders, who are proud to call their little piece of paradise the largest car-free urban community in North America.

As of 2022, the only practical ways to get around the islands without walking are via the (very limited) Toronto Island Tram Tour or by renting a bike, but even large bikes for multiple people and passengers available for visitors to the island can be a challenge. for families with young children, the elderly or people with reduced mobility.

It’s a problem Laflèche wants to solve, saying, “We’re looking at working with one of the golf cart companies in town to try and get some wheelchair accessible ones as well to add that to the island. .”

The lobbying package was only requested in late April and approved in mid-May, with no meeting yet between Laflèche and city officials, so it’s unlikely you’ll saw golf carts go by on a trip to the islands this summer.

Laflèche, however, has high hopes for the road ahead, stating that “if everything goes according to plan, we’ll be reaching out to a few local charities and trying to see if we can run our initial pilot, just to see if there’s a real interest in making it a charity fundraiser.”