In a remarkable open letter to the Minister of Transportation, Laura Albanese calls for a “fare policy” for the UP Express. She says
I would ask that our government revisit the perspective that the UP Express is somehow only a special or premium service, primarily serving airport customers.
Albanese notes that the mandate of the train has changed since its conception. She says it “has evolved to be much more” than a “rail to connect Toronto’s Union Station to the Pearson Airport”.
The line will serve commuters and “taxpayers would be penalized by paying a high fare, including local residents”. These fares should not have to cover the costs of the train, since neither the TTC nor GO have to cover their costs with ticket sales.
Albanese says that the fare policy should consider
- Different fare schedules for seniors and students, typical of fare policies relating to other public transit services.
- Pro-rated fares for commuters accessing the services at stops, including Weston and Bloor West.
- Considerable public input as to whether the fare should be set to re-coup the cost of construction (as opposed to operating costs) and if so within what timeframe. In addition, any consideration to re-coup construction costs must, at the same time, clarify whether fare rates will drop once costs are recovered.
- The 2010 decisions of Metrolinx to compensate the airport for lost parking should undergo a review.