Neither the new Conservative government nor Metrolinx will say how much it costs to run the UPX, according to The Star.
Metrolinx has long dissembled about the chronically mismanaged line. Now
a spokesperson for the agency [told The Star] it couldn’t release figures showing how much it costs to operate the UP Express, or how much each ride is subsidized by taxpayers, because “Metrolinx considers all of its rail operations — GO and UP — to be part of one network.”
Since Metrolinx won’t do the math, I will.
The line costs about $65 million a year to run. About 3.5 million people ride it annually, for an average cost per rider of about $18.50. The average fare is a bit of a mystery, but Metrolinx says that about 75% of the riders are going between the airport and downtown–with the remainder paying lower fares. I’ll assume, then, that the average fare per rider is about $9.25—the Presto fare (which is slightly lower than the infrequent traveller fare and higher than the commuter fare).
By happy coincidence, the per-rider subsidy is also about $9.25, for an annual total cost of $32.5 million.