UP Express Ridership Tanks (even further)

UP Express
UP Express

People who reported watching almost empty UP Express trains moving between Union Station and Pearson Airport were poo poohed by Metrolinx in the early days of the service. According to Metrolinx when the service first started in June, casual observers couldn’t accurately count the numbers on every train and besides, we have the official ridership figures etc. Now it seems that ridership has plummeted even below the dismal usage when the service was still a novelty (possibly goosed by figures from their June 14 free rides day). According to ttcriders, the average train is now less than 10% filled. The current daily total ridership averages 2500 which is considerably down since Metrolinx last released figures showing a daily ridership of more than 3200. Metrolinx remains convinced that they can achieve their goal of 5000 riders a day by next June.

ttcriders is convinced that the UP Express line is just a few tweaks away from being the fabled downtown relief line – if only Metrolinx could add a few more stations and lower the fares.

Read the ttcriders article here and the Metrolinx report (you’ll need to patiently wade through the corporate cheerleading) here.

TTCRiders starting UPX petition

TTCRiders, a transit advocacy group, is reigniting the smouldering anger about the proposed UP Express fares. They have started an online petition and a website to ask the government to:

  • charge affordable TTC-level fares and accept fare transfers
  • run frequent service, and include more stops
  • run clean electric trains asap, not cancerous diesel trains
  • talk to residents before deciding the fare price
  • keep the service public

While other groups have pushed for similar goals in the past, TTCRiders is a city-wide organization, not based only in the west end. It is also backed by airport unions (whose members may take the train).

The group says that Metrolinx will be setting the fare for the UP Express (likely to be between $20 and $30) at its December 11 meeting.

The petition has received 323 signatures.

The stops you won’t be getting.