Metrolinx considered upping fares

Metrolinx considered raising fares on the UP Express because it is too successful as a commuter line, according to the Toronto Star.

If you’re new here, a brief recap: the UP Express was designed to be an executive-class ride from the airport to downtown. There were jazz bands, an in-ride magazine, cheese and wine pairings, and a fashion show. I’m not making this up.

It should have been a scandal up there with e-Health and the gas plant bribes.

Everyone said it would lose money, including the private partner and the Auditor General. It went on to lost not just money, but gob-smacking amounts of money—more than $50 per rider.

But, before the line completely bled out, the Liberals dropped fares, making it a swish ride downtown for the proles like you and me. We get first-class service on a cattle-class budget. Unfortunately, the first-class airport passengers get cattle-class service because we get our sweaty pits right in there.

The good news: the UP Express now loses about $6 per rider, instead of $52. That may be because they cut the in-ride magazine, but it’s more likely to be because there are more riders, so the same subsidy is spread out over more people.

Now, according to The Star, Metrolinx was considering raising fares to $20 chase that business-class traveller again (never mind the fact that she is taking an Uber to her hotel). The plan was not—ugh—”actioned” according to the spokesperson The Star spoke to.

 

But don’t worry. You can’t be fined  if you don’t pay your fares.

UPX fares to plummet

Well, holy shit.

You’ll soon have all-day, 15-minute service downtown for $6, if the Globe and Mail is to be believed. Metrolinx is slashing fares on the UPX .

Sources say that people would be able to ride the train from Union station to Bloor west or Weston for the equivalent of GO rail fares, which would mean the price dropping to under $6 from around $11 to $15.

My heart is racing. Really. My mind is spinning.

If this is true—a big if—nothing could be better for this corner of the city. We will soon have affordable, express transit downtown and midtown, and a connection with the subway. This could be the beginning of something great in Weston. We could be a commuter centre, with affordable housing and easy connections to the highway and downtown.

Air Rail Link renamed.

Among the many announcements this week by Metrolinx was an odd piece of news. The Blue22 Air Rail Link has been renamed the Union-Pearson Express. Yes, the U.P. Express. Say it out loud.

It is your humble correspondent’s opinion that the name “Union-Pearson Express” was a name conceived by the seven-year-old son of one of some unwitting GO Transit executive. Well played, little man. Well played. You’ve made millions of travellers from all around the world laugh out loud at us. I hope none of them gets arrested when they ask where they can catch a UP express.