UP Express fares under fire

Your humble correspondent took an airport express train yesterday—not our airport express, mind you, but the one in Vancouver, another world-class city that, you remember, hosted the Olympics, not merely the Pan-Am Games.

It was great: fast, clean, with room to spare, plenty of stops, and a drop-off right at the airport. It was also $4. Yes, $4. Not the roughly $25 the fare is likely to be on the UP Express in Toronto.

In Vancouver, you do pay a premium to take the Skytrain to the airport. From downtown, it’s an additional $1.25 (less than you’ll pay to not park at Pearson). Leaving from the airport, it’s an additional $5 if you don’t know enough to buy a ticket at the 7-11 downstairs.

The exorbitant fares for the UP Express have been drawing lots of attention lately. Councillor Josh Matlow is asking Metrolinx to make the fares affordable. So is Frances Nunziata, who also criticized the proposed fares in 2012. The fares have also been catching heat on Global News, The Star, and the CBC.

Metrolinx has not been responsive to the criticism. A spokesperson told the Star:

“Business travellers are used to paying the cost of a cab and this will definitely be cheaper than the cost of a cab from downtown… it’s looking to be comparable to the express bus.”

Mind you, the Airport Express bus is going out of business, a cab will take its fare to wherever she wants to go (not just Union Station) and will carry her luggage. Further, business travellers are generally able to expense the costs of cabs.

Even with the high fares, the Auditor General of Ontario said that there is no business case for the UP Express: Metrolinx will be unable to find a combination of riders and prices that covers costs.


Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

9 thoughts on “UP Express fares under fire”

  1. So it loses money, pollutes with noise and fumes, fails to reduce road traffic: private-public partnership, like HRRH. Tax dollars visibly squandered.

  2. Another Liberal boondoggle like we in Weston have been saying since day one. Really, is this any way to run a railway?

  3. Keep voting Liberal and this is what you get…..John St closed! Trees being chopped down, DONE! ugly to no noise walls, DONE!, ARL Station in Weston, to close, well after the rates announced, its pretty much a given. Usual fashion, not a word from Nunziata, or Albanese.
    Anyone know what happened to the Weston Resident Group, Clean Train and the WCC…….?

  4. WCC….looks like it closed shop after Mike Suliivan moved on, haven’t seen a thing from the WVRA group other than a movie night here or there, Clean Train had no power….

  5. Funny how the downtown mainstream media finally notice what a ‘white elephant’ this airport train is becoming. I used the Lawrence bus frequently I notice lots of airport workers on it, even some flight attendants. I will be using it to go airport myself from Weston for my flight next week. They could have use those LRT trains their putting on Eglinton for the airport link and make line part of the TTC. Metrolinx is just using business plan from old blue 22 idea and never change. Taxpayers as usual will be hook for it.

  6. Downtown mainstream media? You know the Star has covered issues with the train extensively since it became an issue for the community, right?

  7. Hi all,
    To answer LOL, Samantha and blogger: the WCC, CTC and WVRA are definitely still in business. In fact, the WCC & WVRA along with the WHCD hosted the annual Neighbours’ Night Out in July as we have for the last 10 years. Sorry we missed you! The WCC still is addressing issues with noise, closures, etc. on a regular basis and while I do not send out regular emails to those still on our lists, be assured that we are definitely still in business. Until there is no need for us to do so. The CTC is also still active but it covers a much larger area — our Facebook page gets new members daily. And other than the issue of price, which is beyond our control, or the noise walls which are being addressed by each individual community, there are very few new issues to address at this moment. Work is being done, though complaints about noise are not being directed to us to handle, so without residents calling, we cannot address on their behalf. The latest closure on King St. 2 weeks ago was actually vigorously debated between myself, Kathryn Hanford (who failed to respond) and her bosses (who finally did respond). Their corresponding actions to address the closure were less than stellar. My Co-Chair, Carlo Ammendolia, has sent in a number of requests for information and clarification on specific issues. We regular correspond with the MPP, MP and Councillor when required and work together to try and address issues immediately. We still get called on to comment by media (I did an interview for Global News on the fare issue but my clip was not included). So no fear that the WCC or CTC are not actively working for the communities — there just aren’t any new or pressing issues to highlight. When Councillor Matlow’s outrage on the $2 parking fee and the tentative fare which hit the media, it did cause a bit of a flurry and a wake up call for those who still didn’t know but until Metrolinx makes a definitive decision on pricing, there is nothing more to say. We have said it all already! If you need information or have concerns or wish to discuss ideas, email [email protected] or come visit me in person at Squibb’s, 1974 Weston Road — I’m here every day but Sundays!

    The WVRA has been very active this year on a variety of initiatives and projects. For more information, you can visit the website: http://www.welcometoweston.ca. If you are concerned with an issue, you definitely can send them an email through this portal.

    Hope this answers your questions about whether we are still alive.

  8. The CTC is as far as I am aware a separate entity to the WCC. Resident’s Association often posts meetings and info. – but we are all in the dark as far as the WCC is concerned. Are meetings held? Is the membership still active or is it a one or perhaps two person organization now?

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