Thursday, 15 October 2015

New hope for Toronto's UPExpress

UPExpress airport train at Pearson station
creative commons image chriskillam on Flickr
After a beleaguered start, it appears there may be hope on the horizon for Torontonians who watch the city's airport train cars pass by empty.

The Globe and Mail has reported of a rumoured takeover of the Union Pearson Express by the city. In the article, Toronto Mayor John Tory "acknowledged that the idea is just a 'passing reference' in what is expected to be a lengthy report on the feasibility of his $8-billion SmartTrack, which would run on the existing GO rail network and has a planned stop in the Pearson airport area."

Passing reference or not, we can't help but be optimistic.

The Union Pearson Express on a busier day
creativecommons image sweetone on Flickr
While the building of the new Toronto Airport train was much anticipated, doubts about ridership arose immediately after the fare structure was announced (see our blog post Toronto joins the 21st century with Pearson airport train).

Since beginning service in June, UPExpress trains have been running largely empty, with few but the most flush travellers, and an occassional local, paying the steep fares. For an international airport, served by thousands of local workers, Toronto deserves better. Let's hope the SmartTrack will get the Toronto Pearson Airport train on the right track.

YYZ Airport train: fast, but not cheap
creativecommons image chriskillam on Flickr

Related resources
Staff report hints at Toronto taking over Pearson express train
Pearson airport express trains 90 per cent empty
Union Pearson Express — the train Toronto loves to hate
What travellers want – and at the right price
Clean Train Coalition on UPExpress diesel design

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