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Heading back to Union Station | by Can Pac Swire
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Heading back to Union Station

Toronto has had a new express train service linking Lester B Pearson International Airport (YYZ) with Union Station in downtown Toronto since June 2015. However, ridership has never been strong and has been falling further in recent months. The most frequent complaint is that the one-way fare of CAD $27.50 is too high (USD $20, EUR 18, GBP 14, HKD $155) even though the government agency that runs it insists that the high fare is not the reason.


In any case, in order to promote the service and awareness, the Union-Pearson Express gave all passengers a free ride over the Family Day long weekend just past. I knew people like free things so I got up early to ride the train. Luckily I didn't need to wait at all at 10 AM. However, by the time I rode the train back to Union Station at 12 noon, the queue was over 1,000-strong and wait time was up to three hours!


If you ask me, yes, the high fare of $27.50 is the main reason people are not using it. My Heathrow Express fare between London Heathrow Airport and Central London is only costing me GBP 5.50 (CAD $11), because I bought my ticket over 90 days ahead and am travelling on weekends.


Finally, the express train also has an identity crisis, the service is known variably as UP, UPX, UP Express and Union-Pearson Express. Seriously, just pick one name and stick with it already!

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Taken on February 15, 2016