The Ontario government’s plan for the Union-Pearson Express is coming under increasing criticism for its high-fare, premium-service business model. The line was funded with $456 million in taxpayer dollars.
The Clean Train Coalition has joined with other groups denouncing the airport train that airport workers can’t afford to use. (See the video.)
The new Our Pearson Coalition is calling for an affordable, electric train to the airport instead of the forthcoming diesel service for the 1%. Coalition members include TTC Riders, Toronto Airport Council of Unions, Social Planning Toronto and the Greater Toronto Workers Assembly.
Sign the Coalition’s petition for an affordable, electric service!
UP Express fares are expected to be in the $20-$30 range, based on its business plan already criticized by Ontario’s Auditor-General for being unrealistic.
By comparison, Vancouver’s Canada Line electric train service to its airport costs $5 for a one-way fare from downtown TO the airport. Casual users must pay a surcharge for travel FROM the airport to downtown, but the surcharge does not apply to frequent users including airport workers or anyone who uses a monthly pass, the equivalent of a TTC Metropass.
Metrolinx says it is considering discounts for airport workers and families. Metrolinx will be announcing the new fare structure at its Dec. 11 board meeting.
On Nov. 26, Our Pearson Coalition, including members of the Clean Train Coalition, held a day of action at four stops along the rail corridor: Union, Bloor/Dundas West, Weston and Pearson airport. Thousands of residents were engaged.
Community members have been calling for an all-electric, affordable airport train since at least 2005. The McGuinty government opted for a diesel, premium-fare service to satisfy the needs of the Pan Am Games bid. The Pan Am/Parapan Am Games take place over two weeks in July and one week in August 2015. Athletes will not use the airport train but will be bussed.