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The Toronto airport rail link will be epic, apparently

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 24, 2014

toronto union pearson expressToronto had a dream. It wasn't lower crime, or better living conditions, or even a downtown relief line. No, it was the ability to get to the airport without using a car or bus. Now, according to an unintentionally hilarious promotional video just released by Metrolinx, that dream is almost a reality.

According to the assembled stock footage, climactic music, and emotional voiceover, when the Union-Pearson Express opens in 2015 it will not only "establish Toronto as the undeniable symbol of progress and prosperity in Ontario, but help seal our credibility as an international player on the global stage." Finally!

"This is what progress looks like when shared passion and conviction move the earth, put cranes in the sky, weld steel, pour concrete, and plan responsibly and imaginatively for tomorrow." Yes, it looks like a diesel passenger train that will run every 15 minutes. It also looks scarily like this generic brand video.

"UP is a badge that elevates Toronto to full status among the world's financial capitals," the video proclaims. "The mark of a 21st century city that understands and services the valuable currency of time."

The trains, which are "coming to life" on the factory floor as we speak, will feature chairs, luggage racks, and "infotainment."

They will be "so attuned to the traveler that it becomes a memorable part of the journey. A seamless experience intended to make one feel that when you get on the train, you get on the plane. There are rare moments in the life of a city that enhance its present while planting future seeds that will help assure its vibrant future. When those moments happen we call them: 'pivotal.' A word that signifies 'we could have settled for the usual but instead we chose to do the extraordinary.'"

OK, enough already.

Just remember how damn expensive this thing is going to be.



john / July 24, 2014 at 12:46 am
I mean, yay, overall. But agreed on the creepiness of the video. Those buildings at 0:36 are definitely not in Toronto, but are in the Generic Brand video you posted at 1:59. Too good.

Also: "Many miles away"? Where are these things being built and why do they want it to sound like a fairy tale?
forrest/trees / July 24, 2014 at 01:24 am
In before the general Toronto bitchfest begins.

Nelson M. / July 24, 2014 at 01:35 am
The extraordinary will be IF it'll be built and finished; the problem is if the pot smokin' mayor will inhale the cash needed for this...
tony / July 24, 2014 at 01:52 am
So many negative people. So sad.
lister / July 24, 2014 at 08:00 am
I still would prefer to fly out of the Island airport on jets with Porter for any North American destinations. Yeah fine there'll be a super duper (with sprinkles!) rail link but you've still got to deal with shitty Pearson and the shitty airlines there.
KevinN replying to a comment from tony / July 24, 2014 at 08:06 am
No, everyone just wants to make a comment. Hardly contributing... only criticizing.
matts / July 24, 2014 at 08:50 am
well, hard NOT to be critical of this. A very needed connection between the airport and downtown indeed but the solution that's in the works sucks.
steve / July 24, 2014 at 08:56 am
Thankfully Miller isn't around anymore.
He was a big fan of cancelling any improvements in access to the airports
Marc replying to a comment from steve / July 24, 2014 at 09:04 am
You are referring, as was Miller, to the island airport.

We should lock comment sections until everyone has had their morning coffee.
TJ / July 24, 2014 at 09:09 am
the only thing "epic" about the airport link will be the price which is supposed to be around $30-35 per trip from Union.
Daniel / July 24, 2014 at 09:17 am
The problem is tickets are too expensive. Unless you're travelling alone you're still better off taking an airport taxi.
905-er / July 24, 2014 at 09:28 am
Great, I expect much more delays on the Georgetown GO Train line for sure :|
Jason replying to a comment from Nelson M. / July 24, 2014 at 09:28 am
Um, it's being built right now, and it's been under construction for a while. It's opening next year, and it's being built by the province, not the city. Your skepticism is misplaced, mayor Crackie can't mess this up like Transit City.
nothanks / July 24, 2014 at 09:28 am
Meh, I'll still prefer taking the TTC.

Yes, it isn't as fast or convenient - but $3 vs. $30 is pretty compelling.

Hopefully they'll eventually extend the Eglinton LRT to the airport (or at least there will be a bus linking the two).
Cheapo Thecheap / July 24, 2014 at 09:36 am
You can take GO buses, like from the Scarborough RT station, to get you economically to the Pearson airport. Way faster than riding the TTC all the way to Union station to then go up to Pearson, and cheaper for those who live in the east.
ghawk99 / July 24, 2014 at 09:41 am
Anyone else get a Porter ad below the article? Classic, and I'm not even a Porter fan.
horizoncarrie / July 24, 2014 at 09:46 am
still cheaper than taking a cab. Cant wait for this to be done !
Stephen Wickens / July 24, 2014 at 09:50 am
More daily passenger movements squeezed thru Bloor-Yonge station than Pearson Airport and Union Station combined ... and don't mess with my bus from Kipling station. http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/07/23/toronto_transit_experts_surface_subways_only_part_of_the_solution.html
hamish / July 24, 2014 at 09:51 am
I'm sure it's well built etc., but it's really a waste of a fine corridor and there will be subsidies I'm sure. Using that line for TTC transit would have been far far better; it was part of a plan for a DRL-type line c. 1970s, though likely earlier too.
Danny replying to a comment from Nelson M. / July 24, 2014 at 09:53 am
"The extraordinary will be IF it'll be built and finished; the problem is if the pot smokin' mayor will inhale the cash needed for this... "

It's almost done. Rob Ford is irrelevant to this, as he has been to nearly everything other than ruining Toronto's international image his entire term in office.
dorp / July 24, 2014 at 09:55 am
Woah, a major city will have a rail link to it's primary airport? Revolutionary idea!
Pete replying to a comment from lister / July 24, 2014 at 10:11 am
Don't be an idiot.
Sean / July 24, 2014 at 10:11 am
"And when you get to Pearson, you will be so incredibly frustrated with the experience, you will cry uncontrollably."
Diesel / July 24, 2014 at 10:14 am
"Many miles away in a sophisticated rail vehicle plant, our trains are coming to life. They are the cleanest, smartest, most technically-advanced of their kind."

"Their kind", of course, is referring to diesel. They are the cleanest diesel trains. Why are the cleanest, smartest, and most technically-advanced of their kind? Because everyone else is pursuing cleaner, smarter, more technically-advanced trains that don't burn diesel.
mar / July 24, 2014 at 10:19 am
this is exciting. Disappointed to hear that it will be $35 but still the thing looks pretty awesome. I think the main selling feature would be how fast it gets you there.
EC / July 24, 2014 at 10:23 am
The "UP" isn't revolutionary. It was overdue. When we travel to any other world-class city, the existence of some sort of high-speed transit between city centre and airport isn't even a QUESTION.
Carlos Pacheco / July 24, 2014 at 10:26 am
Love that you referenced the generic brand video which is exactly what I was thinking watching this. Ok, the project is awesome, its great that Toronto is getting this but enough strocking yourself in front of the mirror!
Kevin Bracken / July 24, 2014 at 10:27 am
Totally did not know we were pronouncing it "up" until I watched this video
Bing Bang Bong / July 24, 2014 at 10:27 am
"25 happy minutes".

I thought of my friend, the Parkdale chef. I asked him one day how he comes up with his menus of unusual combinations. "Well, I get up in the morning, smoke a big reefer and start making a list".

I bet the copywriter used a similar technique for inspiration.
Seb Fontaine / July 24, 2014 at 10:33 am
This video is lame.

Interesting side note though...

UP's brand identity was created by Winkreative, the same UK-based creative agency behind Porter. I highly doubt they produced this video but some of their illustrations were pieced into it.

D / July 24, 2014 at 10:33 am
Hopefully they will offer a discounted fare for those who use this service regularly (eg, flight attendants, pilots, frequent flyers, etc).
henry / July 24, 2014 at 10:34 am
Only if this voiceover was the voice of Don Draper
Annoyed / July 24, 2014 at 10:38 am
Good luck finding parking at any of the subway stops that this train stops at. People are going to park there now instead of at the airport, and be parked there for the duration of their trip. The people who park at the subway for their daily commute are going to have a lot less spots to pick from. Bravo. *slow clap*.

I also feel sorry for anyone who lives close to this rail line. Since the idiots who approved this went for the cheap diesel which are loud, instead of the quiet electric trains, anyone living close to this rail line are going to hear almost constant rumblings from the trains as they go by. The train trip takes 25 minutes, but there are most likely going to be more than 1 train on this line, so I imagine there will be only minutes between hearing a train going to the airport, or coming back from the airport. If you have a property on this line, your housing price is now going to suffer huge.
Rob Simpson / July 24, 2014 at 10:38 am
Who wrote this overblown piece of crap? Who approved it? It's friggin' rail link. That will apparently redefine life as we know it, and maybe, just maybe .. make the dream of life everlasting come true. For us, and for generations beyond. And we'll all be on the train of dreams together, surrounded by unicorns.
joe / July 24, 2014 at 10:41 am
Nice a construction project that isn't more Condos. Thanks Metrolinx
PeteG / July 24, 2014 at 10:44 am
Traveller, not traveler (that's the U.S. spelling).
Chris / July 24, 2014 at 10:45 am
I agree with hamish: they should have built a subway instead. It would have served as an extra relief line as well connecting the city with more stations and neighborhoods creating more commercial development, as well as giving a much more affordable connection than UP. Take Chicago as an example. Also:diesel trains?! really ?! When are we going electric as many other world playing cities?
Steven / July 24, 2014 at 10:47 am
It just doesn't make sense. If there are two of us I would prefer to take a taxi at that price point. And if "I enter the train it should be like I'm on a plane", why do I have to lug my luggage on and off the train. Why can't I check in and drop my luggage off at Union and have it go right onto my flight like in Hong Kong (for non US destinations of course)? The price should be $17 so when you factor in $3 to get to Union it is a cool $20.
KG replying to a comment from Rob Simpson / July 24, 2014 at 10:50 am
Someone was a fan of those early 1950s TTC subway films that had the same over the top narration in a WWII newsreel style.
FrequentFLyer / July 24, 2014 at 10:51 am
It would be nice if the UP allowed you to check your bags at Union Station. The bags would be taken on to the train and taken to the airport. Then you, as a traveller, have already checked in to your flight allowing you to wander the city. When it's the right time you can hop on the train for the airport and then proceed to go through security.

That's how it's done in cities like Hong Kong and it is an absolute pleasure.
lister replying to a comment from Pete / July 24, 2014 at 10:52 am
Nothing idiotic about preferring the service of Porter and the Island airport to Pearson.
Eastender / July 24, 2014 at 11:02 am
Metrolinx should be congratulated for being on time with this project (let alone achieving such a grandeur project). I'd rather judge the final product than these marketing messages. Yeah, some parts are cheesy but who cares? This isn't what's going to get you from A-B when all is said and done. Blame the marketing agency if you don't like the cheese. I'd also rather the marketing be crappy and not the train. I'm happy and looking forward to the launch.
Congestion replying to a comment from Steven / July 24, 2014 at 11:05 am
It sure does make sense when you factor in the amount of time wasted in a car/taxi to get to Pearson. Have you tried recently? I want to slit my wrists 1.5 hours from Pearson to downtown is ridiculous. Getting people to use the train will relieve our roads of congestion and give you assurance you'll arrive in 25 minutes (I think that was the trip duration). The only but is if the train breaks down..
Todd replying to a comment from lister / July 24, 2014 at 11:14 am
Exactly. Porter's just an easier experience.

I won't be taking the UP, even if I go to Pearson. I never travel alone and it's simply more economical to take a cab, rather then head to Union and take a train. I'd have to back-track twice for no discernible time or cost savings.

And how many people traveling to Toronto have Union as their final destination? We get lots of business travelers that expense everything so that means more cabs downtown to get them to their meetings and hotels.

This thing is a disaster.
Mike / July 24, 2014 at 11:14 am
Just be glad it's being built! It could've been easily dismissed as being too big of a project or too expensive, etc. But there were enough people who worked hard on it to make it a reality. For they naysayers, most likely the next time you use UP you'll be thinking how convenient it is.
Steven replying to a comment from Congestion / July 24, 2014 at 11:18 am
Not everyone on the roads are going to Pearson. That isn't the bulk of our traffic. Sure, traffic sucks, but the number of cars on the Gardiner aren't going up the 427 they are heading out to the QEW. During rush hour I won't even attempt a taxi, I will take the TTC to Kipling and the Express up to the airport for $3, it may take longer but it is stress free.
Sarah replying to a comment from Cheapo Thecheap / July 24, 2014 at 11:21 am
The Eglinton LRT was initially supposed to have been extended to the airport. It's now stopping at Weston Rd. If it had built as initially planned, you'd have a cheap, albeit slow-ish, route to the airport from Scarborough as well as East York, midtown Toronto, etc. that way. They can still extend it, eventually. The ARL as currently envisaged is just too expensive to be worth it for almost anyone except solo business travellers who are travelling to Weston, Dundas-West and Bloor area, or downtown. Anyone travelling in groups of two or more would be better off taking a taxi, especially if you don't live close to one of those three stops.
Jeremy / July 24, 2014 at 11:30 am
Terrible marketing. The agency should be fired and the UP executive who approved the concept should be sacked. UP is a train service, not the second coming of Jesus or Steve Jobs.

Canadians hate smarmy advertising. We like smart, simple and funny ads. Be direct. This is overwrought purple prose-y crap that never, ever should have left the junior copywriter's desk.

Smarter Than You / July 24, 2014 at 11:31 am
The only people this benefits are the business travelers who need to get to the financial district. For families, this is not convenient. You can't park near Union Station all that easily, so you need to take the subway to get there. You think people wearing backpacks bashing into everyone on the subway is bad? Wait until you have people with these big-ass suitcases, carry-on bags, etc. riding the regular subway to get to Union Station, and then lugging their bags through Union Station to get to the airport train track area. Rush hour is going to be an even better treat than it already is.

What is wrong with the people who think this is great?
Craig / July 24, 2014 at 11:36 am
Wait... waiitt.... WAIT!! LUGGAGE RACKS?!!
Moaz Ahmad / July 24, 2014 at 11:38 am
@Annoyed, the UP express train won't stop at any subway stations. It will stop at Bloor GO station (no parking available) and Weston GO Station (parking available). As for the noise levels and rumbling, the line already has diesel freight, VIA and GO trains running...plus future all-day GO service will probably start with diesel trains too.
Kevin / July 24, 2014 at 11:42 am
I'm getting on a plane tomorrow, and as always, I'll pop on the Heathrow Express to get to Paddington and continue my journey. I can't wait to have a similar experience on this end of the trip.

No, it's not a public transit rail link (all the more reason to finish the Eglinton Crosstown and get it YYZ as originally planned.

Like London, Toronto can and should have multiple rail options to get to Pearson. UP Express being our Heathrow Connect/London Crossrail equivalent and the Crosstown as our version of the Piccadilly line, giving a public transit option for both travellers and workers to get to and from the airport.

I have no problem with the UP Express. Even this over the top video puts a smile on my face. The key is to look at it as part one of two. We still need the Crosstown to get to YYZ. Once that's done, Toronto will have the connections it needs to it's primary airport.
Coyoteblue / July 24, 2014 at 11:46 am
Diesel is not world class. It will pollute people's homes along the route with particulate so thin it can move through brick walls. Like Porter, this link will mostly serve business people who can write off their trips as expenses so that the rest of us pay for their convenience. Pretty ironic as well that people who work at Pearson won't be able to afford this train. Toronto should stop talking about being world class...that's a sure sign that it isn't.
Rennie / July 24, 2014 at 11:52 am
Really hate that liime, yellow green they chose for the logo, kinda gross. If the GO logo is a mark to aim for, UP is DOWN., below.

But hey, just a logo right?
cory / July 24, 2014 at 11:52 am
SPEND MONEY ON SHIT THAT MATTERS. wooooooow millions on a fucking train. how about try and fix the homeless problem. or try and help out the crime problem.....oh wait. its sooo much more important that people who can afford a car dont need to take it cuz of traffic . now they have a train!!! wooow remember they choose the extraordinary....extrodanary stupid waste of money thats could be put towards wayyy more noble issues. peoppe need to figure it out and put the right issues first....fucking train...please
James / July 24, 2014 at 11:55 am
Excited to see this, it's long overdue. If I'm not in a hurry I'll continue to take the TTC but this is a better option than a taxi to get to/from the airport faster.

What I'd also like to see is a direct link from the Dundas West station to the GO/UP station - at the moment you have to exit the station, cross Dundas West and walk half a block. I'm sure the east end of the platform extends far enough to make an indoor exit possible.
Traffic Hater / July 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm
The $35 fee is pretty ridiculous but I live downtown and will probably take this train. Taking a taxi to the airport these days is a massive headache. We need to stop relying on cars to get around because there isn't space for them. This may be one small step but it's a step in the right direction for our dismal transit system. The population downtown will continue to grow and traffic will only continue to worsen. They aren't going to build magical new roads. I think this will also help out the mess that will be happening with the Gardiner for the next two years (and let's be honest, it will probably take longer).
Tony / July 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Metrolinx much like GO has a PR dept thats fosters a culture of mixing the Teletubbies with Thomas the Tank Engine. It's nauseating and costs taxpayers a fortune, everything they do reminds me of Demolition Man's "Happy Happy Joy Joy" world, all the while people sit on late trains every day. UP will be no different.
Consult Google Maps Before Commenting replying to a comment from Moaz Ahmad / July 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm
You mean the Bloor GO station that's a 5 minute walk from Dundas West station?
Gordon Pietzsch / July 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm
"plan responsibly and imaginatively for tomorrow".... WHAT!?!? Diesel trains instead of electric...simply because electrification wasn't possible in time for the two week event which everyone will forget in short order ( Pam Am Games )? ...conversion to electric 'at some future date' at the cost of further millions? This strikes me as ANYTHING but responsible and imaginative.
Kelly / July 24, 2014 at 01:03 pm
"Many miles away...". Really? Not kilometres?

I don't mind the price, it's comparable to paying the price from Heathrow to London, https://www.heathrowexpress.com/tickets-deals/prices-fares.

If you dont want to spend the money you can take the TTC (which isnt as bad as those who've never taken the Airport bus might think).
Links / July 24, 2014 at 01:10 pm

That video is insanely over the top. Thanks for sharing Blogto, that gave me a good giggle

$35??? I hope that is a return trip, otherwise it's not that much cheaper than a taxi. It's only $22 US round trip from New Jersey's La Guardia to the centre of Manhatten, compared to $80 each way for a taxi
Dave / July 24, 2014 at 01:33 pm
Why is this website so f'ing left wing sometimes? So negative. This is an essential part of any major city. London, NYC, Hon Kong, Tokyo, etc. ALL have links to the airport. Get over it and speak to the amazing access tourists will have coming in to our city.
PS - Vote TORY!
Sophie replying to a comment from TJ / July 24, 2014 at 01:45 pm
I am from Winnipeg and come into Toronto a couple times a year. I paid just over 50$ for a taxi from Pearson to DT Toronto, so I would probably pay the 30$ to beat the traffic and save some money
peter / July 24, 2014 at 01:46 pm
This is an important and necessary step for Toronto. We need it.
It brings us to the 21st century from the airport to Union station. And we go back from 21st century to 18th century once visitors step in the subway or streetcars. It's like time travelling. So effing cool!!
But seriously, this is major. We just need to fix the TTC downtown soon.
Jacob Wolpert / July 24, 2014 at 01:52 pm
"A solar eclipse. The cosmic ballet goes on."
Yarwn replying to a comment from forrest/trees / July 24, 2014 at 02:02 pm
Self fulfilling bitchfest. Your comment can eat itself now.
Tom West / July 24, 2014 at 02:04 pm
"It started as all good ideas do. as a dreamn. As an inititaive by Metrolinx..."

No, it did not. It started as an idea by Transport Canada, who gave the job to SNC Lavelin back in 2001 , five years before Metrolinx even existed. (http://www.webcitation.org/63aP0zqEG)

SNC Lavalin subsequently decided it wasn't worth it, so Metrolinx took over the project in 2008.
Tracy / July 24, 2014 at 02:11 pm
Before I actually came to live in Canada I visited Toronto once as a tourist and was quite impressed with the public transport system. Of course, you see things differently as a tourist, than when you are struggling to get to work every day on a system perceived as expensive and failing. But it does seem that whatever city you are in, all over the world, it is de rigeur to knock public transit. It also appears fashionable to constantly criticise Toronto which I have never understood sitting here in BC. We need efficient transport systems to move people around cheaply and cleanly and get cars off the road. I am concerned that the designers went for diesel, hardly 21st century and unfortunate for the people living alongside this route. The price point also sounds non-competitive and it sounds like the new link doesn't properly tie in with existing systems. BUT, it can't be torn down now. So at some point I guess they will spend more tax money making it work properly. I am puzzled as to why they didn't design with clean fuels in mind though. Maybe the politicians and designers should have taken a trip to some German cities like Hamburg before putting pen to drawing board.
Kyle / July 24, 2014 at 03:00 pm
Has anyone else noticed they are using stock footage of other cities? 0:36 is the corner of Fourth and Grand in downtown LA.
Mark / July 24, 2014 at 03:09 pm
Notice it's the "up Express", not the "You Pee Express". It was the best we could have hoped for--"P U Express" sounds even worse.
Surster replying to a comment from steve / July 24, 2014 at 03:30 pm
Actually, Steve, it was Miller who agreed to the project as it was originally envisioned as a way to get people to STOP using Billy Bishop back in 2003. During his first term as Mayor, one of the first things he did was jump on the ARL bandwagon when it was called Blue 22 and get a stop in his 'hood. Besides the one scheduled for Woodbine Racetrack. Not anywhere else mind you. It was us 'NIMBY's', as people so affectionately called us at the beginning, up in Weston who highlighted that this train would not stop anywhere useful, was diesel and was going to close all 4 of our major streets between the residential and business. We got our stop in Weston while highlighting the need for more stops which could be achieved with an electric train, would service far more people including all those who work at the bloody airport and would be way more environmentally friendly than what was and is being built. So you can't disparage Miller on this one except to say that if he had seen the forest through all the diesel fumes from the 140 trains per day and the damage it would inflict, he might have tried to make it a better proposal from day 1. And some of us wouldn't have spent the better part of 9 years trying to 'build it right the first time'. www.cleantrain.ca or www.westoncommunitycoalition.ca
twon replying to a comment from steve / July 24, 2014 at 03:54 pm
Actually, no he wasn't. Miller had the Transit City plan approved, funded, and underway which included a link to the airport. You can thank Ford for that cancellation. Gotta cut that fat right?! Except in reality the high taxing countries like Finland, Sweden, Denmark always rank the highest quality of life. And surprisingly enough people from those country often don't immigrate here.. I wonder why?
akif / July 24, 2014 at 04:07 pm
I think it might be a joined thing with Mississauga. They are bringing street cars to the city very soon.

... / July 24, 2014 at 04:19 pm
that felt so cheesy lol
JP / July 24, 2014 at 04:31 pm
Corny video, but having a rail link to the airport is a great thing. It's not perfect, could be cheaper and faster, but it will be a positive to the city. You guys are absurdly cynical sometimes.
Dan / July 24, 2014 at 05:28 pm
this train is coming in way over budget, wont be electric and will have over priced tickets.... what is there to be happy about?

on a side not i wonder how much money was spent on making that corny video
Paul / July 24, 2014 at 05:30 pm
It only took forever to get here. Personally I would have liked to see it also link with Toronto's other airport. Poor planning imo
Stew / July 24, 2014 at 06:22 pm
We should get Stewart McLean to do the voiceover
Chris Mack / July 24, 2014 at 07:35 pm
I read that riding on the train makes men more virile, helps make children smarter, and reduces baldness.
Spike replying to a comment from peter / July 24, 2014 at 09:22 pm
Nothing wrong with streetcars, especially since the rest of the world has them too.

This should be a LRT, but thanks to the dunderhead mayor we have now and the stupid people the elected them....
travelller / July 25, 2014 at 12:18 am
Addressing many transit issues: There's nothing wrong with streetcars when they run as they should. On many occasions it takes me an hour from bathurst and king to carlton and yonge. Usually a 30 minute commute. A 2o minute run. The construction and congestion can make an easy trip painful.
The construction around the city is atrocious. Eglinton, the village, Union, harbourfront, front steet/st lawrence, all the condos at yonge/bloor are all disasters. Our subways don't run until 9 am sundays and are always under repair on weekends with alternate routes.
I would love an easy way to get around the city, but things are getting worse as the years go by. I hope the eglinton project gets built and is efficient in the near future. At the moment I am very disgruntled by the state of our transit. There's too many events and traffic going on in the city to support parking that make it difficult, expensive, and un accessible.
international / July 25, 2014 at 12:54 am
1. Why are these not high speed trains? It's 2014. Europe and Asia all have high speed trains.
2. The trains look so outdated.
3. I hope these trains are computer run and not unionized personnell running these.
4. Hong Kong has one of the best Airport Express Trains and Stations where you can check in + drop off luggage at each of the stations before you go onto the train to minimize all the headaches of fitting your luggage onto the trains. Obviously, Metrolinx did not learn from things that work well around the world.
Gorgio / July 25, 2014 at 03:34 am
The thoroughly uncreative public sector minds at Metrolinx did accomplish one thing... They just torpedoed the cool factor right out of the Porter Airlines ad campaigns.

They’ve thrown in every cliche visual effect and scripted in every buzz word associated with modern cities (cities that actually seek to innovate and advance themselves toward the future), in hopes of fooling us into feeling great about this 1990’s acid trip .

Porter’s image has been a beacon of style, advancement, and vision for travel. The rip off Metrolinx animation clips made a brief appearance toward the end of the video.

Once the Metrolinx ad campaign reaches full stride, they’ll suck the cool factor out of Porter ads faster than Rob Ford can ‘rehabilitate’ himself at the cottage.

Gorgio / July 25, 2014 at 03:36 am
The sad reality is...

If I paid someone to build me a brand new Pinto and drove to a bus stop in downtown Detroit, I would exceed the advancements achieved with this project.
TJ replying to a comment from Annoyed / July 25, 2014 at 08:30 am
Let them park at the subway stations. Then when they comeback after a week or two, they'll see their cars got broken into, are jacked up and missing all wheels, or it won't even be there anymore!
VPandDan / July 25, 2014 at 08:55 am
Great for us East enders when people come in to town - take the train down to Union and I'll pick you up! Recently a trip to Pearson from our place took over 90 minutes each way!
Jim / July 25, 2014 at 09:27 am
wonderful theory limited reality serves a small percentage of the city's population. Still believe city centre airport expansion would to more to serve the city

Complainers Anonymous / July 25, 2014 at 10:43 am
lols at people who think airport trains in other cities are all cheap. I get the feeling a lot of people here never travel. People complained when there was no rail link to the airport and now they complain when there is a link coming. WTF would satisfy you people? A direct link from Pearson to the front door of your condo with a $3 return fare? Free milkshakes as well? LazyBoy(tm) rocker-recliners with beer fridges in the arms?
scottd / July 25, 2014 at 10:45 am
This line could have been so much more than a diesel premium price model. Considering that less than 17% of airport users come from downtown this line should have been electric, had more stops (which would not have added much time), and served people who work at the airport. Glad that the infrastructure is there but the Government needs to get on with electrification.
realityCheck / July 25, 2014 at 10:57 am
Given our transit needs and the limited resources needed to accomplish them, this premium priced service is bar none one of the most SQUANDERED OPPORTUNITIES EVER.... With this project, Metrolinx and the Ontario Liberals demonstrate once again that they seem to have no clear idea on efficient transit planning. And to "Complainers Anonymous", the fact is that airport downtown connections in many cities ARE cheaper than this... and even if they weren't, we should have focused on a plan and service that made sense for the GTA... and this one doesn't.
Chris replying to a comment from Complainers Anonymous / July 25, 2014 at 11:01 am
I was thinking the same thing. Clearly most of the people complaining about the price have never used a similar service elsewhere.

The Heathrow express for example? WAY more expensive than the Pearson line is going be.

Todd replying to a comment from Complainers Anonymous / July 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm
San Francisco airport to downtown - $8.10
Either of the Chicago airports to downtown - was $3, now I think it's going up to $5
Boston, Philly, NYC, St. Louis, Cleveland - one transit fare, $30 RT bus from freaking New Jersey or $~15 with NJT.

Can't cherrypick examples... cost of transit to airports around the world widely varies. There is no question, none, that UP would be on the higher end of things.
Ford More Beers replying to a comment from 905-er / July 25, 2014 at 03:09 pm
I think/hope that the airport express will run on a different track than the Georgetown train, based on how the construction for the new Bloor Station seems to be shaping up.
Erick / July 25, 2014 at 05:20 pm
"Video has been removed by user."

I think they caught on...
Jimmy / July 25, 2014 at 05:21 pm
Classic Toronto... people always primed to complain. I actually quite enjoyed the video. As a trans-Atlantic business traveler, I can't wait for this line to open!
Lafcadio / July 25, 2014 at 05:41 pm
Video removed? Any link to it elsewhere?
bryan / July 25, 2014 at 06:42 pm
Guffaw, the most memorable part of most business trips (and I 've had my share) is getting to your hotel room on one end and home on the other...the travel becomes a forgettable blur
Grant / July 25, 2014 at 09:07 pm
They removed it?!?!?!!? How much did this cost and now they're taking it down? :(
Pat replying to a comment from tony / July 25, 2014 at 09:47 pm
When the place is negative, in all factors (politics, economy, state of culture, identity, planning, quality of life, etc.) then you will get a negative place, and then negative views. It's a given.
@ Todd / July 26, 2014 at 09:14 am
Tod, this isn't a subway making many stops; it is a dedicated train rail taking you directly from the airport to downtown. The closest example is Newark to Penn Station. You can get from the airport to downtown easily and quickly by TTC now, and after this rail begins for three bucks, so quit the whining. Leave the rail for people who prefer to use it.
bvalence / July 26, 2014 at 04:07 pm
The ticket prices for this link are absurd. Once again, its Toronto catering to its wealthy class without consideration for anyone else. Why charge a reasonable fare like other cities do when you can gouge the elite and they will gladly pay whatever is charged without blinking an eye? Why plan a city with fairness and accessibility when you can gorge yourself on the wealthy upper classes? Who's even going to complain? We all know the poor don't hav3a voice in this city anymore.
Nathan / July 28, 2014 at 11:50 am
Add some epic music, a few lazy edits, and re-imagine the video as a blockbuster action movie trailer:


It's a bit nonsensical but hope you find it briefly amusing nonetheless.
Facts Anonymous replying to a comment from Complainers Anonymous / July 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm
Read the damned link in the article about the price of air-rail links in other cities. Then complain about people complaining about the cost. Here it is again:

Todd replying to a comment from @ Todd / July 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm
This doesn't address my concerns. Your solution to those that do not have Union as a final destination... is to use the same bus we were using in the 1970s?

Then what was the point in building this damn thing?
iSkyscraper / July 29, 2014 at 02:36 pm
We're past the exact format of this rail link. It's not going to be a subway, it's not light rail, it's not a regular commuter rail line.

But it's not a pure super-express either, a la Heathrow Express. Because it will use slow diesels and make stops along the way it is more like Heathrow Connect. That's fine, it has some utility. The problem is that they are sure to try and price it like Heathrow Express. In Canadian dollars:

Heathrow Express: 15 min, $38.60
Heathrow Connect: 32 min, $18.20

Honestly, I don't think it would be such a big deal if they announced the UP train would cost $15. That's pretty much consistent with New York air-rail links and about right to be inbetween commuter rail and true business express. But it won't be $15 - they are sure to make it $35, at least, and then produce flashy videos to make you feel supercool while a family of four blows a minimum of $150 to get to the airport.

So with that ship having already sailed, the next focus should be on how to provide better low-cost transit network access to Pearson. The obvious answer is to get the Eglinton LRT back to the surface at its western end and run along the Richview corridor. This would provide inexpensive fast access that would take passengers across the city, intersecting with GO, TTC subway, TTC buses, future Transit City north-south lines, etc. But for some reason people keep whining about electric UP trains instead of pressing for the electric solution we already have in front of us.

Who thought we would ever see the day where Los Angeles pushes to build an LRT line to the airport while Toronto, the streetcar city, sits on its hands and does nothing? Amazing.
realityCheck / July 29, 2014 at 05:41 pm
@skyscraper...The bottom line is that projects such as this that have made citizens so cynical about whether the so-called experts will ever do anything to move transit forward. Bottom line is that given the needs in the city and in the region, this project was a waste... hopefully the ship has not sailed... and politicians will eventually come to their senses and facilitate a retrofit of this project so that it can better meet actually needs.
iSkyscraper / July 29, 2014 at 05:43 pm
Also, the UP Express people are gloating over their GARA awards, but what are they exactly? In a word, weird:


Toronto is Broken / July 30, 2014 at 10:06 am
The Toronto infrastructure is not able to handle the population of the city. There are too many condos going in (because they make lots of money for the builders), but the public transit and roads are not being updated at the same rate. When public interest is finally saying yes to upgrading the transit (like putting a rail link to the airport), it is done as cheaply (not inexpensively) as possible, and the new update doesn't address even the current needs, let alone, being able to support future expansions.

I understand that there is budget, because there is little to no money available. However, there is little to no money available because problems are left until they are severe. Think of it like a cancer. If you catch it early, you can usually fix the problem. If you catch it late, then you're doomed. That is what has happened to Toronto. People got used to a certain standard of living when the money was coming in...but when the money stopped, the special interest groups, who were used to getting funding didn't give an inch, and the unions just kept asking for more and more. The city did its best to maintain the special interests, and tried to give people a decent living wage, but when times are tough, you don't ask for more. People are fine with cost cuttings if and only if the cuts don't affect any aspect of their own lives. If it only affects others, then that is OK. We cannot continue like this, no matter how much you wish we could. We have to give up some of the social programs...we just have to. We cannot keep these crazy pensions and mandatory raises for unionized employees anymore. When Toronto becomes profitable again, then absolutely, bring back the social programs, bring back raises, etc.

If I was playing SimCity, and Toronto was my city, I would summon all of the natural disasters to wipe it out completely, which would then let me build the city up properly with a design for the future. I know people like their heritage buildings, but you cannot have a massive modern city functioning in a place that was designed for only a fraction of the current population.
Gus / July 30, 2014 at 10:25 am
I'm still waiting to find out what it'll cost a family of 3-4 to take this train? Will a cab still be cheaper?
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Toronto is Broken / July 30, 2014 at 10:47 am
You are preaching to the choir, except for blaming condos (other cities would kill for what we have. Full-on homicide. Stop being stupid.) and blaming unions (all the union labor dollars in the world would not pay for much in the way of transit construction).

Your analysis is correct in that the city, being a young city, enjoyed the good life until everything began to get old and break and then refused to fund improvements. It happened in the past to New York, Philly and Chicago, it's happening to Toronto and Montreal now, and it will happen in the future to Calgary and Vancouver.

The problem is simply one of funding. Anyone who takes even a casual look at other cities with better infrastructure will see that they have all sort of revenue tools that Toronto does not, largely because people like you keep blaming unions and social programs (which, by the way, those other cities also still have). Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of unions and would prefer they did not exist, but they are not the root cause here. Ford and his ilk (going back to Harris) poisoned people's minds on the need to generate revenue to spend on public infrastructures. The Liberals and NDP poisoned people's minds by spending on the wrong infrastructure. A moderate hand is needed at both the provincial and municipal level to find new taxes and fees and then spend them wisely.

As for the airport link, you are off way topic. UP Express is not the culprit here for a lack of mass transit. It may suck but it was the only pseudo-private market solution available in an environment where no one would fund anything. (Recall it was Blue-22, a private venture before failing and being taken over by Metrolinx.) There was a subway planned to the airport. Harris killed it. There was a light rail planned to the airport. McGuinty killed it and Ford buried it. Plenty of blame to go around.

Toronto is Broken replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / July 30, 2014 at 12:24 pm
What I was trying to say is that Toronto needs to look at anything that is publicly funded, which includes public services that we all love, employees that make the city function (unfortunately for the most part, unionized), etc. The public sector needs to be treated more like a real business. If company X is making lots of money, then they can reward their employees with bonuses, raises, and other perks like stock, or even simply taking them offsite to somewhere fun). They can even hire more people to make things even better. However, if that same company falls on hard times, it does not give raises, hire more people, take people offsite for fun, etc. They have to balance the books somehow, and to do that, they have to take away things. They can start by taking away some of the perks (like free coffee in the office, or free pop machines), but eventually, you need to cut employees. The unfortunate part is that many of these employees have crazy pensions, so even when they are let go, they still get paid. Those deals were made when there was money flowing. The money isn't flowing anymore, because the city's monthly bills have climbed faster than the amount of money it is taking in. There is a minimum number of people that the city needs to function, so they can't cut below that number...and the closer they get to the minimum, the worse it is for everyone in Toronto. The city is trying to renegotiate the contracts to an affordable and reasonable wage/benefits package, but because the new people the city hires to replace the aging workforce want the same benefits that the existing membership has, the unions hold the city hostage until it gives into their demands...which is usually to keep the same level of pay/benefits that was given to the older members. This is not sustainable and is draining so much of the public money that could be used to fix the infrastructure. If we had the money, we'd have subways everywhere, and an amazing shuttle to the airport among many other things. Instead, we have to come up with solutions that sort of address the needs, or sort of fix the problem, or fix the problem for a year or so, before the problem comes back worse.

I'm saying that unions need to adjust their demands to reflect the current economic status of the city. If that means that new hires don't get a pension (to stop the bleeding when they retire), which is how most of the private sector works, then so be it. They should get market rates on their wages...not more, not less. That is fair, and affordable. Everybody wins because of a small sacrifice of people who ended up working for the public sector. The public sector is what keeps the city functioning, and they should be compensated for that work fairly...and by that, I mean the same salary that a private sector person would get for doing the same job.

To sum it up:
low budget = crappy improvements (an airport link that is crappier than it should have been) and a crumbling infrastructure (roads, sewers, bridges, etc.).

It's embarrassing that the DVP floods anytime we get a strong rain. As an example, with the climate change that is occurring which is causing weird weather for this region (usually on the heavy rain and high winds), there needs to be adequate infrastructure to keep that from flooding highways.

Toronto needs new just about everything, and so we all need to pitch in a little. That means taxes for everyone, market rates for public sector workers, some publicly funded things (like swimming pools) need to be turned to one where people have to pay to use them (but only enough to break even and maintain that service...not to make profit), stop making new condos until we update the infrastructure to handle the new load, etc.

There is no magic wand. There is no single problem that is causing the lack of money. It's a war that has to be fought be all of us, and everyone needs to give back a little, perhaps only until we get the city sorted out...but until that happens, it's going to hurt everyone a little bit. It will benefit us all in the long run.

Just so you know, I am not a supporter of any one political party. I change alliances depending on who I feel will address the core issue best.
Everyone chips in replying to a comment from Toronto is Broken / July 30, 2014 at 12:35 pm
I agree. It's not just the unions and public services. That is definitely one part, and that part needs to be fixed. However it is also a lack of revenue, which unfortunately is taxes. I think we will unfortunately have to have a road tax on the highways, as long as those taxes are then only used to maintain the roads. We need more taxes on the public transit, as long as that tax is used to improve that part. We may even need additional city taxes to maintain or upgrade the infrastructure.

It would be nice if corruption could be eliminated as well, but that will never be the case, and is only a small amount of the overall picture.
Aglio Olivio / July 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm
What I was trying to say in 750 words but still failed to get my point across was......

Get Chat Room already!
Brian Oakes / August 6, 2014 at 07:44 am
Just saw the pricing. It is the same as the car survice I use. Looks like an epic fail.
scottd replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / August 6, 2014 at 08:33 am
The UP has never been intended for families or average users. It has always been billed as a "premium" service carrying at most only 5000 people a day.
scottd replying to a comment from @ Todd / August 6, 2014 at 08:38 am
Tax dollars spent like this for only 5000 people a day IS something to whine about.
scottd replying to a comment from James / August 6, 2014 at 08:41 am
The owners of the Crossways wont let that happen.
Cheesypoofs replying to a comment from Gus / August 12, 2014 at 11:57 pm
The best thing I found when coming from north of the GTA was to just rent a car from budget for about 40-50 bucks, drive it to the airport with my family, and drop it off right at the airport parking lot at their Budget place. Quick, easy and a lot cheaper than what a taxi or airport limo would charge.
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Huawei shipped 30 million mobile phone models and port enjoying the decision of are likely to 2008, driving a vehicle earnings about US$1.8 billion dollars.
Craig / December 5, 2014 at 07:27 am
No "Public" in "Public Transit"

As a Torontonian, I am once again completely humiliated by the incompetence of our planners and leaders, and am suspicious about the connections to transit unions.

I've lost all faith in Metrolinx. They're building a direct rail connection between Pearson and Union Station - and it's going to cost $30 for a one-way trip? Are they serious? Just who is this Mafia extortion trip supposed to be for?

Once again, Toronto's transit planners have turned Toronto into a global transit joke. With this rail link, all they've done is to illustrate how utterly incompetent transit planners in the city truly are. It's getting to the point where we need to fire everyone remotely involved in transit planning or management and hire people from almost any other major global city to take over.
Packs of lazy monkeys could plan transit in Toronto better.

In Seoul, I can go from any point downtown to one of two airports on a super-fast, direct subway connection and I pay the standard public fare - about $1.

I'm sure there are a thousand very reasonable-sounding excuses here, but Metrolinx clearly lacks vision or even a modicum of understanding of what the word "Public" in "Public Transit" actually means.

Every Transit policy in Toronto never fails to underwhelm.
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