up express

UP Express expected to be long-term money loser

The Union Pearson Express may get you from downtown Toronto to the Mississauga-area airport quickly, but it's not exactly the most popular service in the city.

When it debuted, many called the train too expensive - and that was hard to argue with considering a one-way fare used to cost $27.50. And at one point, trains were running at just 10 per cent capacity.

In March, Metrolinx slashed its fare; a ticket is now $12, or $9 if you pay with a Presto Card.

While ridership is up, the Globe and Mail says that the UPX won't be making money for the province any time soon. In fact, it's a loss leader and will continue to require taxpayer money in order to run.

The Globe analyzed a 228-page internal Metrolinx report and writes that the transportation agency initially made UPX fares higher in order to recover its costs. When that didn't work, it lowered them.

However, after eight months, the UPX is about $23.3 million short on its operating costs. The Globe also notes that the service required a $46 taxpayer subsidy per rider.

And even though more people are riding it now, the Globe reports that the UPX will likely continue to have a significant revenue shortfall - about $20 million annually - in the coming years.

Photo by Jason Cook via the blogTO Flickr pool


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