UP Express riders in Toronto are angry about long lines and cramped trains
Passengers on the UP Express linking Union Station and Toronto-Pearson International Airport have been facing painfully long lines in recent weeks, and riders are loudly demanding increased service to ease the unpleasant waits and cramped trains.
The UP Express ran trains at 15-minute intervals before the sudden drop-off in demand in 2020, and as of late September 2022, trains are still departing at reduced 30-minute intervals despite an apparent surge in ridership.
Recent conditions have passengers calling on social media for the previous level of service to be reinstated, but Metrolinx appears to be standing by the 30-minute intervals.
Hi, Currently as you know UP Express is running every 1/2 hour. we are keeping a close eye on our ridership and will increase service as required. ^PD— UP Express (@UPexpress) September 22, 2022
Photos depicting snaking queues have appeared on Twitter in recent weeks, with riders citing them as evidence that current passenger levels an increase in service.
When is @UPexpress resuming service every 15 mins? This is the line every day at union. Trains are overcrowded and unsafe. Clearly there is demand for the regular schedule to resume. pic.twitter.com/IdU0lCFJ5V— Ashleigh Patterson (@AshleighPat) September 28, 2022
Riders report packing onto cramped trains at both the Union and Pearson ends of the line, and things only get worse when trains arrive at the halfway stop at Weston to pick up more passengers.
Though social media reports of crowding have appeared for weeks, a Metrolinx suggests that crowding is often situational and doesn't always reflect overall demand.
A representative of the transit agency tells blogTO that on Wednesday night — when the photo of the long queue at Union was captured — "there were two major events happening downtown (Leafs and Blue Jays games) resulting in a full UP Express trains coming into Union Station around 6:00 p.m., which coincided with one of the busiest trains of the week heading out of Union Station."
"To allow the passengers coming into Union to safely clear the train and easily move out of the UP Express terminal, our teams asked passengers waiting to board to temporarily line up just outside the gates."
"As soon as the departing passengers cleared the terminal, those passengers waiting to get on the UP Express train were allowed to safely and unobstructedly board the train."
The Metrolinx representative stresses that "the safety of everyone is our top priority and this regularly used standard operating procedure keeps everyone safe and allows for customers to more easily get on and off trains and move through the station."
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