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Province expected to drop fares on struggling UP Express

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Feb 23rd, 2016

 

The province is hoping lower fares will lead to higher ridership on the nearly empty UP Express trains that run from Union Station to Pearson International Airport.

Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca, along with Metrolinx president and CEO Bruce McCuaig, will be holding a news conference at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, where they are expected to announce the lower fares.

A one-way fare for the UP Express costs $27.50 but those with Presto card can hop on for $19.

The Toronto Star reports the base fare will reportedly be reduced by more than $5. According to theGlobe and Mail, the full fare will shrink to below $20 a trip.

Over the Family Day weekend, Metro offered riders free service on the UP Express in an effort to introduce more people to the service. More than 10,000 people rode the service on the first day of a three-day trial.

Since the train started running last summer, ridership hasn’t been as high as the transit agency expected.

Metrolinx had originally set a goal of 5,000 riders per day for the first year of the service. But numbers show that in both November and December monthly ridership dipped under 70,000, with an average of 2,300 riders every day.

The Star reports the UP Express will offer a commuter-friendly option, letting riders travel between the three stations, including Weston, Bloor and Union stations, but not the airport, for less than $6, which is in-line with GO Transit fares.

Details of the discounts are expected to be announced at the afternoon news conference before the plan goes to a Metrolinx board meeting for approval on Tuesday night.

The public session of the meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Metrolinx head office.

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