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Councillor Matlow protests proposed fare cost for Union to Pearson rail link

Metrolinx estimates the cost per person will be between $20-$30.


It's still in the process of being built, but there's already a heated debate about how much it should cost to ride the Union-Pearson Express airport link.

Toronto city councillor Josh Matlow thinks you are being gouged if you have to pay $20 to $30 dollars per person, like Metrolinx is planning on.

That's in addition to an airport fee of $2 dollars which would go to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, to compensate for lost parking revenue.

Matlow thinks you should be charged something that's a little closer to the TTC fare rate of $3-dollars per person. He plans to introduce a motion at city council's next meeting.

The cost of building the rail link is $456-million, and Metrolinx has not announced the final fare rate, but estimated earlier this month that it would be between $20-$30, along with the airport fee.

If you travel to Pearson International Airport from Union station by airport limo, it will currently cost you $58. Taking a taxi will cost you about $55.

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  1. AbbyW posted on 08/19/2014 07:35 AM
    Marlowe is out of touch with reality. Other cities with similar express links charge a similar premium over regular transit fares. If you want people to pay the regular transit fare let them take regular transit. This is so typical of councillors who don't understand economics and simply want taxpayers to keep footing more and more expenses
    1. StuG posted on 08/19/2014 10:09 AM
      @AbbyW i heard this morning on the radio that comparing the express ride in Vancouver to the airport the cost there is 9 and change and on wknds it's 7 and change.
      i think we are being hosed if allowed to go through at 30 or whatever they talking about.
      I've taken rides in major Europe cities from the airport to downtown and it's more like transit costs.
      we're suckers if we pay it.
      Also it's Matlow....not Marlowe
    2. AbbyW posted on 08/19/2014 10:54 AM
      @StuG Thanks for the Matlow correction. My experience has generally been that for an express service they charge more than the regular public transit fare and if one doesn't want to pay that they take the regular transit which takes a lot longer. Agree that $ 30 won't fly except for business folks; perhaps a smaller premium $10-15 would work better.

      Too bad we don't have a proper subway system similar to that of NY, London, Paris, Chicago, etc. We can blame that on all the past city councils since the 70's?
  2. james marshall posted on 08/19/2014 08:40 AM
    The real outrage should be about that 2$ "compensation for lost revenue". I'm sorry but shouldn't we be encouraging people to find alternatives to get around and not penalizing them for doing so?
    1. AbbyW posted on 08/19/2014 09:47 AM
      @james marshall Like it or not, GTAA controls the airport and they insisted on this in their agreement to build a stop. Could have been refused by those negotiating.
  3. JustSaying posted on 08/19/2014 10:17 AM
    Imagine this: My family who lives just east of downtown needs to get to the airport for a 6:00 am flight. We can take a limo for all four of us for $80, be picked up at our home, have the luggage loaded into the trunk and be taken in comfort to the airport.

    Or, we could take all our baggage, walk up the street, dragging it behind us (in the rain, snow sleet or burning sunshine) then wait for a bus (pay 4 x TTC Fares) to take us to the subway, then when we arrive at Union, pay between a proposed $80 and $120 to get the family to the airport.

    Hmmm. I'd be taking the limo.

    In fact the only scenario I could ever imagine taking this train would be if I was super pressed to get to the airport fast, was travelling alone with little to no baggage, or was on a business trip where $ is not an issue (and when does that happen?)

    I'd expect the Bay Street Elite crowd will be using this service. Good thing we are subsidizing them!

    Otherwise, maybe folks who travel to TO by VIA train and are flying out of Pearson would take this service - or the shuttle bus, which costs way less.

    BTW - NYC has a subway (A TRAIN - Rockaway Beach) that goes to the airport and it is the same fare as any other NYC subway.

    The JFK Airport Airtrain always costs $5, payable with a pay-per-ride. The LIRR fare varies with travel time: during the afternoon rush, the LIRR fare to Jamaica is $7, making your total cost $12. During other weekday hours, the LIRR fare is $5, for a total fare of $10. On weekends, you can ride the LIRR to Jamaica for a special City Ticket fare of just $3 – making the total cost of your trip to JFK Airport only $8

    If we want the public - other than the Elite - to use this service, it needs a costing shake up, similar to what NYC is offering.


    I'd say $10 each way "all in" would be an appropriate charge. Not more.
    1. StuG posted on 08/19/2014 10:20 AM
      @JustSaying exactly!
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