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Toronto council turns up heat on Metrolinx for cheaper ride on Union-Pearson train
Rail link to open ahead of next year's Pan Am Games
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Toronto city councillors have voted to put pressure on Metrolinx to wrestle down the cost of riding a rail link between Union Station and Pearson Airport.

A projected cost puts a one-way fare in the $20-$30 ballpark. Trains are expected to start moving along the line in time for the Pan Am Games next year.

Councillor Josh Matlow said Thursday the existing price range would be make the link "inaccessible and unaffordable to most Torontonians." He also submitted it is bad business model.

Councillor Frances Nunziata agreed, suggesting only "rich people" and "business people" will have the cash to use the service, leaving out scores of people who work at Pearson.

"This line will never be paid for because they will not get the ridership," said Nunziata.

Council voted Metrolinx to make the cost of a ride more "affordable" and more in line with GO Transit fares.

Metrolinx has said they expected business-types would make up the bulk of the ridership on the UP Express line.  Matlow does not think that is fair.

"After generations of waiting for rapid transit for Torontonians to our airport, we find out that the focus of this line was not really for us.  It is truly an elite line for business travellers from other countries."

Councillors also endorsed a move to try and do away with a portion of each fare going to directly to Pearson.

The fee is expected to account for roughly $1.85-$2 of each fare. The money is meant to compensate the airport for an expected drop in parking revenue once the UP Express is operational.

Councillor Matlow called the fee "completely inane" and suggested it was somewhat counter-intuitive.

"We are trying to incent people to choose transit and not drive their cars as much, to try and decrease gridlock and congestion. Here we are now having to pay for the privilege of not parking at the airport."

Metrolinx has said the compensation is part of the UP Express agreement and any decision to cancel it would have to be made by the authority that runs Pearson.

Councillor Gord Perks found the discussion of affordable, easy to access transit a little rich.

"This is the same council that refused to vote, in a clear and unambiguous way, to be supportive of revenue tools to pay for transportation in the city of Toronto and for Metrolinx," Perks pointed out.

"This particular cake you can't have and eat too."

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UPDATE: Doug Ford dismisses allegations of bad behaviour by Coach Ford

Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''

Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''


Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''


Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''
Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''
Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''
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Toronto city councillors have voted to put pressure on Metrolinx to wrestle down the cost of riding a rail link between Union Station and Pearson Airport.

A projected cost puts a one-way fare in the $20-$30 ballpark. Trains are expected to start moving along the line in time for the Pan Am Games next year.

Councillor Josh Matlow said Thursday the existing price range would be make the link "inaccessible and unaffordable to most Torontonians." He also submitted it is bad business model.

Councillor Frances Nunziata agreed, suggesting only "rich people" and "business people" will have the cash to use the service, leaving out scores of people who work at Pearson.

"This line will never be paid for because they will not get the ridership," said Nunziata.

Council voted Metrolinx to make the cost of a ride more "affordable" and more in line with GO Transit fares.

Metrolinx has said they expected business-types would make up the bulk of the ridership on the UP Express line.  Matlow does not think that is fair.

"After generations of waiting for rapid transit for Torontonians to our airport, we find out that the focus of this line was not really for us.  It is truly an elite line for business travellers from other countries."

Councillors also endorsed a move to try and do away with a portion of each fare going to directly to Pearson.

The fee is expected to account for roughly $1.85-$2 of each fare. The money is meant to compensate the airport for an expected drop in parking revenue once the UP Express is operational.

Councillor Matlow called the fee "completely inane" and suggested it was somewhat counter-intuitive.

"We are trying to incent people to choose transit and not drive their cars as much, to try and decrease gridlock and congestion. Here we are now having to pay for the privilege of not parking at the airport."

Metrolinx has said the compensation is part of the UP Express agreement and any decision to cancel it would have to be made by the authority that runs Pearson.

Councillor Gord Perks found the discussion of affordable, easy to access transit a little rich.

"This is the same council that refused to vote, in a clear and unambiguous way, to be supportive of revenue tools to pay for transportation in the city of Toronto and for Metrolinx," Perks pointed out.

"This particular cake you can't have and eat too."

RELATED

UPDATE: Doug Ford dismisses allegations of bad behaviour by Coach Ford

Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''

Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''


Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''


Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''
Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''
Rob Ford: "I know I embarrassed council''

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