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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

So if they could easily decide to drop fares to $9 with a Presto card literally overnight, you have to wonder why UP Express started so high in the first place?

A new Forum Research poll suggests that the province had little choice but to slash the prices of the Union Pearson Express (UPX) because the airport train has actually lost traction with Toronto residents, who increasingly found it too expensive.

The polling agency released the results of the Monday survey exclusively to the Toronto Star only hours before the province was set to announce Tuesday it was cutting UPX fares by more than 50 per cent.

FULL STORY

8 comments:

Ashley Orton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gmcnewlook said...

they are desperate to get ridership, paid ridership i might add, letting bored families with nothing to do on a long weekend doesnt help you if you dont lower fares i have to laugh at their desperate tactic of getting people interested, interest was never the problem price was, thats like if you let me drive a ferrari for a day to try it out, yeah ill like it, but i cant afford and or justify it... and i still am not sure this price drop will help.....

G said...

I think the free weekend told them something. I suspect that they were trying to convince themselves all along that ridership was low because of low awareness, not because of the high fare. That's why there are (expensive) ads plastered all over Pearson: I think they truly thought ridership would take off if only more people knew about the service. But the free weekend demonstrated unequivocally that people were absolutely aware of the service. This left only one interpretation for the poor ridership: high fares.

Squiggles said...

The sad thing is: people have been saying this for ages. Actually since just before it came into service.

I know it was mentioned in this site, and I have seen it in the comment sections of news paper articles as well.

It was too expensive for what it was. Service can only do so much to justify the exorbitant prices.

G said...

No doubt they had (expensive) consultant reports telling them that the fare was reasonable. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I think they were clinging to their initial analysis until they had no choice but to admit their mistake.

Outburst said...

I'm sure they somehow rationalized the price by calculating what they would have to charge to recoup their costs. Nice expensive boarding stations, fancy trains, infrastructure, lots of staff. What they got wrong was the number of people willing to pay that price. It was designed as a luxury service for businesspeople who regularly fly out of Pearson. And it was a colossal failure. The people who could afford the service had no incentive to change from their existing methods. If you have to take the subway or a taxi to and from Union, why not just take the taxi the entire way to the airport?
It will take eons before they recoup their costs on this because now they've had to reduce their prices just to stay afloat.
A lot of people involved in the planning of this from the outset would be wise to delete UPX from their CV. Awful.

CKH said...

Isn't this the Catch22 of fares on the main lines? The trains are already jam packed despite the $20.00 a day fare. They raise prices and people keep jamming the trains.

Bicky said...

I love the UP Express train! I just wish I travelled more to be able to use it!