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Why isn’t UP Express included in Ontario’s One Fare program? Opposition seeks answers

Click to play video: 'Ontario rolls back UP Express changes following widespread criticism'
Ontario rolls back UP Express changes following widespread criticism
RELATED: Ontario rolls back UP Express changes following widespread criticism – Apr 17, 2024

Opposition politicians are calling for Toronto’s airport train to be added to a recently launched fare integration program for transit in and around the city.

The Ontario NDP is asking for the Ford government to add the Union Pearson (UP) Express to its One Fare program. Tickets for the airport train, which cost $12.35 one way, can’t be used on other services.

“Ontarians deserve convenient transit they can rely on,” NDP MPP Jessica Bell said Tuesday.

“Commuters in the west end need peace of mind from fare integration and more frequent service. This is why we’re calling on the government to include UP Express in their fare integration program.”

Click to play video: 'Fare integration will add affordable choice for transit users across networks'
Fare integration will add affordable choice for transit users across networks

In February, the Ford government launched a program called One Fare, which eliminated double fares across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

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The program allows riders to pay the first fare and then transfer for free, or –if they use GO Transit — pay only for that ride. It has cost Queen’s Park roughly $16 million so far to have in place.

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The government said it was not against looking into the idea, but stressed the One Fare program was meant for daily commuters and the UP Express was launched as an airport train.

“We’re always happy to look at ways to save people money,” a spokesperson for the Minister of Transporation told Global News.

The NDP said the UP Express has become a commuter artery in Toronto’s west end, connecting Weston and Bloor West to both downtown and Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Click to play video: 'Fare integrations is coming to the GTHA, how does it work?'
Fare integrations is coming to the GTHA, how does it work?

Airline workers living in the west of Toronto, in particular, are using the train, according to the NDP.

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“Thousands in my riding depend on UP Express as part of their daily transit and connect to TTC to get to work and downtown,” NDP MPP Bhutila Karpoche said.

“We need cheaper fares, reliable and frequent service so that west-end commuters can finally have the same peace of mind as the rest of the GTA.”

Asked about the proposal during question period on Tuesday, Associate Transportation Minister Vijay Thanigasalam deflected and instead talked about the opposition.

“It’s ironic to hear from the NDP and Liberals about affordability for transportation,” he said.

“When this government, under the leadership of Premier Ford, brought forward One Fare that eliminates the double fare and saves commuters $1,600, both the NDP and Liberals voted against this.”

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