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Union Pearson Express ridership doubles on first day of reduced fares

UP Express train parked at Union Station terminal . Mark McAllister / Global News

The new reduced fares on the Union Pearson Express has been a success so far.

Preliminary ridership estimates indicate the new fare structure attracted over 5,300 travellers on the first day of the new prices.

“Over 40 per cent of all riders were taking UP Express for the first time and the majority of these new riders were airport bound to Pearson Airport,” said Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins in an email.

WATCH: UPX: Running the numbers

Fares were officially reduced last week after complaints of low ridership for the $456 million funded rail line which travels between Pearson International Airport and Union Station in downtown Toronto.

Prices for the entire UPX route are now $12 without a Presto card and from $9 with one. Boarding the train at either the Bloor or Weston stations are now be on par with GO fares.

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VIDEO: Wynne says ‘changes needed’ for Union Pearson Express

Click to play video: 'Wynne says ‘changes needed’ for Union Pearson Express' Wynne says ‘changes needed’ for Union Pearson Express
Wynne says ‘changes needed’ for Union Pearson Express – Feb 10, 2016

The one-way fare for families with children 19 years and younger is $25. Kids under the age of 12 continue to ride for free.

Original projections and goals were to reach 7,000 daily passengers within three years but the last few months of 2015 only saw about 2,200 people using the train every day.

READ MORE: Union-Pearson high-speed train ridership falls below 70,000

Aikins said pricing was only one of the issues drawing commuters away from the new rail line.

The UP Express continues to be plagued by wayfinding problems as riders, especially new ones, remain confused on how to navigate themselves with the new service.

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Meanwhile, Metrolinx says a more definitive set of ridership numbers won’t be available for several weeks.

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