If you live in downtown Toronto, there are certain amenities considered the staple of the urban dweller. At the top of the amenity list are essentials like having a great coffee shop steps from your door, being within walking distance of a purveyor of fitness and well-being (or a great park), and having a Metropass. Well, there is a 5- year-old transportation service that has joined this list as a ‘go-to’ choice for Toronto travellers: The Union Pearson Express.
UP Express connects the country’s two busiest transportation hubs: Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station in downtown Toronto. The objective was to transform the way people travel between the airport and downtown, a journey that for years was tedious and fraught with time delays because of traffic-congestion.
Image courtesy of upexpress.com
The UP Express provides guests with an elevated (quite literally) travel experience, soaring 28-metres above the highway on an elevated spur track. Trains depart Union every 15 minutes, and take about 25 minutes to reach Pearson, for a fare of $12.00 one-way/$24.00 return)!. Along the way, it takes on passengers at Bloor/Dundas West Station and Lawrence Street West (at Weston Road).
Sitting right on the Bloor Subway line, the Bloor Street West Station is a smart option, allowing travellers to avoid the congestion of Union Station. Escaping the city is a breeze for residents of The Junction, Brockton Village, Swansea, Bloor West Village, and Roncesvalles Village in particular, who are just a hop, skip, and a jump away! Then it’s just a short 17-minute ride to Pearson Airport, at an Adult fare of $5.65 one-way/$11.30 return!
Image courtesy of upexpress.com
Here’s some fun facts about the UP Express:
• UP Express will be the first rail service in North America to use Tier 4 diesel which reduces airborne particulate emissions by 90 per cent and nitrogen oxides by 80 per cent, when compared to the existing technology.
• A three-car train accommodates up to 173 seated passengers
• There are 18 UP Express cars in service, making 140 trips per day.
• Amenities include: free WiFi, flight disruption information, overhead luggage storage, luggage racks at access doors, space for oversize baggage, power outlets, tray tables on seat backs, and literature like Toronto events information
Image courtesy of blogTO
I’ve had the pleasure of taking this journey myself. It was amazing how fast the trip was, and I found the staff courteous and attentive. While the UP Express doesn’t boast the most attractive colour scheme, the interior of the trains is an example of practical comfort. This isn’t luxury travel, but it’s efficient and gets the task done. The understated terminals at Union Station and Pearson win points for their modern and minimal design that will likely age well.
The fares do change periodically, so be sure to check the current rates here.
If you’re an urban professional departing your hip Swansea dwell for a much-needed vacation – or an out-of-town business trip – hopping on to the UP Express would be the way to go! Just pop on the subway at Runnymede and 3 quick stops later you’ll be at the Bloor-Dundas UP Express Stop!!
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