Metrolinx officials say “a free ride” drew tens of thousands over the weekend to try out the ailing Union Pearson Express.
The train which links the downtown core with Pearson airport has had trouble meeting ridership expectations since it’s launch in June of last year.
As expected, the freebies set records for ridership, since it’s start on Friday. It’s believed that somewhere around 40% of the takers were likely air travelers, the rest commuters and others just trying the service out.
There were no low rider issues during the Family Day holiday, with over 10,000 filing on the train Saturday, 11,000 on Sunday and 8,000 on Monday. Wait times for rides exceeded 3 hours at some periods during the comps.
In it’s first seven months of service, the $456-million UPX has struggled to catch on with riders, many pointing to the 27.50 one way ticket price as the reason for passing.
The first few weeks after it’s launch last spring, Metrolix revealed the service was averaging about 3,250 riders, lower than the projected 5,000 riders per day.
The provincial transit agency has said it would consider re-pricing the one way fare to attract more customers.