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When the Union Pearson Express launched last June, we were pretty skeptical. The express airport rail link running between downtown Toronto's Union Station and Toronto Pearson International Airport was expensive in comparison to other airport-city connections in North America. However, thanks to new lower fares effective earlier this month, we were finally able to ride the UP Express and boy are we ever glad we did. Here are five reasons you'll no longer find us taking cabs to and from Pearson Airport (ever) again...

1. It's Affordable

Earlier this year, we wouldn't have been able to honestly say this but thanks to new reduced fares, the UP Express is finally affordable. Here's a breakdown of what it will cost you to get from Pearson Airport to Union Station (or Union to Pearson), depending on your age:

Adult (20-64): $12.00 ($9.00 with a PRESTO card)
Student (13-19): $12.00 ($9.00 with a PRESTO card)
Senior (65+): $6.00 ($5.64 with a PRESTO card)
Family (2 adults and up to 3 kids): $25.00
Children (12 and under): Free
Accessibility Companion: Free

In comparison, it will set you back approximately $66.00 (tip included) to get from Pearson to Union in a cab, making the UP Express a steal. Though TTC is a lot cheaper, $3.25 to get from Pearson to Union, it's also a lot slower (count on 75 minutes, give or take).

2. It's Fast

In just 25 minutes, the UP Express will get you from Toronto's Pearson International Airport to Union Station, or vice versa. Plus, trains depart from both Union Station and Pearson Airport every 15 minutes (seven days a week), so you'll never have to wait long at either stop.

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If there's no traffic, a cab will take approximately 28 minutes to get from Pearson Airport to downtown Toronto. Compare that to 75 minutes on the TTC and the verdict is in: the UP Express is the fastest way to get from Pearson to downtown Toronto.

3. It's Convenient

Live in-between Pearson and Union? No problem. The UP Express makes two stops on its way to Union: Weston Station (Weston Rd & Lawrence Ave. West) and Bloor Station (Bloor St. West & Dundas St. West). The best part? The fares are cheaper when you get on or off at one of these in-between stops. Here's the breakdown:

2-Stop Fares (Union to Weston, Bloor to Pearson):
Adult (20-64): $5.65 ($5.02 with a PRESTO card)
Student (13-19): $5.65 ($4.61 with a PRESTO card)
Senior (65+): $2.85 ($2.68 with a PRESTO card)
Family (2 adults and up to 3 kids): $12.00
Children (12 and under): Free
Accessibility Companion: Free

1-Stop Fare (Union to Bloor, Bloor to Weston, Weston to Pearson):
Adult (20-64): $5.30 ($4.71 with a Presto card)
Student (13-19): $5.30 ($4.33 with a PRESTO card)
Senior (65+): $2.65 ($2.51 with a PRESTO card)
Family (2 adults and up to 3 kids): $11.00
Children (12 and under): Free
Accessibility Companion: Free

This means that if you live somewhere like the Junction, it will only cost you $5.65 to get to the airport. When you compare that to taxi flat rates ($45 from the Junction to Pearson), the UP Express is downright cheap.

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4. It's Clean and Comfortable

The UP Express is less than a year old and its interior reflects that. The seats are new and comfortable and come with lots of leg room, there are in-seat outlets for charging devices, and each section of the train comes with compartments for storing luggage. For a 25-minute ride, what the UP Express provides is more than adequate.

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5. There's Lots of Amenities

If you're waiting for the UP Express at Union Station, you will definitely not be bored. In addition to amenities that simplify travelling (free wifi, charging stations, airline check-in kiosks, flight info screens and foreign currency ATMs), the UP at Union Station also boasts a Balzac’s Coffee, Drake General Store and an enticing lounge with Mill St. Brewery beer and live music every Friday night.

If all that doesn't have you wanting to jump on your next flight ASAP, we're not really sure what will. For more information on UP Express fares and stations, or to purchase UP tickets online, click here.

Image credits: Union Pearson Express

 

jennifer_phillips_toronto_travelJennifer Phillips is a huge fan of anything related to food and travel. She also loves dogs and her favourite breed is 'rescue.' Before joining slice.ca as managing editor, she worked at FASHION magazine, AOL and Yahoo! Canada. Follow her on Instagram for more on her travels.