Little increase in UPX ridership

| Filed under: Toronto

Little increase in UPX ridership since launch

Previous fares seen as too costly, fewer intend to use than at launch

TORONTO February 23rd - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 836 Toronto voters immediately before fare reductions were introduced, just one tenth had used the Union-Pearson Express, or UPX (11%), and this is the same ridership noted last summer after the service had launched (August, 2015 - 9%). Ridership is common to the youngest (14%), the least wealthy (18%, often a proxy for youth), in the downtown (18%) and Etobicoke (21%) and among Olivia Chow voters from the last mayoral election.

Sharp increase in those seeing UPX as too costly

Close to 8-in-10 see the UPX as “too expensive” at the previous fare levels (79%), compared to about two thirds who thought this in August (68%). As a corollary, the proportion who think the former fare is “about the right amount” has declined from one quarter (August - 25%) to one seventh now (14%). Thinking this fare too high is characteristic of the youngest (84%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 87%) and the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 87%), in North York and Scarborough (87% each) and among Olivia Chow voters (85%).

Percentage who intend to use UPX declines slightly

One seventh of non-users are “very likely” to use the UPX if they had to travel to the airport (14%), and this represents a slight decline from August (16%). In total, about one third (34%) are now likely to use the UPX to get to or from the airport, a clear decline from August (39%). Those most likely to use UPX are the mid aged (45 to 54 - 18%), males (16%) rather than females (12%), the least wealthy (23%), in the downtown (23%) and East York (18% - caution: small base size), and among Olivia Chow voters (17%).

“What we have seen is that, the more Torontonians got to know the UPX, the more expensive they thought it was and the less likely they were to ride it. It is also curious to find that what was designed as a premium service is most used by the youngest and least wealthy," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.