Pan Am and Parapan Am travelers take note: the free public transit offered with tickets to Toronto’s Games does not extend to the new UP Express — the train that takes passengers to and from Toronto’s Pearson Airport, with additional stops at Weston and Bloor.
That point confused spectator Mike Sullivan on Saturday on his trip into the city from Milton, on a day when GO service is typically limited on all but the Lakeshore routes. He used the online Pan Am/Parapan Am Route Planner, which allows people attending events to enter in their location and destination and receive instructions on the best transit route, accompanied by real-time traffic information.
“Both Triplinx and the 2015 Games Planner direct you to take Express after telling you clearly that transit is free with your ticket,” Sullivan wrote.
While the Games Transit website does not list UPX as an eligible method of free transit, it is noted as a transit option. Moreover, the UPX shares station stops with GO trains — which ticketholders can ride free — fostering further confusion, particularly at times when the GO train is not in service.
Though the UPX opened just in time to welcome the 2015 Toronto Games, it is not considered an eligible transit agency. Spectators wishing to take the UPX all the way from Pearson will have to shell out $27.50 for a one-way adult ticket ($19 for Presto card holders), $23.40 ($16.15) senior and student fare, and $13.75 ($9.50) children’s fare.
“‘Transit is included’ did not have a qualifier,” Sullivan said in an email to the Star, adding that he and other Games-bound passengers boarding at Weston GO/UPX Station were “very miffed” to learn from station or on-board staff that they would have to pay for what they thought would be a free trip.
Greg Percy, spokesperson for Metrolinx, responded to Sullivan’s complaint with an email explaining that the information on Metrolinx’s Triplinx trip-planning service refers only to GO Transit as offering rides “free with event ticket.”
“In selecting ‘UP Express’ the individual would see no reference to transit ticket integration … We have verified that Triplinx is displaying correct information and unfortunately, the guests selected the incorrect service.”
Even though the UPX is not included, a Pan Am/Parapan Am ticket can still get you far. In addition to GO Transit, the TTC, York Region Transit, Mobility Plus, MiWay, Durham Region Transit, Oakville Transit and Brampton Transit are among the 14 public transit or specialized transit systems for Pan Am/Parapan Am ticket holders.