Union Pearson Express air rail link boosts Toronto’s appeal for meeting planners

Express rail service between Toronto Pearson Airport and Union Station begins in spring 2015

With 2015 shaping up as a banner year for Toronto’s convention and meetings business, completion of the long-awaited express air rail link between the airport and downtown is being hailed as a major new asset for the industry.
Union Pearson Express air rail link boosts Toronto’s appeal for meeting plannersUnion Pearson Express (UP Express) will begin service next spring, offering air travellers a reliable 25-minute trip from Toronto Pearson Airport’s Terminal 1 to Union Station in the heart of the city’s business and entertainment district. The first dedicated air-rail link in North America, UP Express trains will depart every 15 minutes, making just two quick stops between the airport and downtown.

In addition to the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, Toronto is slated to host over 450 business and professional meetings next year, including 12 major conventions, attracting more than 400,000 attendees. Tourism Toronto president and CEO David Whitaker says having a rapid, reliable way to get between the airport and downtown will help make Toronto an even more attractive choice for convention and meeting planners.

“Being able to move quickly and easily from the airport to downtown is as important for a convention delegate as it is for a leisure traveller. Ease of access and the ability to move about in a destination is a big selling feature,” Whitaker said.

The UP Express Station at Union is directly connected to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) via the “Skywalk” pedestrian passageway, as are many of the major downtown hotels through Toronto’s underground pedestrian PATH network.

“The walkability, the condensed nature of our downtown, the fact that the majority of our major host hotels are within walking distance of the MTCC, these are all important to convention planners,” Whitaker said. “So any asset that brings an option of easy and timely access, for both arriving and departing travellers, gives us a tremendous selling advantage,” he says of UP Express.

UP Express service will feature amenities that go hand-in-hand with air travel: Wi-Fi will be available at all stations and on the trains, and when heading to the airport guests will be able to check-in to their flights and print baggage tags right at Union Station. Trains will have level boarding, ample luggage space and comfortable seating complete with table trays and power outlets, and on-board screens will provide updated flight information and showcase events and attractions.

The one-way adult fare is $27.50 (discounted to $19 if purchased using the PRESTO electronic regional transit fare card available at all UP Express stations) which is significantly less than the cost of a taxi or limo. A range of other discounts are available for seniors, students, children, families and frequent riders.

Air travellers using Toronto Pearson will continue to be served by other transportation options including local and regional public transit as well as taxis, limos and private cars. But the addition of UP Express  and its stress-free, reliable 25-minute travel time will be a tremendous new asset for visitors and residents alike.

For full details about Union Pearson Express, visit upexpress.com.

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