Saturday, November 30, 2019
Makin' Like a Torontonian and Hoppin' the UP!
November 20, 2019. I'm in Toronto for a week of work-related training. On this beautiful Wednesday evening, after a long day's training, I elected to travel the UP Express from Toronto Pearson Airport to downtown Toronto. Now, according to the UP Express website, the trip takes 25 minutes with departures every 15 minutes.
It's approximately 4:45 pm so this puts us right in the middle of rush hour. This should be a very interesting trip.
I took the liberty of downloading the UP Express App which allowed me to purchase my ticket earlier that afternoon. The app is very easy to use and provides you with a pdf file of your ticket to display to the station staff as you board the train. The photo above was taken at Pearson station. You can see our train on the other side of the window.
I met a passenger who noticed I was logging on to the complimentary wifi which is supplied on the UP Express. She was pleasantly surprised that I was actually logged on. She then informed me that sometimes the wifi fails likely to rush hour demands. But, it worked fine for me even though there was a very full load on this trip.
There have been some issues with the trains not being very cooperative in very cold weather, but Metrolinx is quite handy at getting passengers moving with express buses. All-in-all, all public transportation across Canada is limited by the weather, so this isn't a unique UP Express problem.
I was hungry and stumbled upon the Mill Street Brewery Restaurant right above the terminal. I thought, "Oh why not?". I found the entrance to the upstairs restaurant (a little tricky to find in rush hour crowds), and soon realized I was the oldest person in the place. But, the sandwich I ordered was quite tasty and very well priced.
To sum up, this is a very efficient service which finally connects the massive Pearson Airport to downtown Toronto. I had to try it out just to see how well this service is run. Considering the amounts of baggage that people generally bring when travelling, the UP Express can handle it unlike typical subways and buses. The recorded announcements are very informative and useful. The staff both onboard and off are helpful and very professional.
At the end of the day, I leave impressed.