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Union Pearson Express Nearly a Reality

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[Photos via Metrolinx]

Construction's right on track on Metrolinx's Union Pearson Express (UP), the long-awaited rail link that promises a 25-minute commute between downtown Toronto and Pearson International Airport. According to Metrolinx, the UP is still on schedule to be completed in time for the 2015 Pan American Games, which might almost be reason enough to forgive the seemingly-endless construction chaos on Front Street over the past few years.

Toronto's long been hobbled by inadequate transit to Pearson. Lots of other major cities have efficient, inexpensive public-transit access to their international airports; for example, the Chicago El's Blue Line terminates right at O'Hare. Torontonians have to rely on taxis, airport limos, or the Airport Express shuttle (which is shutting down this fall), all of them expensive and all at the mercy of the city's ever-worsening gridlock. There's nothing quite like sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Gardiner as you watch the taxi meter click higher and higher, certain you're going to miss your flight.

The UP will depart from Union Station every 15 minutes and travel west along the GO train corridor, making stops at GO's Dundas West and Weston stations, coming to a final stop at Pearson's Terminal 1. Its Japanese-built trains will be equipped with wi-fi, electrical outlets and flight-information screens—and no clicking meters.

· A history of the Union Pearson Express [Transit Toronto]
· Pearson Airport archives [Curbed Toronto]