2016-02-14 Sun


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More grist for the mill.

If you believe Tourism Toronto (and they might have an axe to grind, or at least, a budget to justify) Toronto enjoyed 14+26 (also known as “forty”) million visitors.

Tourism Toronto coyly (or maliciously, take your pick) doesn’t put a time scale on these figures. They might be for the calendar year 2015, or they might be for the most recent twelve-month period which maximizes a twelve-month spread, or they might be for the period since Tourism Toronto began compiling statistics.

Let’s assume it is for a twelve-month period; let’s even allow that it is the best recent twelve-month spread.

40,000,000 visitors is by a rough calculation 110,000 per day, year round.

I think I could live with that.

Last year the Toronto Star published two unrelated articles which suggested that Pearson Airport handles 105,000 passengers per day; I assume that means “incoming and outgoing”, so figure 50,000 bodies arriving per day.

(The second article pointed out that the New All-Singing All-Dancing comedy hit “UP Express” attracted less that 2,500 riders per day, without identifying the engineers and conductors as “riders”)

So 50,000 through Pearson leaves 60,000 to arrive by car, tourist coach, train, bicycle, and on foot. I think we can pretty well ignore that last three groupings.

Basically 50,000 by car, crossing the border to the east, south, and west of Toronto.

I am now waiting for customs & immigration figures to verify these figures.

The New All-Singing All-Dancing comedy hit “UP Express”

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Beginning in the first real week of February, articles appeared suggesting that the UP Express needed more riders. When less than 3% (2,500 out of 105,000) airport arrivals use the train, that means that over 97% arrivals choose some other mode of transport.)

Columnists have been writing for well over a year that the ticket price was too high, that the UP Express discouraged local commuters, that it was ridiculous to have a system so isolated from Regional Transit.

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I have agreed all along. Right now you can buy a MONTHLY Transilean Navigo pass for about €70 (roughly $cdn100) which takes you for an entire month across and through an area roughly equivalent to a semi-circle centred on Toronto and bounded by London, Hunstville and Bellville.

To give you an idea, the 5-zone Navigo pass is bounded by the rambling purple line. Paris city is outlined roughly by my yellow circle and is about 11 Km in diameter.

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Here is an area roughly equivalent to the 5-zone Transilean, with a $140 Toronto Transit Commission pass area outlined as a quadrilateral.

Here’s the deal: You climb aboard an RER train at Charles de Gaulle airport and as you board the train you are ON/IN the RER. You can sat seated and travel right through Paris and out the other side while studying your new Euro banknotes.

In Toronto you climb aboard the Comedy Train and 15 minutes later MUST descend and walk either 5 minutes to get to the Toronto Transit Commission subway station, or 3 minutes to get to the GO Transit train ticket wickets, or an amazing eight minutes to get to the Go Transit Bus terminal.

The UP Express is so disconnected from the transit systems that it isn’t even IN Union Station – it has its own platform off to the west, and although that platform is physically a continuation of Platform 3 of Union Station, and a direct pedestrian route to the GO Bus terminal, there is no access to that platform. All passengers are forced to make their way through the maze that continues to be the New York Concourse Still Under Construction.