April 18th, 2016

Early studies showing major flaws in Liberal government’s UP Express plan were ignored and buried: NDP

In the legislature this morning, NDP Urban Transit critic, Cheri DiNovo, demanded the Liberal government explain why it ignored, then tried to bury, seven studies that showed the government’s flawed model for the Union Pearson Express would actually lose money.

“In 2010, the Premier, who was then the Minister of Transportation, ordered Metrolinx to take over the Union Pearson Express under the same flawed business model that had just been rejected as a money loser by the private sector,” said DiNovo, MPP for Parkdale - High Park. “Instead of building affordable public transit in this corridor, the Premier ordered Metrolinx to build a luxury airport express service.'

Metrolinx ignored seven reports it commissioned in the years before the launch of the UP Express warning high fares would fail to attract enough riders. 

The reports were finally released last week following a long battle launched by Metrolinx to keep them secret. The Ontario New Democrats have been trying for years to get the UPX ridership studies, but have been blocked at every turn by Metrolinx and the Liberal government.

“It’s clear to everyone that Metrolinx has been covering up for the bad decision made by this Premier to build a luxury train for Bay Street executives, who, it turns out, don’t even use it themselves,” said DiNovo.  

DiNovo pointed out the UP Express remains inaccessible to most of the people who live in the communities where the train runs. 

“Yet these people must help subsidize this dirty diesel train at about $46 per rider,” said DiNovo.

“Why is Metrolinx building pet projects for the Premier, and then covering up for her, instead of building true public transit for the people who pay the bills?” asked DiNovo.