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Wynne Liberals refuse to answer for ignoring gov’t studies warning against luxury U-P express fares

April 18, 2016

Metro-leaks reveal gov’t knew ridership would suffer with $27.50 fare

 QUEEN’S PARK – After four years of protecting pertinent reports that informed government’s decision to set luxury fare prices for the U-P express, this weekend’s ‘Metro-leaks’ data dump revealed what the Wynne Liberals have long refused to admit – high fares, would directly impact ridership.

“There was the 2011 Northstar Study showing half of GTHA residents wouldn’t pay more than $17.50….A 2012, Steer Davies Gleave study showing drastic ridership-drops as fares rise past 20 dollars…and in 2014 we have Environics reporting 50% of respondents considered a 12 dollar fare good value,” Harris noted. “The question needs to be asked, was it the instructions of the Premier or the Minister of Transportation to ignore the advice of government’s experts in choosing a $27.50 luxury fare?”

After 8 months of trains running at less than ten per cent capacity due to the Wynne Liberals’ initial $27.50 ticket price, Harris welcomes the government’s recent about-face with new lower fares, but remains concerned about the amount taxpayers will continue to pay to prop up the service.

“Taxpayers were subsidizing U-P at a rate of $46 per rider! These newly revealed numbers further highlight the expensive, and avoidable mess you’ve steered the UP Express into,” indicated Harris. “The Minister told us in Committee, with regard to transit funding plans, that, ‘People… expect that we won’t make these decisions, on the back of a napkin and that there will be evidence-based decisions.’ ”

“Today, after finally revealing the numbers they’ve previously covered up, we’re still wondering why, in the case of UP Express fare setting, when it came to evidence versus napkins, why it was that the napkin won out?”

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See Mike’s question in the house here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huK17xBqNxw 

For further information contact:

Rob Willett | 519.404.4052| rob.willett@pc.ola.org |