Friday, 20 June 2014

End of Days - YYZ to discontinue bus service

PWT 1139 RYH
Toronto's Airport Express back in 2009 when it was decked out for a Cuba promotion.
The shuttle service to/from Pearson Airport is a common sight outside the Royal York hotel
 in downtown Toronto. But not for much longer... (photo: wikicommons)

Toronto Pearson Airport's infamous shuttle bus service, the Toronto Airport Express, will be ending their service on October 31, 2014.

Porter Airlines.Dash-8.YTZ.2008
Porter Airlines landing at Toronto's Billy Bishop Airport
on Toronto Islands, in the city centre.
The shuttle's operator, Pacific Western Transportation, says the discontinuation is due to Billy Bishop Airport's increased popularity, as well as the planned airport subway system scheduled for 2015.

For many travelers, the bus service was simply becoming too inconvenient with construction and gridlock making the service too long, and too inconvenient for cost conscious travelers looking for a cheap and quick service to downtown Toronto.

The good news is that Toronto will soon join many other cities that have a special subway line that takes passengers to/from the international airport. Metrolinx is well into construction of the new Union Pearson Express line, or UP Express. The project has already won international recognition, as Project of the Year at the 2013 Global AirRail Awards.

GTAA LINK train clip
Don't get too excited if you see the
 Link Train at Pearson, as it only
 provides inter-airport connections.
In Toronto, it will enable many of Canada's snowbirds that live right downtown to walk underground, hop on the airport subway and then get on their plane without ever going outside. Imagine leaving Toronto in the winter time when it is -20° celsius in a shirt and shorts enroute to Mexico in a comfortable climate controlled environment. No more bringing your needless parka to a tropical destination.

While there will be a gap in service between the discontinuance of the Toronto Airport Express line and that of the new airport subway, it is anticipated that travellers will rely on using the city airport (YTZ) more, taking a taxi or shared airport shuttle services.

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