Thursday, 31 March 2016

New Tehran Mehrabad Airport metro link

As we mentioned in our recent blog post about the opening Masshad Airport's new metro link in February, Iran is investing heavily in transportation infrastructure.

Now, Tehran's Mehrabad Airport (THR) received its own new metro link.

Service started on March 15th, and was inaugurated on March 29th.

A new 3 kilometre (1.5 mile) metro line extension runs southwest from Bimeh station, located between Meydan-e Azadi and Sharak-e Ekbatan stations.

The Bimeh branch line uses short trains with extra luggage space to shuttle passengers to/from 2 stations at Tehran Mehrabad Airport:
  • Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are served by the first station
  • Terminal 4 and Terminal 6 are served by the second station

Related resources
Tehran Mehrabad International Airport (THR) transportation guide
Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) transportation guide
Tehran metro serving Mehrabad Airport - Railway Gazette
Mehrabad airport subway line inaugurated on Tuesday - Tehran Times
Mehrabad International Airport connected to Tehran’s subway system - Real Iran
Mashhad Airport gets metro link - IHateTaxis Blog

Friday, 25 March 2016

New Manila UBE Express Airport Bus

Great news for travellers to the Philippines: there is a new premium express bus service to/from Manila's busiest airport.

An initiative of the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, UBE Express began service at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in February 2016.

The UBE Express operates from Terminals 1, 2, and 3 on two routes: Roxas Boulevard Route (designated stops at Midas Hotel, Hotel Jen, Manila Hotel, Mall of Asia, Entertainment City) and Makati City Route (stops at Glorietta 4 and 5, Ascott Hotel).

The premium bus service flat rate is PHP 300. Automated fare collection and an online booking system are planned. For now, approach the transportation desk personnel curbside at arrivals for assistance.

Each 24 passenger UBE Express bus is equipped with WiFi, closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV), Global Positioning System (GPS) and large baggage compartments. Trained drivers and an on-board attendant man the buses.

"With the introduction of the premium bus service, passengers can expect shorter queues for transport vehicles at the curbside areas of the terminals,” says Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado .

Referred to by locals as NAIA, the upgraded service at Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be appreciated by airport staff, reducing demands for the regular buses and Jeepneys they depend on.

Related resources

Premium airport bus service now available
Taxi prices drop in Manila... or do they?
Manila's latest colorum taxi scam
Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) transportation guide
Headed to one of the most dreaded airports? (list includes MNL) - advice from LayoverIdeas
Manila Layover Ideas and Things to do in Manila

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Famous fare: Nimoy drives JFK

Our thanks to the
Thanks to Leonard Nimoy website
for posting the above story, for all to enjoy
The Day JFK Rode In My Taxi - Leonard Nimoy

To make ends meet, Leonard Nimoy once drove a taxi, and met some interesting people. Here's the story of the day in 1956 when he drove JFK:

They had those cab stands where a phone rings; if you’re next in line to take the call,” he pointed out, “and they tell you where to pick up the fare. Well, there was a call and I answered it. I was instructed to pick up a Mr. Kennedy at the Bel Air Hotel. “When I pulled up at the driveway,” Leonard continued, “I asked the doorman if it was the Senator from Massachusetts. He just shrugged and said, ‘I don’t know.’” After a 10-minute wait, a tall, slender young man with a shock of unruly chestnut hair came through the door; Leonard recognized him immediately. [read about Nimoy's conversation with JFK].

The famous fare had quite an impact on the actor, as he revealed in a commencement speech to Boston University's College of Fine Arts Class of 2012, [read more in Leonard Nimoy said a chance meeting with a young JFK changed his life - Business Insider].

Nimoy also spoke about the encounter in an interview with Esquire in which he reflected on his life [Leonard Nimoy: What I've Learned - Life lessons from the late 'Star Trek' actor - Esquire].

It wasn't his only interesting ride, as told in How Leonard Nimoy faced death at gunpoint. We're glad he came out that one unscathed!

Ed. Even more interesting than a "Leonard Nimoy / Spock was my taxi driver" story would be... we wonder if there's one out there?

Related resources
Thanks to Leonard Nimoy website
Facts about Leonard Nimoy that you might not have known
14 great cities where you can eat like a cabbie

Monday, 7 March 2016

Flat taxi fares for Paris airports

Taxi Parisien
Parisiean taxi
creative commons image arianta on Flickr
Budgeting for your Paris vacation just got easier.

It's official: taxi fares to/from both of Paris' busiest airports – Charles de Gaulle and Orly – are now required to charge flat fares. And surcharges are restricted.

Flat fares to/from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and the city's "Right Bank" (locations on the north side of the Seine) are EUR 50. Flat fares to/from CDG Airport and the "Left Bank" (south side of the Seine) are EUR 55.

The flat fares to/from Paris Orly Airport (ORY) and the Right Bank have been set at a EUR 35, while fares to/from the Left Bank are set at EUR 30.

These fares apply for up to 4 passengers, and there is a EUR 4 surcharge for a 5th passenger (though pets are free). Reservations incur a EUR 4-7 surcharge.

And here's more good news: NO baggage surcharges are permitted.

Related resources
Paris airport taxis now subject to flat fees
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) transportation guide
Paris Orly Airport (ORY) transportation guide
Paris layover ideas and things to do in Paris
Layover City: Paris

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Price slash on Toronto's UPExpress

UPExpress at Bloor Street station
creative commons image wiki commons
As we reported in October in New hope for Toronto's UPExpress, the slick new Toronto airport train had suffered since its opening with ridership far below projections. Marketed to the business traveller, the high fares on the empty trains were unaffordable for airport workers, and an annoying indulgence that few local travellers would fork out for. As the messy back story behind the launch fares has emerged, the pressure was heating up.

Now, 9 months after the service began, the Toronto Unuion Express airport train is being reborn with lower fares. The $27.50 cash fare will be slashed to $12. Presto card holders will pay $9, versus the prior $19. Airport workers will see their monthly pass price drop from $300 to $140. The new rates come into effect on March 9th.

And Torontonians are happy: according to a survey by the Toronto Star, 51% say the fares are fair now, and will avail themselves of the rail service. Better late than never!

Related resources
Metrolinx set UP Express price high despite warnings
Torontonians on board with lowered airport train fare, poll suggests
New hope for Toronto's UPExpress
Toronto joins the 21st century with Pearson airport train
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) transportation guide
Toronto City Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ) transportation guide