Public Transit: The train to Vancouver International Airport; Toronto needs to catch up

I was in Vancouver recently for work and I rode their train. Toronto, you need to catch up. Yes, it was rainy most of the time but I spent a lot of time indoors. I hadn’t been to Vancouver in a decade so I took a cab into the city, but on the way home, I took the train. It was brilliant. The station was located less than a five minute walk from the hotel, I paid $2.75 for a ticket to the Vancouver airport – which I could use for 90 minutes of travel. Ninety minutes! In Toronto you get to your destination and that’s it.

The ride was 30 minutes and it was a picturesque ride. There were times when I thought the track looked more like a roller coaster versus a train track and it was a tad rickety but it was $2.75, I got a seat and I got to the airport.

The train runs an inbound and outbound train and it’s up to the rider to take the correct train. The outbound train has two final destinations – one is Richmond and one is the airport. Get on the right one (the signage is clear) and off you go. No transfers.

The more I ride transit systems around the world, the more Toronto seems lacking. We’re only now talking the pricing of a ticket from downtown to Pearson. We should have had that discussion years ago.

To understand why, read this Toronto Life article called Gridlocked.

I’ve ridden from downtown to the airport in Paris, London, Vancouver and Tokyo. Some were pricier than others but they were all convenient. Toronto needs to stop bickering and get its act together. I don’t expect that to happen as Tory’s mayoralty will 1. have to untangle the mess of Rob Ford’s transit legacy (Subways, Subways, Subways!) and 2. his own transit plan is fiscally shaky.

But we’ll keep talking about it.


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