News / Toronto

UP Express fare drop another blow to taxis: drivers group

There’s no doubt it will eat away at drivers’ income at a time when they’re continuing to take hits from Uber, says the president of iTaxiworkers.

Sajid Mughal is the head of iTaxiworkers, which advocates on behalf of the taxi industry.

Torstar News Service file

Sajid Mughal is the head of iTaxiworkers, which advocates on behalf of the taxi industry.

Lowering fares on the UP Express is another blow the city’s already struggling taxi industry, drivers say.

“It will significantly hurt the taxi business and the limos working at the airport,” said Sajid Mughal, president of the driver’s group iTaxiworkers. “It will hurt everyone.”

The cash price of the UP Express from Union Station is $27.50, coming in at a little more than the half price of a taxi to the airport from downtown and making it cost effective for couples travelling together to take a cab. But, when Metrolinx drops its price on March 9, a couple will be able to make the trip for $24.

There’s no doubt it will eat away at drivers’ income at a time when they’re continuing to take hits from Uber, according to Mughal.

Beck Taxi, however, isn’t sweating the fare drop.

“Taxis have always been complimentary to mass transit, and that’s what the Union-Pearson Express is,” Beck operations manager Kristine Hubbard said.

Even if the city managed to build a subway to the airport and charge people TTC fares to use it wouldn’t be a threat, she added.

“They are two completely different services.”

Meanwhile, the industry and drivers are growing frustrated as they wait to hear from City Hall on regulations that will apply to taxis and Uber.

Beck has been watching closely as other cities take action.

“We’re playing the waiting game,” Hubbard said.

New Adult UP Express fares*

Union-Pearson with PRESTO: $9.00

Two stops with PRESTO: $5.02

One stop with PRESTO: $4.71

Union-Pearson without PRESTO: $12.00

Two stops without PRESTO: $5.65

One stop without PRESTO: $5.30

*Effective March 9