Wide majority see UPX as too costly to ride

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Wide majority see UPX as too costly to ride

High approval for SmartTrack, but few see benefit to them

TORONTO DECEMBER 18th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1001 Toronto voters, close to 7-in-10 say the Union-Pearson Express or UPX is too expensive at $27 one way or $19 with a Presto Card (69%), while fewer than a quarter see it as being priced correctly (23%). Those who think the price is right are most likely Boomers (55 to 64 - 29%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 28%), those who drive rather than take transit (27%) and John Tory voters (29%).

Fewer than one fifth are very likely to use UPX, 1-in-4 in total

Just fewer than one fifth say there very likely to use UPX to get to the airport at these fares and with the two planned stops (18%). Those most likely to take UPX are male (22%), the least wealthy (24%), residents of the downtown (28%), Olivia Chow voters (23%) and those who live wealthy neighbourhoods (22%) or those getting more wealthy (27%). In total just more than 4-in-10 say they are likely to use UPX to get to the airport if that was a trip they had to take (42%).

High approval for SmartTrack among those aware of it

In total, two thirds of Torontonians have heard about the SmartTrack transit plan (67%) and, of these, an identical proportion approve of it (67%). Those most likely to approve of SmartTrack are the youngest (73%), the oldest (73%), those in North York (74%) and those who take transit (72%), the best educated (post grad - 71%), provincial Liberals (73%) and in neighbourhoods wealthier than others (72%) and those getting wealthier than others (71%).

Majority see no benefit to themselves, neighbourhood from SmartTrack

Despite the high approval for the SmartTrack plan, the majority of those aware of it say it will not benefit themselves or their neighbourhoods (55%), while just more than a quarter say it will (28%). One fifth have no opinion (17%). Believing it will benefit oneself and one's neighbourhood is characteristic of the youngest (49%), males (32%), the least wealthy (32%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 31%), in Scarborough (32%), among transit users (33%), renters (31%), those with some college or university (31%), residents of the downtown (34%), in neighbourhoods seen to be less wealthy than others (37%) and among those who approve of SmartTrack (38%). Thus, among those who approve of SmartTrack, more feel it will be of no benefit to themselves and their neighbours (41%) than think it will be a benefit (38%).


One quarter cast mayoral ballot to support SmartTrack

In answer to a question often posed, just more than a quarter of Toronto voters voted for a mayoral candidate because they themselves wanted to support SmartTrack (26%). Fully 6-in-10 were not motivated to vote by their support for SmartTrack (60%), and one tenth have no opinion (13%). Those who cast their ballot in favour of SmartTrack include the youngest (32%), the least educated (36%), provincial Liberals (31%), in Etobicoke (30%), in neighbourhoods seen to be wealthier than others (32%) and among more than a third of those who approve of SmartTrack (37%). John Tory voters were the most likely to say they had voted to support SmartTrack (44%). Ford (12%) and Chow voters (13%) didn't cast their ballots to favour the plan.

"Unfortunately, it appears the Union-Pearson Express appeals primarily to the wealthy, which was not its planned role. The SmartTrack plan, on the other hand, has high approval across the board, and a surprisingly large number of mayoral voters say it was the reason they cast their ballot the way they did. This bodes well for its future uptake," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.