According to Oliver Moore in The Globe, the separate Metrolinx division responsible for the Union Pearson Express will be placed under GO Transit’s control. The fate of UPX President Kathy Haley is unclear.
UPX even managed to win awards from the Global AirRail Alliance for:
2015 Travelport Project of the Year – UP Express
2015 AccesRail Integrated Partnership of the Year – UP Express
2015 Personality of the Year – Kathy Haley, UP Express
2014 Air Rail Concept of the Year – UP Express: Strategic Partnerships, Toronto, Canada
2014 Travelport Project of the Year – UP Express: The Airport Connection
2013 Travelport Project of the Year – Union Pearson Express Project
One wonders who they were competing against, but the Alliance’s site does not list nominees, only winners. It is am impressive “project” that can rake in the hardware before ever carrying a passenger or proving its viability as a business. Such is the back-scratching nature of the industry, I must assume.
While it may be convenient to target Haley as the culprit here, the real question is how the structure and corporate attitude that led to UPX’ creation arose in the first place. From the beginning, this has been a project for which the word pretentious is almost inadequate. Despite the abandonment of this scheme by its original private sector proponent – for the simple reason that it was judged financially unsound – Ontario forged on with this as a signature project, part of the Bid Book for the Pan Am Games. We would show the world what Ontario could do.
Haley may take the fall for this fiasco, but she worked for a board who lapped up the praise, who bought into the flawed vision of what UPX would become. That board, and the government who set all of this in motion to begin with, owe us all an explanation.