TORONTO - The head of the struggling Union Pearson Express is reportedly getting eased out because of a Metrolinx restructuring — but the transit authority isn’t confirming it.
According to a media report, Kathy Haley, the president of UPX, may be part of a coming reorganization that would change her role and move the embattled airport train under the wing of GO Transit, shifting it to more of a commuter option.
“We do have a reorganization underway that has been (going on) for some time, but the plan for operations is still not finalized yet, so I can’t comment on it until it’s final,” Metrolinx spokesman Anne Marie Aikins said Wednesday night.
“I can’t answer that question (about Haley).”
Aikins said GO Transit taking direct control of UPX “could be part of the org review — bringing operations together, but UPX will continue to exist, as will GO Transit.”
Haley’s responsibilities included rolling out the train as a “premium service.” She has been with Metrolinx since 2011 as first president of the UPX.
When the train service launched last June, Metrolinx projected UPX would carry 5,000 passengers daily by June 2016 — the end of its first year run. But recently, Metrolinx admitted that its 170-seat trains have been operating with fewer than six passengers — 2,200 a day — in December.
Last week, Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig announced fares are being cut by more than half, effective March 9, to fill the empty seats.
A one-way adult fare will drop from $27.50 to $12. For riders with a Presto card, the $19 single fare will drop to $9.
About 7,000 riders are needed daily to break even. The line has a capacity to provide 17,000 rides per day.