The Best Way to Get to Pearson

If you don’t have a lot of experience travelling through the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), getting out to Pearson airport from Toronto and back can be challenging, though it’s better than it used to be.

There are public, private, and shared-economy means of transportation that are not always the fastest, the safest, the most convenient, and the cheapest option at the same time.

The perfect way to get to Pearson would also depend on the are of Toronto you are starting your destination from, the time of your travel, your flight/hotel/airport shuttle benefits, as well as on whether Toronto is your initial (final) destination in the first place.

There are pros and cons to each transportation method. What works for some travellers may not work for others.

For example, do you care about costs, safety, time or comfort? Everything matters.

Consequently, it’s best if you consider your options carefully and decide which of them, under the circumstances is your perfect way of getting to the Toronto Pearson International Airport. The airport website offers a tool to assess your best journey.

Pearson is about 25 miles (40 km) away from downtown Toronto, or around 30 to 40 minutes by car. Here are the possible travelling alternatives to get there:


Taking the UP (Union-Pearson) Express to Your NEXUS Interview

Trains are still the most comfortable, easiest on the budget, and fastest means for most people. But until 2015, there was no train to Pearson. Fortunately, now UP Express links Pearson airport to Union Station, the city’s main train station. The convenient 15-minute departure itinerary means you won’t have to wait for a train for too long, and you’ll get to Pearson quickly, in about 25 minutes, and for low fares:

  • Adult (ages 20-64) and Student (ages 13-19): $24.70 for a 1 stop return fare, $12.35 for a 1 stop one-way fare
  • Senior (ages 65+): $12.40 for a 1 stop return fare, $6.20 for a 1 stop one-way fare
  • Family: $25.70 for a 1 stop return fare

All fares are cheaper with a Presto card. If you decide to travel to Weston or Bloor, you will pay only a portion of the fare to cover the distance in kilometres.


Taking Public Transit (TTC) to Your NEXUS Interv iew

Taking the Bus requires more time, but it is a cost-effective, around-the-clock alternative to get to Pearson. There is no subway or streetcar service to Pearson.


Taking the 192 Airport Rocket to Your NEXUS Interview

The Airport Rocket connects Kipling Station on the Bloor-Danforth Subway line with Pearson International Airport Terminals 1 and 3. It requires a transfer and the ride will last 45 minutes.


Taking the 58A Malton Bus to Your NEXUS Interview

The 58A rides along Lawrence Avenue, through the northern part of Toronto, from Lawrence West subway station.


Brampton, Mississauga, and GO Transit for NEXUS

These transit alternatives connect points beyond the city of Toronto itself to Pearson Terminals 1 and 3.


The cost of a TTC ticket depends on the type of pass you have. Single fare cash purchases cost $3.25, while ticket, token and Presto fares are $3 each. If you own a previously purchased weekly or monthly pass, you can use it for the public transit airport fare and save on overall transportation costs. It’s always best to purchase a ticket from a vending machine to be able to get change or to pay with a card.

Brampton, Mississauga and GO Transit fares can be looked up online.


Taxis and Limousines for NEXUS Interviews

A taxi will take you from Pearson Airport to hotels or other accommodation in the Greater Toronto Area in about half an hour. For safety and cost purposes, always take a licensed taxi from a designated taxi stand. Taxi stands are located outside of airport terminals. Rides are charged per kilometre and per car. The average cost is $50 to $60 for downtown Toronto locations, and about $75 for points further to the east.

Limousine (black cab) rides last about the same, but they provide a higher class of service and can cost more. It is recommended that you call ahead and book a limousine to get fair predetermined rates. It is appropriate to tip limousine and taxi drivers with a few extra dollars on top of the metered fare.


Hotel Shuttles for NEXUS Interviews

Hotels located near Pearson may provide complimentary hotel shuttle rides, but this practice is not so common for downtown Toronto hotels. Before you travel, check if your hotel package or other travel loyalty programs include a complimentary airport shuttle service.


Commercial Shuttles for NEXUS Interviews

If you need to travel from Toronto Pearson International Airport to a nearby tourist destination, you can consider booking a commercial shuttle company or out-of-town van services. There are several private companies that offer tours to tourist locations or specialized rides. Therefore, it’s worth calling them ahead and checking the fares if you’re going to travel for pleasure to such destinations. As a general rule, commercial shuttle companies are cheaper than taxis, but fares depend on the final destination.


Car Rentals for NEXUS Interviews

You can choose from a dozen car rental companies, out of which six international brands are located on site, including Avis, Hertz, Budget, National/Alamo, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Dollar/Thrifty. These are located on Level 1 of the garage of each airport terminal. The remaining are outside the airport and can be contacted for pickups from Viscount station on the intra-terminal train line.


Uber/Lyft for NEXUS Interview

Although it doesn’t stand high on the lists of those looking for the safest and the most consistent option, Uber or Lyft is a valid travel alternative from and to the Pearson airport. You can book via the Uber app which you need to download to your smartphone. At about $70 to get to downtown Toronto, shared Uber and Lyft rides are a bit more expensive and volatile than taxi rides because the pricing can change and include an airport surcharge fee of $15.


Choose Your Priorities

The perfect way to get to Pearson will depend on what’s your priority when you travel. Since most people prefer fast and affordable travel, getting on the UP Express would be their preference.

UP Express beats other options in these two essential factors, and is, overall, the option that encompasses most of the benefits.

However, if you have other preferences, have a look at the lists below to find your best way in terms of the preferred travel benefit.


Cost of Traveling to Pearson for Your NEXUS Interview

  1. Public Transit (Bus)
  2. UP Express
  3. Taxi
  4. Commercial shuttle companies
  5. Uber
  6. Limousine
  7. Car rental


Best Way to NEXUS Interview by Safety Rating

  1. UP Express
  2. Public Transit (Bus)
  3. Taxi
  4. Limousine
  5. Uber
  6. Commercial shuttle companies
  7. Car rental


Fastest Way to NEXUS Interview at Pearson

  1. UP Express
  2. Taxi
  3. Uber
  4. Limousine
  5. Public Transit (Bus)
  6. Commercial shuttle companies
  7. Car rental


Most Comfortable Way to NEXUS Card Interview at Pearson

  1. Limousine
  2. Taxi
  3. Uber
  4. Car rental
  5. UP Express
  6. Commercial shuttle companies
  7. Public Transit (Bus)


How to Activate Your NEXUS Card

Biljana Ogenenova
Biljana Ogenenova
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