Why does York Region need rapid transit?
More and more people are coming to York Region every day, to live, to work and to shop. This growth will bring with it many benefits, including more choices for housing, employment and recreation. But it also means our roads are getting increasingly congested. World-wide experience shows that the top priority to reduce traffic congestion is to have a great rapid transit network in place, making it easier for people to get around.
What is VivaNext?
VivaNext is the name for York Region’s exciting plan to bring true rapid transit to York Region. The VivaNext network of bus rapid transit, subway extensions and light rail transit is creating a rapid transit system that makes it easy to travel in and around York Region and connect to other transit systems across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
What is Metrolinx?
Metrolinx is a provincial agency created to improve the coordination and integration of all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The organization’s mission is to champion, develop and implement an integrated transportation system for our region that enhances prosperity, sustainability and quality of life.
What is rapid transit?
Rapid transit is defined as a public transit system that provides fast, frequent service, is able to move a lot of people, and runs on its own dedicated tracks or lanes. Examples of rapid transit include subways, light rail transit, and bus rapid transit.
What is bus rapid transit?
Bus rapid transit [BRT] provides fast, convenient service on dedicated lanes using buses. Because it’s built on roads, it offers some flexibility and is faster and less costly to build than rail-based transit. BRT has a higher passenger capacity [ridership], and more frequent service than conventional bus service, carrying up to approximately 8,000 passengers per hour. Light rail and subway are generally considered where future ridership is expected to be higher.
What are rapidways?
Rapidways are dedicated lanes in the centre of the road for Viva vehicles only. In response to emergencies, police, fire and ambulance vehicles use the rapidways and cross the median at designated intervals. Stations will be placed every kilometre or so, with passenger access located at intersections. Rapidways will allow Viva vehicles to zip past congested traffic.
How much will VivaNext projects cost? Who is paying for them?
Federal, Provincial, and Regional sources fund VivaNext projects with a total budget of $3.2 billion. Of this, $2 billion is for bus rapid transit [BRT] projects on Highway 7, Yonge Street and Davis Drive, in Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Newmarket. BRT costs include road widening for rapidways, Vivastations along each corridor, and new facilities, terminals, and vehicles. The York Region section of the Spadina Subway extension north of Steeles Avenue has a budget of $1.1 billion, and $0.1 billion is dedicated to strategic initiatives, including preparations for a Yonge Subway extension. In June 2016, the Province of Ontario committed over $55 million to advance design work on the planned Yonge Subway Extension to 15%.
How will traffic patterns change?
Rapidways will change how motorists will access properties and streets between intersections. Drivers will make safe, easy left turns and U-turns using the dedicated left turn signals at intersections. Each project keeps the same number of lanes for traffic, plus the rapidway lanes down the centre of the road for Viva.
What is the impact of removing mid-block left turns?
Traffic studies show that making turns using left and U-turns at traffic signals is safer and easier than making left turns mid-block.
How do police, fire and ambulance services travel where there are rapidways?
Emergency service vehicles can use the rapidways and cross the median at designated intervals, to improve their response time and bypass congestion. Emergency services have been, and will continue to be, consulted throughout design and construction.
What about the protection of heritage communities?
Traffic congestion affects our heritage communities. We believe improved mobility is good for everyone. To preserve and protect heritage areas, we have designed Viva to re-join mixed traffic where rapidways cannot be accommodated. For example, there are no rapidway lanes planned through the historical areas of Yonge Street in downtown Richmond Hill and Aurora.
How can I see what is being planned and share my thoughts?
Public input has been really important to the design of our projects, and we are committed to making it easy for you to share your thoughts, suggestions and questions. Exploring vivanext.com is your best way to keep up to date as our projects unfold, learn about exciting new developments, and read about upcoming public meetings. It’s also easy and convenient to get email updates simply by signing up here. We’ll let you know when something is being planned for your neighbourhood. For comments and general enquiries please visit our contact page.
When will construction of the rapidways begin and end?
Each rapidway has its own construction schedule, with segments being built in phases. The timing for each segment is posted on the system map as well as on individual project web pages:
Completion dates for the remaining segments are beyond 2020, and will require additional funding.
What are the steps to build the rapidways?
There are many stages to building a rapidway. Carrying out the work in a way that minimizes disruption to businesses, the neighbouring community and local traffic, requires very detailed planning and careful sequencing. The main tasks include:
As we move forward in building the new rapid transit system, VivaNext is committed to supporting local businesses during construction. We consulted with local chambers of commerce and boards of trade that have been representing local businesses for many years, to help us develop the Shop7, ShopYonge, Shop Bathurst & Centre and ShopDavis campaigns. Click here to see our advertising campaigns: www.vivanext.com/business-support
What impact will there be on traffic while construction is underway?
Minimizing the impact of construction on businesses, the neighbouring community and local traffic is a top priority. We will be making every effort to keep traffic moving, and to make sure the local community and drivers know in advance when and where construction is going to take place. For up-to-date information, you can always check vivanext.com.
What will you do to help businesses?
Long-term, VivaNext will benefit everyone in York Region, but we know that building major infrastructure projects is disruptive for the local community while construction is underway. We are committed to working closely with members of the community, business owners and local groups to find ways to minimize the impact, maintain business access, and complete our work as quickly as possible. We will commit to telling business owners in advance what we’re doing, when it will happen, and how long it is expected to take. And to make sure we’re always available, we will have a Community Liaison working full time to answer any questions or concerns.
How far will each of the rapidways extend?
The Highway 7 East rapidways will extend 6.4 kilometres with a curb-side Vivastation at Bayview Avenue, and 10 centre-lane Vivastations at Chalmers, Valleymede, West Beaver Creek, Leslie, East Beaver Creek, Allstate, Woodbine, Montgomery, South Town Centre and Cedarland.
Davis Drive rapidways will run for 2.6 kilometres with three centre-lane Vivastations at Parkside/Longford, Main, and Southlake Regional Health Centre, and two curb-side Vivastations at Alexander/Huron Heights and Leslie.
The Highway 7 West rapidways will go 15.9 kilometres. The construction of this rapidway will take place in two phases. The first phase will consist of three Vivastations at Keele, Creditstone and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (west of Jane Street). The second phase will have five centre-lane Vivastations at Helen, Pine Valley, Ansley Grove, Weston and Commerce, and one curb-side Vivastation at Bathurst. On Centre Street and Bathurst, four centre-lane Vivastations will be at Dufferin, Promenade, Atkinson and near Vaughan Boulevard.
The Yonge Street Richmond Hill rapidways will extend 6.5 kilometres with seven centre-lane Vivastations at Bantry, 16th/Carrville, Weldrick, Major Mackenzie, Elgin Mills, Bernard and 19th/Gamble, and one curb-side Vivastation at Crosby.
The Yonge Street Newmarket rapidways will run for 2.4 kilometres with three centre-lane Vivastations at Mulock, Eagle and Yonge.
What will the key areas look like when the rapidways are completed?
We’re very excited about how the rapidways will help Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill and Vaughan achieve their vision. The rapidways are part of the plan to make each of these communities more pedestrian friendly and filled with interesting places to live, work, shop and play. Our design will include landscaped boulevards and medians, more welcoming pedestrian-friendly public spaces, and wider sidewalks with attractive benches and lighting.
How will the rapidway construction impact the environment?
Hundreds more trees are being planted than removed. Our Biologist and Foresters help to minimize impacts to plants, animals and their habitats during construction. Also, tree planting along the boulevards will help create a more attractive place for everyone to enjoy.
When will the Yonge Subway Extension open?
The Environmental Assessment and Conceptual Design study are completed, the project remains on Metrolinx’s priority list for the next wave of funding, and in 2016, the Province of Ontario committed more than $55 million through Metrolinx to move designs forward. This work will take approximately 18 months to complete, and design, procurement and construction combined will take approximately 10 years to complete, once full funding has been secured.
What is the length of the Yonge Subway Extension?
The planned Yonge subway extension will extend 7.4 kilometres north from Finch Station to the Richmond Hill/Langstaff Urban Growth Centre at Highway 7.
How many stations will there be?
A number of stations were considered and evaluated. The Yonge Subway Extension will include five stations: Cummer/Drewry Station, Steeles Station, Clark Station, Langstaff/Longbridge Station and Richmond Hill Centre Terminal.
How much will it cost to build?
The cost of the Yonge Subway Extension is estimated to be $4 billion.
What is the length of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension [TYSSE]?
The TYSSE is 8.6 kilometres long, from its current terminus at Downsview Station in Toronto, up through York University, to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station at Highway 7 in Vaughan.
When will it open?
Construction of the TYSSE is well underway with the Toronto Transit Commission as project manager and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
How much will the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension [TYSSE] cost? Who is paying for it?
The Government of Canada has committed $697 million to the project. The Province of Ontario has provided $974 million towards the TYSSE project through the Move Ontario Trust. The City of Toronto is contributing $907 million to the project and The Regional Municipality of York is contributing $606 million.
How will fares work when the subway crosses into York Region? Will I have to pay a second fare?
The transit fares between York Region and the City of Toronto have not yet been determined. Metrolinx is working with transit agencies and municipal governments to implement PRESTO, an integrated fare policy based on travel distances. To learn more about PRESTO, you can visit www.prestocard.ca.
How can I find out more about subway projects?
Sign up for updates about the Yonge Subway Extension on vivanext.com/subscribe, and for detailed project information about the Spadina Subway Extension, visit the project website at www.spadina.ttc.ca or email them to sign up for email updates.