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First Viva BRT station now open in York Region

MARKHAM, ONTARIO, 2011 – Together with Metrolinx, The Regional Municipality of York is making progress on improving rapid transit with the opening of its first bus rapid transit (BRT) station (vivastation). Warden Station, located at Warden Avenue and Enterprise Boulevard in Markham, is the first of 11 new vivastations to be built along Highway 7 in Markham and Richmond Hill in the next phase of Viva service – BRT rapidways.

On March 6, service began along the first rapidway segment that runs along Enterprise Boulevard from Warden Avenue to Birchmount Road. As part of York Region’s vivaNext plan, rapidways will take Viva rapid transit vehicles out of mixed traffic, making public transit even faster, more convenient and more reliable as they avoid congested traffic.

“Here in Markham, at this state-of-the-art rapid transit station, and across the province, the McGuinty government is continuing to work with municipal partners to improve transit services,” said Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville. “These investments are part of the Ontario government’s Open Ontario Plan to strengthen our economy and create jobs.”

Warden Station is located at the western entrance to Downtown Markham – a pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented urban development site that is a key component of Markham’s Urban Growth Centre and part of the Province’s Places to Grow strategy.

“The launch of the first rapid transit station is a pivotal moment for York Region as our plan to provide a modern transit system that is able to manage future growth is becoming a reality,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “The continued investment in public transit we’ve received from the Province continues to enable York Region to work toward a reliable, convenient and comprehensive rapid transit system.”

The rapid transit station is designed for safety and comfort and will serve the rapid transit system for generations to come. The stations include arched glass canopies inspired by great transportation architecture from historic and modern European examples. The 27-metre glass canopy offers protection from the elements, including a 9-metre enclosed and heated waiting area. The details at vivastations complement the existing Viva technologies, including off-board fare collection, GPS navigation, real-time information, Presto and new card reader. Full safety and accessibility features include a textured surface near platform edge, level boarding from the platform to the bus, a public address system for updating riders and an emergency call button.

“This project is the realization of how important investments in transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) help encourage people to use transit, reduce congestion and improve the environment,” said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx. “In partnership with York Region, we are making progress that will transform regional public transit in the GTHA.”

This project is funded through Metrolinx, an agency of the Province of Ontario working to transform regional transit expansion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Read about Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan, The Big Move.

York Region’s vivaNext plan is a key component of the vision outlined by Ontario’s Places to Grow Act, which aims to manage growth in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way that enriches communities. For more information about the vivaNext plan, please visit www.vivanext.com.

Contact:

Dale Albers
York Region Rapid Transit Corporation
905-886-6767, ext. 1020
dale.albers@york.ca

Vanessa Thomas
Metrolinx
416-874-5974
vanessa.thomas@metrolinx.com

Kelly Baker
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Minister’s office
416-327-1815

Bob Nichols
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Communications Branch
416-327-1159

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