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Government partnership celebrates unveiling of new Viva bus rapid transit vehicles for York Region

MARKHAM, ONTARIO, 2010 – New vehicles for York Region’s Viva bus rapid transit (BRT) were unveiled today on a segment of newly constructed rapidway along Enterprise Drive in Markham, Ontario. Lois Brown, Member of Parliament for Newmarket-Aurora, along with Michael Chan, Member of Provincial Parliament for Markham-Unionville, York Region chairman and CEO Bill Fisch, and Metrolinx president and CEO Bruce McCuaig participated in the event.

The existing Viva service connects Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Aurora and Newmarket, and also links to neighbouring regions of Toronto, Peel and Durham. The rapidway along Enterprise Drive will be the first segment of dedicated lanes for Viva rapid transit vehicles to be completed in York Region.

“The unveiling of these new Viva BRT vehicles is another step towards improving transit services in the Greater Toronto Area,” said MP Brown. “This investment will help increase the reliability and efficiency of the transit system, reduce traffic congestion and support the local economy.”

“Today’s announcement is an important step in building a modern rapid transit system for the region,” said MPP Chan. “Through the McGuinty government’s Open Ontario plan, we are investing in infrastructure and strengthening our economy. Our government is committed to helping the Region of York to increase its public transit use, reduce gridlock, improve air quality and build stronger communities.”

“These projects provide lasting benefits to those who live and work in York Region,” said Mr. Fisch. “Together, we are building a modern transit network that includes this new fleet of vehicles, subway extensions and an efficient operations yard, to ensure we keep pace with the planned growth and preserve the quality of life people have come to expect in York Region.”

“The growth of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area is critical to the region’s success and we continue to make progress at delivering transit solutions,” said Mr. McCuaig. “York Region’s new Viva rapid transit is a great example of how when we partner together we make progress in transforming the way the region moves.”

The 46 new BRT vehicles chosen for the Viva system are manufactured by Nova Bus in St-Eustache, Quebec, and will be delivered in phases. The final delivery will be made by 2015. These buses will be equipped with an in-vehicle Intelligent Transportation System that will be fully compatible with York Region’s existing transit management system.

Using clean, hybrid diesel-electric technology, the vehicles will offer a smooth, comfortable ride as part of York Region’s commitment to provide reliable, convenient service to passengers.

The total cost of these BRT vehicles is approximately $47.2 million. The Government of Canada has committed $22.1 million to their purchase, with a matching commitment from York Region of $22.1 million. The Province of Ontario has contributed the remaining $3.0 million through the Metrolinx Quick Wins initiative. 

The federal government’s commitment towards the purchase of these vehicles is being funded through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) and falls under FLOW, the Government of Canada’s initiative for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that is designed to reduce congestion, cut commute times, help clear the air and help drive the economy in the GTA. 

The purchase of these BRT vehicles under the federal CSIF is part of a larger project that includes the construction of an operations, maintenance and storage facility in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and the construction of Cornell Terminal in the Town of Markham, Ontario. The total estimated cost for this CSIF project is $170 million, with the federal government committing up to $85 million.

In addition, in spring 2009 the province announced that Ontario is moving ahead with more than $9 billion for Metrolinx priority projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, which includes $1.4 billion for York Viva BRT on Highway 7 and Yonge Street. The vehicles being announced today will support this broader rapid transit initiative in York Region. 

A backgrounder with information on federal transit investments in the GTA, provincial transit investments in York Region and York Region’s vivaNext plan is attached.

Contact:

Dale Albers                        
York Region Rapid Transit Corporation        
Cell: 416-206-3716                
dale.albers@york.ca

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