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Public Embraced VivaNext in 2008

By Mary-Frances Turner, V.P. York
Region Rapid Transit Corporation

They came by the hundreds to see the rapid transit system of the future. People of all ages, from communities across Toronto and York Region, attended a series of public meetings and workshops throughout 2008. They watched presentations, reviewed engineering plans and, most importantly, asked questions and provided input.

This flurry of public interest, excitement and community pride was generated by the anticipation of vivaNext, the plan to deliver the next generation of rapid transit to York Region and connect our growing communities.

VivaNext is the plan that puts the “rapid” into rapid transit. Working together with the City of Toronto and Toronto Transit Commission, vivaNext includes the extension of the Spadina subway line to the Vaughan Corporate Centre and Yonge subway line to the Richmond Hill Centre. This will be the first time in history that York Region will be serviced by modern subways!

VivaNext spawns vibrant, pedestrian-friendly places for people to live, work and play and better ways for them to get to those places.  The prospect of the Yonge subway being extended beyond Finch Station has generated a lot of positive public comments such as: “…it’s a great thing, not good, great!”, “I think it’s a dream come true!”, and “We are taking part in history making here!”

VivaNext will also take our blue Viva buses out of mixed traffic and move them into their own dedicated lanes down the middle of the street – called rapidways. Imagine how much faster your trips will be when they are operating in their own lanes along Highway 7, Yonge Street and Davis Drive.

It was a pivotal year for vivaNext in 2008 for a number of reasons. In November, the provincial transportation planning organization – Metrolinx, selected two infrastructure projects for construction beginning in 2009. Metrolinx gave its final approval to a $7 billion, five-year capital plan that includes over $1 billion for construction of several vivaNext rapidways. The Government of Ontario is expected to confirm this funding in the 2009 Spring Budget.

In the meantime, shovels are in the ground marking the early stages of construction of vivaNext. Over 400 metres of storm sewer lines, including manholes and catch basins, are being installed along Enterprise Boulevard in Markham. This project, east of Warden Avenue, is the first step in building a Viva rapidway. This initiative is modest in scope, but it is a positive sign of progress.

Together with public input, we are planning, designing and building a modern transit system to ensure we keep pace with tremendous growth, improve connectivity among our communities and preserve the quality of life people have come to appreciate. VivaNext spawns vibrant, pedestrian-friendly places for people to live, work and play and better ways for them to get to those places. As many of those who attended the public meetings so aptly put it, vivaNext “is long overdue.”

People appreciate the level of cooperation being demonstrated by all levels of government and understand the benefits of planning for the future. It is the best way we can accomplish such a large, complex infrastructure project. We witnessed positive progress in 2008 and we are confident 2009 will be even better.

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December 23, 2014

Construction of York Viva Bus Rapid Transit Lanes – Year in Review

Transit users experiencing up to 35 per cent travel time savings on the new rapidways MARKHAM, ON, Dec. 23, 2014 – Construction on the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (vivaNext) rapidways across York Region saw a lot of progress along each corridor this year. On Davis Drive in Newmarket, utilities and telecommunications were relocated in [...]

December 5, 2014

First Viva BRT Station Installed on Davis Drive

NEWMARKET, ON, December 5, 2014 – Together with Metrolinx, The Regional Municipality of York is a step closer to improving rapid transit in Newmarket with the installation of the first vivastation at Longford/Parkside Drive and Davis Drive. The steel canopy structures that comprise the east and westbound platforms are in place and crews will continue to progress over the [...]

November 19, 2014

Tom Taylor Trail re-opens under the Keith Bridge

NEWMARKET, ON, November 19, 2014 – With reconstruction of the Keith Bridge nearing completion, the Tom Taylor Trail has re-opened and has been reinstated back to its original location under the bridge. Highlights: The Keith Bridge in the Town of Newmarket is being reconstructed as part of the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project [...]

September 15, 2014

Highway 7 Viva Bus Rapid Transit Service opens in City of Markham

MARKHAM, ON, Sept. 15, 2014 – Today, the Honourable Steven Del Duca, Ontario Minister of Transportation; the Honourable Michael Chan, MPP Markham-Unionville; Bill Fisch, Chairman and CEO, The Regional Municipality of York; and Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO, Metrolinx, officially marked the opening of the next segment of bus rapid transit (rapidway) that will run in the centre median of [...]

September 10, 2014

Construction Teams Invited to Bid on York Viva Bus Rapid Transit Expansion

YORK REGION, ON, Sept. 9, 2014 – Metrolinx has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to three teams pre-qualified to deliver the next phase of the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (vivaNext) rapidways project in Vaughan and Markham. The expanded vivaNext rapid transit system will make it easy to travel in and around York Region [...]

July 25, 2014

Teams Prequalified For York viva Bus Rapid Transit Expansion

YORK REGION, ON, July 25, 2014 – Metrolinx, The Regional Municipality of York and Infrastructure Ontario have announced the three teams prequalified to design, build and finance the next phase of York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (vivaNext) rapidways in the cities of Vaughan and Markham. Based on a request for qualifications issued in December 2013, [...]

April 24, 2014

Expansion of the CN MacMillan Bridge Underway in the City of Vaughan

VAUGHAN, ON, April 24, 2014 - As part of the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit [vivaNext] rapidway project on Highway 7 West in the City of Vaughan, construction has started on the south side of the Canadian National Railway [CN] MacMillan Bridge, located west of Keele Street. The bridge surface will be widened approximately 8-metres to accommodate [...]

April 22, 2014

Rapid Transit Contract Awarded for Yonge Street in Richmond Hill and Newmarket

RICHMOND HILL, ON, April 22, 2014 - York RapidLINK Constructors has been awarded the $260.5 million contract to design and build the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (vivaNext) rapidways along Yonge Street in the Towns of Richmond Hill and Newmarket, a project that will create thousands of jobs. The project involves widening Yonge Street within [...]

January 30, 2014

Viva Bus Rapid Transit Project Wins Project of the Year Award from Ontario Public Works Association

MARKHAM, ON, Jan. 30, 2014 - York Region Rapid Transit Corporation today received the Project of the Year Award for the Highway 7 Viva Bus Rapid Transit (rapidway) project in The Town of Richmond Hill from the Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA) for a transportation project valued greater than $50 million. “I am very pleased the vivaNext rapidway project [...]