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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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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 [...]

December 3, 2013

Twin tunnels completed for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension

VAUGHAN, ON, Dec. 3, 2013 – Construction of the twin tunnels is complete for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension. The final segment of tunnelling was finished when tunnel boring machine (TBM) “Torkie” broke through the headwall at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station site, finishing the tenth and final tunnel drive for the project. This sets [...]

October 18, 2013

Re-alignment of Parkside Drive in the Town of Newmarket is complete

As part of the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project on Davis Drive in the Town of Newmarket, Parkside Drive has been re-aligned to line up with Longford Drive as a full four-way intersection. The re-alignment eliminated one set of traffic lights and improves overall traffic flow in the area.

August 16, 2013

Highway 7 Viva Bus Rapid Transit Service Opens in York Region

Viva rapid transit service will begin on Sunday August 18 on the centre median, or rapidway, along Highway 7 in Richmond Hill from Bayview Avenue to Highway 404. An additional 3.9 kilometres of rapidway along Highway 7 from Highway 404 to Warden Avenue will open in 2014.

April 26, 2013

Paving of Highway 7 and vivaNext Rapidway Begins

Construction crews are hard at work in the Town of Richmond Hill and City of Markham as significant paving work begins on Highway 7, part of the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (vivaNext) rapidway project that is scheduled to open this summer between Bayview and Highway 404.

April 8, 2013

Construction of Viva Bus Rapid Transit Lanes in York Region Enters High Gear

MARKHAM, April 8, 2013 – Construction activity enters high gear on the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (vivaNext) rapidways in York Region this year. A significant number of utility companies, construction equipment and workers will be present along the Hwy. 7 and Davis Drive corridors throughout 2013. Power, gas, sewer and telecommunications lines and retaining [...]

March 13, 2013

Next stage of tunnel construction underway for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO – Today at the site of the future Highway 407 Station, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Halton; the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario; the Honourable Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure; His Worship Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto; Bill Fisch, Chairman [...]

January 22, 2013

Project Information Centre for Transit Construction Projects Opens in Vaughan

VAUGHAN – A new information centre has opened to the community in the City of Vaughan, to be shared by the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) project, and the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit – Highway 7 West rapidway project. The new office is a place for the community to make enquiries, see project maps, [...]

January 3, 2013

York Region transit facility to be built in Richmond Hill

RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO – The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Thornhill; Costas Menegakis, Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill; Reza Moridi, Member of Provincial Parliament for Richmond Hill; Dr. Helena Jaczek, Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges-Markham; and David Barrow, Mayor of the Town of Richmond Hill, marked [...]
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