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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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August 18, 2016

Canopy over BRT station being installed in the City of Vaughan

VAUGHAN, August 18, 2016 – Today, the first steel supports for a 9.1-metre high and 50-metre long canopy were delivered to support the roof of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre [VMC] – Spadina Subway Station. The station is located along Highway 7, west of Jane Street at Millway Avenue, in the City of Vaughan and is [...]

July 6, 2016

York Region launches campaign in support of the Yonge Subway Extension

Everyone encouraged to sign online petition NEWMARKET, July 5, 2016 – Today, The Regional Municipality of York and York Region Rapid Transit Corporation kicked off a campaign to educate and rally the public in support of the Yonge Subway Extension north to Highway 7 in Richmond Hill. The first phase of the campaign includes the official [...]

May 17, 2016

Viva Bus Rapid Transit Wins Business Support Award from Canadian Urban Transit Association

MARKHAM, May 17, 2016 – York Region Rapid Transit Corporation (YRRTC) has been recognized for communications excellence by the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA). During CUTA’s annual meeting in Halifax, YRRTC won the National Corporate Leadership Award for its business support communications campaign during the construction of Viva dedicated bus rapid transit lanes along Davis Drive in [...]

April 7, 2016

Construction Continues on Viva Bus Rapid Transit Projects in York Region

MARKHAM, April 7, 2016 – With the arrival of spring, vivaNext is ramping up construction activity on the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (vivaNext) rapidways in York Region. Utility companies, construction equipment and crews will be present this year in the City of Vaughan along Highway 7 West, Bathurst Street and Centre Street, in the Town [...]

December 22, 2015

York Viva Bus Rapid Transit Construction – Year in Review

The vision of rapid transit is becoming a reality across York Region MARKHAM, December 22, 2015 – This year, significant progress was made on the implementation of the York Region Viva Bus Rapid Transit [vivaNext]. The Davis Drive rapidway in Newmarket opened in November. This new “Yellow” Viva route travels within dedicated median transit lanes [...]

November 27, 2015

Viva Bus Rapid Transit Service Opens in the Town of Newmarket

NEWMARKET, November 27, 2015 – Ontario, Metrolinx and The Regional Municipality of York announce Sunday’s opening of 2.6 kilometres of bus rapid transit [rapidway] along Davis Drive in the Town of Newmarket, and a park and ride facility at Davis Drive and Highway 404. Service of the new “Yellow” Viva route will begin on Davis [...]

October 29, 2015

York Region Celebrates Markham’s Transformation

MARKHAM, October 29, 2015 – Today the Honourable Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation; Wayne Emmerson, Chairman and CEO, The Regional Municipality of York; Jack Collins, Chief Capital Officer, Metrolinx; and Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of the City of Markham and Chairman of York Region’s Rapid Transit Corporation board, joined together to celebrate the transformation of Markham, [...]

September 28, 2015

York Viva Bus Rapid Transit Expansion reaches major milestone in York Region

VAUGHAN, September 28, 2015 – Metrolinx and York Region Rapid Transit Corporation (YRRTC) today announced the award of a $333.2 million contract to EDCO to design, build and finance the next phase of the dedicated York Viva Bus Rapid Transit rapidways along the Highway 7 corridor in the City of Vaughan and Town of Richmond [...]

September 18, 2015

Final Paving Begins on Davis Drive as Rapidway Prepares to Open

NEWMARKET, September 16, 2015 – Final paving will begin on Davis Drive in Newmarket next week and will continue intermittently over the next several weeks. The first phase of paving will take place from just west of Yonge Street to just east of Main Street. Once the paving is completed on the west end of [...]