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Viva Rapid Transit passengers can now think “Pink”

NEWMARKET
- The first workday of 2006 marks the opening of the fourth stage of the Viva
Rapid Transit service. The Pink Line began operating today, providing a new
week-day peak period service along Yonge Street and Highway 7 from Finch
Station to Unionville Station. It will run from 5:45 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. and from
3:10 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.

“The opening of the Pink Line represents another significant
milestone, and brings us one step closer to full implementation of Viva Phase
One,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch. “Viva has been implemented in
four stages since September and early reviews are extremely positive. Ridership
numbers are steadily increasing as awareness grows and as people have an
opportunity to try out this innovative new service.”

In September and October 2004, 2.8 million people boarded
York Region Transit (YRT) buses. For the same two months of 2005, 3.4 million
people boarded YRT and Viva, resulting in an overall increase in ridership of
more than 20%.

“The ridership numbers are extremely encouraging and we are
confident that the upward trend is going to continue” said Town of Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell,
Vice Chair of the York Region Rapid Transit Steering Committee. “I am proud of
the fact that Viva has been implemented smoothly, with every stage opening
right on schedule for the benefit of thousands of riders. I applaud all of
those on the front lines delivering the Viva service each and every day.”

The stages of Viva implementation included:

- On September 4th, Viva began running along Yonge Street from
Finch Subway Station to Bernard Station, and along Highway 7 from York University
to Town Centre Boulevard.

- On October 16th, Viva expanded along Highway 7 from Town Centre Boulevard
to McCowan, from Martin Grove via York
University to Downsview
Subway Station, and from Unionville Station to the Don Mills Subway Station.

- On November 20th, Viva expanded along Yonge Street from Bernard Station to the
Newmarket Terminal. Along Highway 7, weekday peak-hour service extensions will
be added from York
University to Martin
Grove and from Unionville Station to McCowan.

- Service to Cornell in the east end of Markham has been delayed and is expected to
be completed later in the year.

- Viva links the Region’s urban centres of Markham,
Richmond Hill, Vaughan,
Aurora and Newmarket.
In addition, Viva links York Region with the City of Toronto and its subway system, to GO Transit,
to the Region of Peel and eventually to Durham Region.

Frequency is the hallmark of Viva with rapid transit
vehicles arriving every five to 10 minutes during peak periods. New fare
vending machines, located at all Viva stations and terminals, sell tickets that
can be used on both Viva and YRT with no increase in price. Tickets are valid
for 120 minutes, providing passengers up to two hours to hop on and hop off to
run errands. Along with this frequency and flexibility, Viva also provides real
time information so passengers know exactly when the next vehicle is arriving.

This is the first of three Phases in a 20-year transit
expansion plan. In Phase Two, the Region will build dedicated transit lanes
separating the Viva vehicles from mixed traffic. If funding is secured and the
environmental assessments approved, construction could begin in 2007.

“Viva is a tremendous rapid transit service that will
benefit people in York Region and throughout the GTA for generations to come,”
added Chairman Fisch. “Although this initial phase offers passengers a package
of innovative rapid transit elements, Phase Two of Viva will truly put the
“Rapid” in rapid transit.”

For more information on YRT routes and fares, visit the York
Region Transit Web site at www.yorkregiontransit.com or call toll-free at
1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978).

For information on Viva Rapid Transit please visit:
www.vivayork.com

For TTC routes, please visit the TTC website at www.ttc.ca
or call 416-393-INFO (4636)

For more information on The Regional Municipality of York,
the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit
our Web site at: www.york.ca

Dan Miles,

York Region Rapid Transit Corporation

(905) 886-6767, Ext. 2250 Cell 416 989-6186

dan.miles@york.ca

 

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