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York Region Viva rapid transit fleet expanding

- The fleet of Viva rapid transit vehicles is expanding to keep pace with the
steady growth in ridership. Today, York Regional Council approved the purchase
of five additional Viva 60-foot articulated vehicles from the award winning
Belgian bus manufacturer Van Hool. These vehicles will be available for service
beginning in 2007.

“The fact we need additional vehicles is a tribute to the
excellent service Viva is providing throughout our Region,” said York Regional
Chair and CEO Bill Fisch. “Commuters are using both Viva and York Region
Transit (YRT) in growing numbers, and are finding tremendous value in our
frequent and comfortable service.”

The total cost of the vehicles is $3,882,793, plus
applicable taxes. Regional Council is seeking to cost share the purchase with
the senior levels of government, possibly through the Ontario Transit Vehicles
Program and York Region’s portion of the Federal Gas Tax.

“This is a worthwhile long-term investment that will improve
service and eventually lead to a reduction in traffic congestion and improved
air quality throughout the Region,” said Township of King Mayor
Margaret Black, Chair of the Region’s Transit
Committee. “The growth in ridership over the past few months has been
tremendous, but we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. I encourage everyone
to park their keys and give Viva a try.”

Due to increased ridership and congestion growth on Yonge Street, the
Viva Blue Line is quickly reaching capacity. Between September 2005 and
December 2005, Viva and YRT experienced an increase in the number of boardings
on Yonge Street
of more than 33 per cent. The increase in the number of boardings in the system
overall was more than 21 per cent.

The boarding numbers for the entire Viva/YRT system are as


2004 – 1,461,789

2005 – 1,747,262

% Change – +19.5%


2004 – 1,400,554

2005 – 1,688,958

% Change – +19.2%


2004 – 1,511,648

2005 – 1,853,355

% Change – +21.4%


2004 – 1,355,823

2005 – 1,691,703

% Change – +24.8%


2004 – 5,729,814

2005 – 6,943,278

% Change – +21.2%

During the first four months of operation, midday boardings
(between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.) on the Viva Blue Line have grown
significantly. During a midday trip from Newmarket to the Finch station along
Yonge Street, people are now getting on and getting off each Viva vehicle an
average of 81.6 times.

“The large number of people getting on Viva midday is the
result of our two-hour hop on, hop off policy,” added Chairman Fisch. “People
are using transit to go out for a quick lunch or run a few errands. It’s
innovations like these that are attracting a whole new generation of riders.”

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, GO Transit,
the Region of Peel and eventually with Durham Region.

Frequency is the hallmark of Viva with rapid transit
vehicles arriving every five to 12 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. Viva also provides
real time information so passengers know exactly when the next vehicle is

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 as early as 2007.

“Viva is a tremendous rapid transit service that will
benefit people in York Region and throughout the GTA for generations to come,”
said 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 or call toll-free at 1-866-MOVE-YRT

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

For live transit updates with reporter Rebekah Murdoch, tune
in to A-Channel weekday mornings between 6:35 a.m. and 8:35 a.m.


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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 [...]