Viva Rapid Transit receives the Peter J. Marshall Municipal Innovation Award

AMO recognizes the Regional Municipality of York for
managing growth with efficiency

NEWMARKET
- Viva Rapid Transit has received the Peter J. Marshall Municipal Innovation
Award from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) for combining
sound planning with new technology to manage future growth and promote better
traffic flow.

The award was accepted by York Regional Chair and CEO Bill
Fisch, who is also President of the York Region Rapid Transit Corporation, at
the 2006 Annual AMO Conference in Ottawa
on August 15th.

“One of our greatest challenges in York Region is congestion
and Viva Rapid Transit already is making a huge difference that will be
sustainable for years to come,” said Chair Fisch. “Viva is making it possible
for people to leave their cars at home, which also creates a positive impact on
the air we breathe.”

The Peter J. Marshall Municipal Innovation Award recognizes
municipal governments that demonstrate excellence in the use of innovative
approaches to improve capital and/or operating efficiency, and to generate
effectiveness through alternative service delivery initiatives and
partnerships.

“The vision for Viva Rapid Transit includes more than just
shorter commutes to work,” said Town of Richmond
Hill Mayor Bill Bell, Vice Chair of the Region’s Rapid
Transit Committee. “One of Viva’s primary goals is to become the infrastructure
backbone supporting the development of transit villages where people can live
and work without always using their vehicle.”

According to AMO, York Region’s Viva Rapid Transit is a
model for the management of growing commuter needs, efficient implementation
and better environmental protection.

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.

Viva is the first public-private partnership of its kind in Canada for a
major transportation infrastructure program. York Region partnered with York
Consortium, an association of seven private sector firms that bring extensive
international experience in transit design, architecture, construction and
operations.

Viva is in its first of three phases in a 20-year transit
expansion plan. The first phase was implemented quickly and efficiently, going
from vision to reality in three years. The project delivery method was on time
and on budget. Within four months in early 2005, total transit boardings along
the Yonge Street
corridor were running 34 per cent ahead of the previous year. Ridership on both
Viva and York Region Transit (YRT) continues to increase steadily and is up 10
per cent in 2006 alone.

In Phase 2, 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.

Named in honour of one of Ontario’s
youngest and most innovative municipal finance commissioners, the Peter J.
Marshall Award is an annual competitive process, with submissions by Ontario municipalities
that are judged on their creativity and success in implementing new, innovative
ways of serving the public.

The Innovation Award’s objective is to showcase instances
where Ontario
municipalities can point to tangible outcomes from new, more cost effective
ways of providing public services and facilities. By awarding and profiling
innovation, AMO continues to advance creativity and strong municipal
government.

For more information on the Regional Municipality of York
and our services, please visit www.york.ca

Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications, York Region

Phone: (905) 830-4444 Ext. 1238

Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

 

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