Highway 7 Viva Bus Rapid Transit Service Opens in York Region
RICHMOND HILL, ON, Aug. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure; Bill Fisch, chairman and CEO of The Regional Municipality of York; and Rob Prichard, chairman of Metrolinx, announced that the first 2.5 kilometres of bus rapid transit (BRT) in Richmond Hill will open on Sunday.
Viva rapid transit service will begin 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.
"The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area is facing a gridlock crisis that is costing our economy an estimated $6 billion a year and is compromising the quality of life for residents," said Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure. "If not addressed, this problem will continue to grow as our population increases and further burdens our economy. The Ontario government is taking action by moving forward with the largest transit investment in a generation to get the region moving."
"Opening this segment four months ahead of schedule surpasses our goal and provides an immediate advantage to our growing number of transit customers," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. "We will continue to work hard to complete the remainder of the rapid transit project over the next five years, bringing over 37 kilometres of rapidways to York Region."
"York Region has been a wonderful partner as we work together to improve transit, reduce congestion and improve the environment," said Robert Prichard, Chair of Metrolinx. "This project shows clear progress as we continue to invest in The Big Move and get the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) moving to alleviate the congestion on our roadways."
The transformation of this section of Highway 7 included building wider boulevards, planting more trees and shrubs, and adding dedicated bike lanes.
The stations include arched glass canopies inspired by transportation architecture from historic and modern European examples. The 27-metre glass canopy offers protection from the elements, including a nine-metre enclosed and heated waiting area. The stations also complement the existing Viva technologies, including off-board fare collection, GPS navigation, real-time information, Presto, new card readers and traffic signal priority. Safety and accessibility features include textured surfaces near platform edges, level boarding from the platform to the bus, a public address system for updating riders and an emergency call button.
The York VIiva BRT project received $1.4 billion from the province, and is an example of The Big Move in action - Metrolinx's 25-year plan to implement a common vision for transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The project is being implemented by Metrolinx, an agency of the Province of Ontario. For more information about The Big Move, visit bigmove.ca.
York Region Rapid Transit Corporation (YRRTC) is responsible for the planning, design and construction of the full vivaNext rapid transit network and related infrastructure to deliver on the transit priorities set out in the York Region Transportation Master Plan. YRRTC is a wholly-owned subsidiary and share capital corporation of The Regional Municipality of York. The vivaNext plan is a key component of the vision outlined by Ontario's Places to Grow Act, which aims to manage growth in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way that enriches communities. For more information, please visit www.vivanext.com.
SOURCE Metrolinx vivaNextFor further information:
York Region Rapid Transit Corporation
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Ontario Ministry of Transportation