Viva Bus Rapid Transit Service Opens in the Town of Newmarket

NEWMARKET, ON, Nov. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - 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 Drive at 6:52 a.m. on Sunday, November 29. Viva will travel in the rapidway from Yonge Street to Roxborough Road, and then continue in mixed traffic with curbside stops and a turn-around at the new park and ride facility at Highway 404. The new park and ride facility was built in partnership with GO Transit, York Region and the Ministry of Transportation to provide enhanced connectivity between GO Transit and Viva services. GO Transit will begin service to the new park and ride lot in January 2016.

"Ontario is pleased to announce the launch of bus rapid transit service along Davis Drive that will improve public transit for York Region," said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation. "We are continuing to move forward with large transit investments to keep the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area moving. This is further proof of our government's commitment to making the daily commute and quality of life better for Ontario families."

"Opening this section of rapidway in Newmarket marks a significant goal in our transportation plans, and provides immediate transit benefits to our growing number of transit customers," said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. "The Davis Drive rapidway will further develop and create a northern hub in a seamless transit system for people travelling in York Region."

"Metrolinx's commitment to transit in the GTHA remains strong, and we're pleased to see our partnership with York Region resulting in these important transit improvements," said Jack Collins, Chief Capital Officer of Metrolinx. "We continue to invest in transit projects to get the GTHA moving and to help manage traffic congestion."

The transformation of this section of Davis Drive includes wider boulevards, more trees and shrubs, and rapid transit stations designed for safety and comfort.

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 details at vivastations complement the existing Viva technologies, including off-board fare collection, GPS navigation, real-time information, PRESTO smart card readers and traffic signal priority. Safety and accessibility features include a textured surface near the platform edge, level boarding from the platform to the bus, a public address system for updating riders and an emergency call button.

The broader York Viva bus rapid transit (BRT) project represents a $1.4 billion transit investment from the Government of Ontario, and is part of Metrolinx's Regional Transportation Plan, a 25-year plan for an integrated and sustainable transit and transportation system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). The project is being implemented by Metrolinx, an agency of the Province of Ontario. Visit metrolinx.com more information.

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 the Places to Grow Act, which aims to manage growth in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way that enriches communities. For more information, please visit vivanext.com.

SOURCE Metrolinx

Image with caption: "Davis Drive Rapidway (CNW Group/Metrolinx)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151127_C6867_PHOTO_EN_553999.jpg

Image with caption: "Davis Drive Rapidway (CNW Group/Metrolinx)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151127_C6867_PHOTO_EN_554001.jpg

For further information: Ashley Brown, York Region Rapid Transit Corporation, 905-886-6767 ext. 71121, ashley.brown@york.ca; Alex Burke, Metrolinx, 416-202-5726, alex.burke@metrolinx.com; Patrick Searle, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Minister's Office, 416-327-1815; Bob Nichols, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Communications Branch, 416-327-1158

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