Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

rapid transit is coming to yonge street

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

The next generation of rapid transit is coming to Yonge Street. We’re excited to announce that York RapidLINK Constructors have been awarded the $260.5 million design build contract for the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit [vivaNext] rapidways along Yonge Street in the Towns of Richmond Hill and Newmarket.

The project involves widening Yonge Street within Richmond Hill and Newmarket to accommodate approximately nine kilometres of dedicated rapidway lanes for viva rapid transit vehicles in the centre of the road as well as 10 new vivastations.

In Richmond Hill, the Yonge Street rapidway will extend 6.5 kilometres from Highway 7 to 19th Avenue/Gamble Road, including seven new vivastations. In the heritage area north of Major Mackenzie Drive, viva will continue to drive in mixed traffic as it does today.

In Newmarket, the rapidway will extend 2.4 kilometres on Yonge Street from just south of Mulock Drive to Davis Drive, and will include three new vivastations. Construction is expected to begin later this year, and be completed by the end of 2018.

This is an important project that will benefit the local economy for generations and will support the significant development and growth of these communities by reducing congestion and providing commuters with a better way to get around.

To learn more about the Yonge Street project and sign up for project updates, visit


happy new years from vivaNext

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

The New Year brings with it the wonderment and joy of new possibilities, resolutions and change. Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each New Year for at least four millennia. Traditions have varied (and still do today), ranging from forgiving enemies to exchanging gifts, to wishing Happy New Year and making resolutions. Many of us have made resolutions over the years – committing to renew last year’s resolutions, adding a few new ones, and to keep them as long as we can.

Naturally, vivaNext is committed to keeping its resolutions, which include:

  • Continuing our progress on rapidways in Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Markham and Vaughan, and on the Spadina Subway extension as quickly as possible;
  • Creating beautiful urban spaces where people can live, work and play in close proximity to rapid transit, check out Highway 7 between Bayview and the 404 Highway to see the results; and
  • Staying engaged and available to the residents and businesses in our communities.

Have a safe and happy New Year.  We look forward to a productive and successful 2014!

changes in how you contact vivaNext

Friday, December 27th, 2013

As of January 4, 2014, the extension numbers will be changing from four to five digits.

Don’t worry it’s not as cumbersome as it sounds, the only difference will be adding a “7” in front of all current four-digit extensions for all internal phone lines.  This change also applies to all York Region services identified below:

  • Court Services
  • Emergency Medical Services (in case of emergency, please dial 911)
  • Family and Children’s Services
  • Housing
  • Long-term Care
  • Economic Development
  • Police Services
  • Public Health
  • Regional roads
  • Social Assistance
  • Solid Waste Management
  • YRT/Viva
  • Water and sewage treatment


happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Happy holidays! Spending quality time with family shopping, skating or just hanging out, Viva will make it faster and easier to take part in all the holiday fun across York Region. To help you and your family get in the spirit, here’s a fun little game for you to enjoy.

‘Holey’ ‘Moley’ tunnelling is complete!

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

photograph provided by The Toronto Transit Commission [TTC]

Here at vivaNext, we’re excited to announce that the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) project has achieved another significant milestone – tunnelling for the project is 100% complete!

In the summer of 2011, the first Tunnel boring machine (TBM) “Holey” began boring from a launch shaft at the Downsview Park Station site. Since then, rain or shine, TBMs “Holey”, “Moley”, “Yorkie” and “Torkie” have been working hard and have collectively bored 6.4 kilometres of twin tunnels for the TYSSE project.

The final segment of tunnelling was finished when “Torkie” broke through the headwall at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) Station site, finishing the tenth and final tunnel drive for the project. This sets the stage for the next phase of work in the tunnels including installation of inverts and walkways, track, traction power, signals and communications systems.

With help from our friends at Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) we have some pretty cool photos and videos of the breakthrough to share with you on our website – see them here!

The TYSSE is an 8.6-kilometre extension of the TTC’s Yonge-University-Spadina subway line from Downsview Station to the VMC Station at Highway 7 in York Region.

Vaughan’s VMC station will be the northernmost station, connecting to a variety of other transit services. Situated in the future VMC development area, this station will act as a transportation hub, including convenient passenger pick-up and drop-off, a York Region Transit bus terminal, and connection to the viva rapidway running in dedicated lanes east and west along Highway 7.

Residents and visitors alike will enjoy the variety of transit options and mixed-use development offered in the VMC area. It will be a great place to work, shop or relax, and getting there will be easy whether you walk or ride transit.

Construction work for the TYSSE project is expected to be completed by fall 2016. Once the subway extension is completed, it will have 6 new subway stations (check out the TYSSE guide to station names) and 3 new commuter parking lots.

To learn more about the TYSSE project and sign up for construction notices, visit

you’re invited to our Yonge Street open houses!

Monday, November 18th, 2013

The next generation of rapid transit is coming to Yonge Street in Richmond Hill and Newmarket! In both communities, Yonge Street will be widened to accommodate dedicated rapidway lanes in the centre of the road, providing fast, reliable, convenient transit, while enhancing the area as an attractive destination for residents, businesses and visitors alike.

In Richmond Hill, the rapidway will extend 6.5 km and include 7 new vivastations from Highway 7 to 19th Avenue/Gamble Road. In Newmarket, dedicated bus rapid transit lanes will run along 2.4 km and include 3 new vivastations from just south of Mulock Drive to Davis Drive.

This project is moving full steam ahead with work beginning in 2014, and we want you to talk about it with us at our open houses this week! This is your chance to look at information boards and maps, and talk to vivaNext staff about what you can expect during the construction season ahead. You will also learn how a rapidway works and discuss the benefits it will bring to the community.

The same information will be available at both open houses. We hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, you can subscribe online to receive construction updates and view all of the materials on our website after the meeting.

You’re invited!
Richmond Hill
When: Tuesday, November 19, 4-8 p.m.
Where: Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church
10066 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill

When: Wednesday, November 20, 4-8 p.m.
Where: Ray Twinney Recreation Complex
100 Eagle Street West, Newmarket

Learn more about the Yonge street rapidways ahead of the open houses by reading our Yonge Street project newsletter, and as always, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have at


the future of transit has arrived!

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

The launch of the first section of the rapidway along Highway 7 from Bayview Avenue to Highway 404 is this Sunday, August 18.

Riders can now board viva in the centre lane rapidway.  Vivastations are directly accessible from crosswalks at signalled intersections.  Pedestrian signals come with an audible tone and visual countdown.  During the first week of new service the YRT\Viva teams will be on the street to assist customers and answer any questions to help familiarize everyone with the new system.

Not only is this section of Highway 7 now more efficient for pedestrians, cyclists, riders and drivers, but the landscape has been transformed with new trees and other greenery. We welcome the wide pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined boulevards and sleek, modern, vivastations. The new vivastations will be open at Chalmers, Valleymede, West Beaver Creek, Leslie, and East Beaver Creek. Vivastations at Bayview will open in early September. An additional 3.9 kilometres of rapidway along Highway 7 from Highway 404 to Warden Avenue will open in 2014.

New dedicated centre lanes for viva vehicles will allow riders to enjoy faster and more consistent travel times.  Also drivers need to be aware of the changes to the street as they make turns onto Highway 7, red asphalt indicates a bus only lane.  Emergency vehicles are permitted to access the rapidways should they need to, but they will have their flashing lights on for safety.

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 include all the existing viva technologies we love, 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 Viva 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 transformation of this urban corridor will help support growth, and reduce congestion to help make York Region a more inviting place to live, work, shop and play.

Come take a ride on the new rapidway and check it out! Tweet and let us know what you think!


follow along this summer as we introduce you to some fun with the blue boots!

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Anticipation is building as construction nears completion on the first section of the Highway 7 rapidway, as we get closer to seeing our designated bus lanes for viva fully operational this summer. You may have seen finishing touches applied to the canopies or even caught a glimpse of red asphalt being paved. It’s an exciting time for vivaNext and we want to share that excitement with you. With this in mind, we are pleased to introduce the Blue Boots – vivaNext’s mystery mascot if you will!

For the next six weeks, get onboard the fun bus and follow the Blue Boots Series, a six video summer project brought to you by our communications summer students. Every Wednesday, check our YouTube channel to discover where the boots are going, who they’ll meet and where they’re headed next! Each video will explore unique aspects of the vivaNext project that we hope will get you excited about riding viva.

So be ready to be moved with the Blue Boots today! Watch the first video by clicking this link.


Our new website will move you

Thursday, July 11th, 2013


The new and improved interactive website is easier to navigate, better organized by projects, completely mobile compatible and provides continuous updates on construction activities that will help move York Region. This new website is a multi-media experience that is educational and engaging. Come check it out and share videos, photos and information that you find interesting.

Like its previous version, pushes the limits of standard web design with rich functionality and integrated video content. The site provides video animations that bring the future of viva rapid transit to life, as well the latest information on station and canopy design, community events and detailed technical presentations. offers a search tool and a newsroom with RSS Rich Site Summary, current news releases, articles, construction bulletins and downloadable graphics and photos. Another significant feature of the new site is the street level rider journey that details the benefits of rapidways through the eyes of different residents. Also, integrated in the site are all the usual social media tools – blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – so you can easily share things with others and start your own conversations.

VivaNext is a forward-looking plan for a fast, convenient rapid transit network. It will provide connectivity between the Region’s centres and corridors.

Enjoy your tour of the new website, travel the rapidway on a rider journey, catch up on the latest blogs, follow us on Twitter or friend us on Facebook and let us know what you think.

The best travel routes at your fingertips

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013


Driving can be unpredictable, no matter where or when you’re going. You never know what you might run into – from construction to volume. Taking viva is a great way around that problem but if you have to take the car then York Region has developed an app for you.

York Region Travel Alert is a real-time, personalized traffic reporting system with street coverage better than any other currently available traffic system for the Regional Municipality of York. With hands-free visual and audio feedback available on your smartphone, advising you of traffic conditions on your route so you’ll always be aware of traffic congestion well in advance.

This unique app guides you to your destination with informative, immediate audio alerts on traffic conditions with affected street segments and speed. It’s like having a personal traffic helicopter watching your route every time you get into your car, monitoring traffic conditions along your saved routes, as well as 5 to 20 kilometres ahead of your current street location.

York Region Travel Alert displays your route on a map in coloured segments, right on your smartphone, representing existing traffic conditions. With this peace of mind you can sit back, relax and enjoy your trip, knowing that the York Region Travel Alert’s hands-free operation will alert you to any unexpected traffic delays, with ample time to detour to an alternate route.

To save you even more time, the York Region Travel Alert also comes with a list of pre-loaded community favourites for popular destinations including Richmond Hill to the Hollidge Tract in the York Regional Forest, Toronto to Canada’s Wonderland, Stouffville to the 404 and Highway 7 Business Area.

The York Region Travel Alert will also remind you to drive safely as you approach community safety zones and school zones.

You can also participate actively in alerting other drivers of traffic problems by pressing a button on your phone which will connect you to our traffic centre where you can provide us with real-time updates on the road conditions. This way, all of our users will not only know the road may be slow ahead, but will also know why.

It’s here! It’s free! Download The York Region Travel Alert app today from or from the iPhone App Store, Blackberry App World or Google Play.

Visit for more information.