Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

take a tour of the new rapidway on highway 7

Monday, September 15th, 2014

video: Highway 7 East rapidway - Now Open - 2014

This morning, The Honourable Steven Del Duca, Ontario Minister of Transportation, announced the opening of the section of rapidway from Highway 404 to South Town Centre on Highway 7 East. He was joined by: The Honourable Michael Chan, MPP, Markham; Bill Fisch, Chairman and CEO, The Regional Municipality of York; Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx; Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of the City of Markham.

Travelling along Highway 7, it’s hard to miss the beautiful and functional vivastations in the centre median. These stations are making a huge contribution to the transformation of our community in Richmond Hill and Markham, so let us take you on the same guided tour as our dignitaries took this morning for an inside look at the benefits and attributes of these stations.

The first thing you’ll notice as you cross to a station is how big and airy the canopy is at 28m [92’] long and 5m [16’] high. The curved glass above the platform provides both weather protection and a sense of space at the same time and satisfies long-term needs as platforms accommodate two Viva vehicles at once and in future will be able to accommodate Light Rail Transit [LRT]. The platform is approached by a gently sloped ramp with handrails on both sides, making it fully accessible to all, whether they’re walking, pushing a stroller, or in a wheelchair or scooter. Passing by the familiar Viva fin and planter boxes with greenery, you’ll next come to an illuminated wall map of the YRT\Viva system.

Next on the tour is a bank of fare equipment, including a Ticket Vending Machine [TVM], a Ticket Validator [TV], and two PRESTO machines. Once you’ve paid your fare, you’ll move to the Fare Paid Zone [FPZ], which is clearly shown by being paved with a different coloured tile on the ground, as well as by a curved sign above. This area needs to show as distinct, because YRT fare rules require passengers to have paid their fare before moving into the FPZ.

Once you’ve paid your fare, you’re free to make yourself comfortable on the platform until the next bus arrives. We’re making it easy for you to know how long you’ve got to wait, with a large Variable Message Sign [VMS] projected from the canopy. The VMS scrolls through the upcoming Viva arrivals, telling you exactly when the next bus will arrive. Because the VMS system is connected to the GPS technology in our Viva vehicles as well as to the central transit scheduling software, it’s constantly updated to provide accurate and real-time information.

If you decide to sit on a bench or get comfy out of the elements, the shelters have been designed with passenger comfort as a priority. The heated glass enclosure is well lit, and accessed by two push-button automatic doors. The heaters – which will be appreciated later this year – automatically turn on if someone enters the enclosure, and if the temperature in the enclosure feels lower than 10 degrees Celsius. Recycling and garbage disposal units on the platforms make it easy to keep these lovely stations clean.

The entire platform will be well lit, with lighting inside the canopy as well as on the platform.  And to enhance your feelings of comfort and security, the back of the platform is protected from Highway 7 traffic by a barrier wall topped with a guardrail, and there are multiple security features including cameras and an emergency call button.

Last but not least, to help you stay oriented, wayfinding signage will show you where the buses will stop, and other features including the way to the crosswalk.

It’s hard to do the stations, and the rapidway justice with written descriptions, so here’s a video showing you some of the action involved in completing this section of the rapidway. One of the regular passengers tweeted that “it has cut my travel time in half, way to go!”

 

Transit focused Markham Centre picked for York U expansion

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Transit focused Markham Centre picked for York U expansion

York University, a globally recognized research centre, recently announced that it had chosen Markham Centre as the preferred location in its bid to build a new satellite campus in York Region. York Region is one of Ontario’s fastest-growing major urban areas, and with a current population of more than 1.1 million, is the only municipality of its size in North America with no university campus.

The City of Markham was selected based on its ability to demonstrate alignment with 10 core principals including, having a campus within an urban centre, easily accessible across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, transit oriented development, use of public infrastructure and strong local partners.

This achievement shows how York Region’s Centres and Corridors strategy, of which vivaNext is a key part, is already resulting in important economic development benefits for our region. It’s more proof that its long term, visionary planning framework will channel new jobs, housing and shopping within the newly urbanized centre in Markham.

As Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti said in their news release, one of the reasons the Markham Centre location was chosen, in addition to all its “incredible amenities,” is that Markham has a reputation for having bold initiatives. The Mayor also pointed to the city’s efforts in attracting major businesses such as Enbridge, Honda and Aviva as well as attracting the Pan Am games to the city.

The timing of York University’s announcement could not have been better. Transit, parkland and local secondary plans are currently underway. The city can fully integrate a university within the new downtown urban fabric.

York Region’s vivaNext rapidway project along Highway 7 is in the last final stages with bus lanes set to open by the end of the year. Additional Bus Rapid Transit is planned for Markham Centre along Enterprise Drive to Unionville Go Terminal, scheduled to be completed in 2019, making this area truly the model of live, work, shop, play and now get educated!

 

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 vivanext.com.

 

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 vivanext.com.

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

Newmarket
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 contactus@vivanext.com.

 

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.