Benefits of Viva
Stops (called Vivastations) are located no less than 750m apart to reduce travel time. Each Vivastation has an automated ticket vending machine allowing passengers to pay their fare before boarding the bus, thus speeding up loading. Terminals have MultiRide vending machines, which dispense booklets of 10 tickets and give change and take bills.
Because passengers purchase their fare before boarding, this means VIVA operates on an honour/proof-of-payment system. Ticket inspectors inspect random buses to see if everybody has paid their fare.
Next Bus displays located in all Vivastations and terminals inform passengers approximately how long of a wait the next bus is. It shows both VIVA and YRT routes that serve the stop, and also specifies the route and terminal.
Queue jump lines were installed at some intersections. They are extended right turn lanes that VIVA buses may use to bypass heavy traffic and speed to the Vivastation at the intersection. Signal Priority informs a computer if the bus is running behind. The computer holds traffic lights (either turning a red one to green quicker or holding a green) so the bus can make up some time.
The first two routes, Blue and Purple, debuted with the launch of Viva in September 2005, with service from Finch to Bernard and York University to Town Centre Boulevard respectively. The following month, Orange and Green were introduced (Green operating from Don Mills to Unionville GO Station only), with an extension of Purple east to McCowan Road. Service on Enterprise Boulevard was rerouted to Highway 407 at this time due to the road being still under construction, which meant Purple served Unionville GO Station at this time. November saw an extension of Blue to Newmarket Terminal, Purple west to Martin Grove during rush hours, Green east to McCowan Road during rush hours, and service along Enterprise Boulevard. The final route, Pink, was introduced in January 2006.
A new terminal was built on the ramp connecting Yonge Street and Highway 7, called Richmond Hill Centre Terminal, and is used by Viva, York Region Transit and GO Transit's Airport Express. Viva connects with the Toronto Transit Commission subway system at Finch, Don Mills, and Downsview.
Purple rush hour service to Martin Grove was removed in September 2007 due to a combination of the length of routing and a lack of passengers riding through York University in the first place (as those passengers would rather use the faster route 77). Green was cut back to rush hours only in September 2007 as well, although it will be reinstated when additional development around the future Downtown Markham site happens. January 2008 saw an extension of Purple east to Markham-Stouffville Hospital, where it currently terminates today.
A fleet of specially appointed Van Hool rigid and articulated buses were initially introduced for use. The fleet gradually grew with Nova Bus LFX buses introduced in 2010. The buses have interior displays and announcements which show the next stop for passengers. The buses are able to by-pass cars with queue jump lanes and signal priority.
vivaNext (formerly known as Phase 2) is the next phase of the Viva bus rapid transit (BRT) system. This phase deals with the Yonge and Spadina subway extensions into York Region, as well as improving the BRT system with dedicated Rapidways and extended lines. New vivastations are being built along the rapidways and are accessible by crosswalks. Improvements to the streetscape in the form of bicycle lanes, new trees, and new sidewalks are also being implemented.
The rapidways, a term given by vivaNext, are dedicated lanes for buses. Travel times are improved as the rapid transit vehicles do not have to deal with congestion on the regular roadways. Transit priority signals located at intersections along the rapidways. Two rapidways will be built in Newmarket and Richmond Hill and one in Markham and Vaughan. The new rapidways feature improved vivastations with more amenities such as a 9-metre enclosed, heated waiting area, and enhanced accessibility and passenger displays. The platform also provides level boarding to the bus. The glass and steel structures are 27-metres long and reach upward then curve to the opposing side.
The first segment of the Enterprise Rapidway, which runs on the north side of Enterprise Rd. between Warden Ave. and Birchmount Rd., began construction in December 2009. The rapidway stop began construction in October 2010 along with the laying of the distinctive red asphalt on the west end of the rapidway. This small segment opened on March 6, 2011, although it was initially scheduled to be complete by the end of 2010, but this was delayed to January 2011 and then finally to Spring. This section is also known as part of the Simcoe Promenade, which is part of the proposed development of Downtown Markham. The remainder of the rapidway along Enterprise Rd. to Kennedy Rd. is expected to start construction in 2016 and be completed in 2020. This section is dependent on the proposed design for Downtown Markham.
The relocation of utilities to accommodate the extra lanes for the Highway 7 East Rapidway began in December 2010. Construction for the widening of Highway 7 and the rapidways themselves began in Spring 2011. The first segment of the Highway 7 East Rapidway, between just east of Bayview Avenue and Highway 404, opened on August 18, 2013, with the Bayview Towers opening on September 1, 2013. The section between Highway 404 and Town Centre Blvd. opened on August 24, 2014. The section between Town Centre Blvd. and Warden Avenue opened in January 2015.
The rapidway on Davis Drive in Newmarket runs for 3.0 kilometres from Yonge Street to Huron Heights Dr. In November 2009, preparations for construction began on the Davis Drive Rapidway, such as soil sampling and archeological assessments. Early construction began in 2010, which included relocation of utilities and preparing twenty-one buildings for removal in preparation for construction. In November 2010, work began on reconstructing the Keith Bridge. The rapidway was opened in November 2015 with the start of Viva Yellow service.
Pre-construction work commenced in 2013 on the Highway 7 Rapidway through Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. This segment encompasses Highway 7 from Edgeley Road (the western end of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre subway station) in the west to Bowes Road in the east. This part of the Rapidway was scheduled to open at the end of 2016 with the Spadina Subway Extenssion, however delays mean the section between Jane Street and Bowes Road will open as scheduled and the section west of Jane will be completed in 2018. Phase 2 of this segment of the Highway 7 Rapidway includes Edgeley Road to Bruce Street (just past Pine Valley Drive) and Bowes Road to Yonge Street (with segments on Centre and Bathurst Streets). Construction began in 2016, with completion scheduled for December 2019.
Viva's routes are all colour coded. The fares for Viva are the same as YRT except the $1 "zonal” surcharge for Viva Blue passengers for passing through both zone boundaries in a single trip, located roughly north of Bloomington Road and south of King Road.
There are 4 daily routes:
- Viva Blue- Finch Station to Newmarket Terminal
- Viva Purple- Markham-Stouffville Hospital to Richmond Hill Centre
- Viva Orange- Martin Grove to Richmond Hill Centre
- Viva Yellow - Newmarket GO Bus Terminal to 404 Park & Ride
There are also 3 short turn routes and 2 other routes that operate during rush hour only:
- Viva Blue- Finch Station to Bernard Terminal
- Viva Blue A- Finch Station to Newmarket Terminal (Bypassing Richmond Hill Centre Terminal
- Viva Green- Don Mills Station to McCowan Road
- Viva Pink- Finch Station to Unionville GO Station
An extension of Purple and Green east to Cornell (Donald Cousens Parkway) is on hold from 2008, because of residents' objections to a new bus terminal being built. A terminal on a nearby site is being considered, but construction has not started.
Currently, Viva's fleet consists of 40 40-foot Van Hool A330 buses, 41 articulated 60-foot AG300 buses, 15 articulated 60-foot Nova Bus LFX buses, and 26 articulated 60-foot Nova Bus LFS Artic buses. YRT/Viva has stated that all future purchases of vehicles will be 60ft in length. Although the original purchase contract in 2005 allowed a discounted purchase price of additional AG300s until 2011, a new contract for 60 foot buses over five years was awarded to Nova Bus. The choice was made because of the long wait for parts experienced by maintenance for the Van Hools and Nova Bus met the Canadian content requirement in the RFP.
The articulated buses were initially restricted to Viva Blue because of its high ridership. The 40ft A330s serve all other routes (Purple, Orange, Green and Pink). In late 2010, Viva Purple started seeing articulated buses due to an increase in ridership from York University.
All buses are based out of the BRT garage located at 55 Orlando Road at Richmond Hill
|Fleet number range||Thumbnail||Year||Manufacturer||Model||Engine||Transmission||Destination sign||Seating||Miscellaneous notes|
|5102, 5109, 5112, 5114, 5117, 5119, 5121, 5136, 5139, 5141, 5143, 5146, 5149-5151, 5154, 5156, 5158-5160||2005-2006||Van Hool||New A330||Cummins ISL||Voith D864.3E||TwinVision Amber LED||36 Kiel Lite||
|5201-5223||2005-2006||Van Hool||New AG300||Cummins ISM||Voith D864.3E||TwinVision Amber LED||54 Kiel Lite||
|8203||2008||Van Hool||New AG300||Cummins ISL||Voith D864.5||TwinVision Amber LED||54 Kiel Lite||
- York rolls out state-of-the-art transit, Toronto Star B3, May 26, 2005
- Viva Bus Rapid Transit, Toronto Star B4 and B5, September 3, 2005