York Region Transit Markham Fair shuttles
|Markham Fair Shuttle|
|Number of Branches||2|
|Types of Buses Used||Orion I, MCI Classic|
The Markham Fair Shuttles were seasonal specials operated by YRT in Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON. It ran on the first weekend of October from Thursday to Sunday in conjunction with the Markham Fair.
This route has two sections:
- Markville: Markville Mall - Markham Fairgrounds
- Stouffville: Stouffville - Markham Fairgrounds
This route shuttled fairgoers from Markham and Stouffville to and from the Markham Fair.
Markham Transit originally operated the Markville portion of the shuttle in its current form (straight up McCowan Road to the fairgrounds), and had a special 'MARKHAM FAIR' rollsign exposure for the purpose of the fair shuttle. When YRT inherited operations, it continued to operate the shuttle. The only major changes was to change the frequency: currently, on Saturdays two buses operated every 30 minutes, while every other day operates 1 bus on a 60 minute frequency.
In 2001, YRT created a new branch of the fair shuttle to bring seniors from Stouffville and Swan Lake to the fairgrounds. This was the first instance of conventional service to Stouffville (excluding GO Transit), so special stops needed to be erected. Presumably this shuttle would have been run using low-floor vehicles. The senior shuttle operated from Main and Stouffer Streets, along Main Street to the fairgrounds. It proceeded to Swan Lake on 16th Avenue, also serving 20 Water Street and Thompson Court before heading back to the fairgrounds. Another Unionville seniors shuttle also operated: buses served Bethany Lodge on Second Street and Union Villa before heading to the fairgrounds. On all the senior shuttles, a discounted senior fare ($1.20) was required, and buses ran every 2 hours. It is unknown how many years these shuttle lasted, but it was no longer operating by 2004.
By 2006, an official Stouffville shuttle started, complementing the Markham one. It operated up McCowan Road, along Stouffville Sideroad/Main Street to Eastern Gate, passing through Parkview Village on the return trip. In 2008, the loop was expanded so buses went north on 9th Line, east/south on Millard, west on Main Street, south on 9th Line, through Parkview Village, west on Hoover Park, north on Highway 48, west on Stouffville Sideroad and south on McCowan to the fairgrounds. This shuttle operates with one bus on a 60 minute headway.
When YRT inherited service, they eliminated the rollsign exposure for the Markham Fair shuttle; buses instead used a dashcard to signify their route, and usually with their main rollsigns displaying 'SPECIAL' or 'SHUTTLE'. 2008 was the first year a bus with an electronic sign provided service, and an exposure saying MARKHAM FAIR is programmed in.
For the 2009 fair, the organizing committee decided to contract shuttle service to LPTC, a local school bus company, replacing the YRT operations.
Traditionally, since the Markham Fair shuttle was a temporary route, the oldest vehicles are used for service (since most other vehicles are providing regular service). Orion Is were common, as well as Classics.