York Region Transit route 601 'Viva Blue'
|Number of Branches||3|
|Types of buses used||Van Hool AG300 , Nova Bus LFX/LFS Artic , Van Hool A330|
|Division||BRT (Richmond Hill)|
|Related routes||98, 99|
Viva Blue is a Viva base route operated by YRT in Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Markham, and Toronto, ON.
Viva Blue serves Yonge St. between Davis Dr. and Bishop Ave.
This route has 3 main branches:
- Viva Blue Newmarket Terminal - Finch Terminal
- Viva Blue Bernard Terminal - Finch Terminal
- Viva Blue "A" Newmarket Terminal - Finch Terminal bypassing Richmond Hill Centre Terminal (peak periods, directional)
Viva Blue serves the Newmarket, Aurora, Oak Ridges, Richmond Hill, and Thornhill communities. It also serves Upper Canada Mall, York Region Administrative Centre, The Aurora Promenade, Old Richmond Hill, Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, Hillcrest Mall, Richmond Hill Centre Terminal, Thornhill Village, and Centerpoint Mall.
Viva Blue is the most heavily used route on the YRT/Viva system; it's 2006 ridership was greater than all of the routes operated by Southeast's Markham Division combined.
Viva Blue first started operating on September 4, 2005, as part of Viva phase 1. It initially operated north to Bernard Terminal. It was extended to Newmarket Terminal on November 20 as part of Viva phase 3, with a rush-hour short-turn still operating to Bernard Terminal. In 2007, Viva Blue was officially assigned route 601. This number was only seen by the public for a short time before being removed, although this number is used on Google Maps' transit routing for the route.
Even though the biggest buses operate on this route, it still suffers from overcrowding, especially south of Bernard. Additional buses were ordered in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2017. Service has also increased steadily since inauguration, including the introduction of midday, evening, and weekend service on the Bernard branch.
On June 28, 2010, a new branch, Viva Blue A, was introduced to run express service from Newmarket to Finch and vice-versa, bypassing Richmond Hill Centre Terminal. This corresponds with the cancellation of GO Transit's route 62. It was given the route numbering of 602. Due to increasing ridership, more runs were added on September 5, 2010 bringing the total A trips to 11 southbound and 13 northbound.
Service south of Richmond Hill Centre may be replaced in the future, as part of The Big Move plan is to extend the Yonge Subway north to Richmond Hill Centre. Construction of rapidways along Yonge Street north to 19th Avenue and between Mulock Drive and Davis Drive will commence in 2014 and be complete by 2018.
On January 5, 2020, rapidway service between Savage Road and Davis Drive began.
The Viva Blue A branch was temporarily suspended as of March 2020 due to lower ridership from COVID-19.
On September 6, 2020, early morning weekend northbound trip departures began at Finch Terminal instead of Yonge/16th Avenue.
|Routes & Stations|
|Viva Blue||Newmarket GO Bus Terminal - Yonge/Davis - Eagle - Mulock - Savage - Orchard Heights - Wellington - Golf Links - Henderson - Bloomington - Regatta - King - Jefferson - 19th-Gamble - Bernard Terminal - Bernard - Elgin Mills - Crosby - Major Mackenzie - Weldrick - 16th-Carrville - Bantry-Scott - Richmond Hill Centre Terminal - Royal Orchard - Centre - Clark - Steeles - Finch GO Bus Terminal|
|Viva Purple||Richmond Hill Centre Terminal - Bayview - Chalmers - Valleymede - West Beaver Creek - Leslie - East Beaver Creek - Allstate Parkway - Woodbine - Montgomery - Town Centre - Cedarland - Warden/Enterprise - Post - Rivis - Warden - Village Parkway - Sciberras - Main Street Unionville - Kennedy - Bullock - McCowan - Galsworthy - Main Street Markham - Wootten Way - Markham-Stouffville Hospital - Cornell|
|Viva Pink||Unionville GO Station - Rivis - Post - Warden/Enterprise - Cedarland - Town Centre - Montgomery - Woodbine - Allstate Parkway - East Beaver Creek - Leslie - West Beaver Creek - Valleymede - Chalmers - Bayview - Richmond Hill Centre Terminal - Royal Orchard - Centre - Clark - Steeles - Finch GO Bus Terminal|
|Viva Orange||Martin Grove - Kipling - Islington - Wigwoss-Helen - Pine Valley - Ansley Grove - Weston - Commerce - Vaughan Metropolitan Centre - Creditstone - Keele - Dufferin - Taiga - Disera-Promenade - Atkinson - Bathurst/Highway 7 - Richmond Hill Centre Terminal|
|Viva Green||McCowan - Bullock - Kennedy - Rivis - Post - Warden - 14th - Denison - Esna-Steeles - McNicoll - Seneca Hill - Don Mills Station|
|Viva Yellow||Newmarket GO Bus Terminal - Longford - Main - Southlake Hospital - Huron Heights - Leslie - Highway 404|