York Region Transit route 318/319 'Wonderland Express'
|318/319 Wonderland Express|
|Number of Branches||2|
|Types of Buses Used||Orion V , New Flyer D40LF|
318/319 Wonderland Express was an express route operated by YRT in most of York Region.
It was a seasonal weekend service that connected Canada's Wonderland to Markham/Richmond Hill (318) and Aurora/Newmarket (319).
This route has 2 main branches:
This route was an express route, with stops at:
- Markville Mall, Highway 7/Leslie, Richmond Hill Centre, Vaughan Corporate Centre, Vaughan Mills Mall, and Canada's Wonderland (for 318).
- Newmarket Terminal, Yonge/Wellington, and Canada's Wonderland (for 319).
Routes 318/319 connected to VIVA during the 2006 operating season only. 318 met Blue at Richmond Hill Centre, Purple at McCowan/Highway 7, Leslie/Highway 7 and at Richmond Hill Centre and Orange at Vaughan Corporate Centre, while 319 met Blue at Newmarket Terminal and Wellington/Yonge.
318 and 319 were introduced for the summer 2003 season, as demand surfaced on a direct weekend service from all corners of the region to Canada's Wonderland.
Route 318 stopped at Interchange Way (via Highway 7, Interchange Way and Jane), High Tech Road (via Yonge, Beresford, High Tech and Yonge) and Markville Mall (via McCowan, Highway 7 and Kennedy), using Hwys 400 and 407 between stops. In 2005, two additional stops were introduced: one at Leslie/Hwy 7, and in Vaughan Mills Terminal.
Route 319 performed a loop, starting at Wonderland and heading north on Highway 400, east on Hwy 9 through Newmarket Terminal, south on Yonge to stop at Yonge/Wellington, west on Wellington, south on Dufferin, west on King Road (to stop in King City) and south on Jane to Canada's Wonderland.
After its success in earlier years, 2006 turned out to be an underperformed year. Not only did the introduction of VIVA lessen demand for the 318/319, but demand also lessened due to a lack of frequency for the two routes (frequency was every 4 hours). In the end, ridership only achieved a total of 1,707. Also, local YRT service into Wonderland on routes 4, 165A and the new 20 made it easier for long-distance riders to reach the park.
With this, 318 and 319 were cancelled as of the end of 2006. There are currently no plans to revive the service.