September 2, 2004

Leave extra time when taking kids to school this fall: York Region Transit is building a modern Rapid Transit Network and there may be periodic traffic delays


NEWMARKET Parents may want to set aside a few minutes extra when driving the kids to school this fall.  Construction of Quick Start, the first phase of York Region's rapid transit network, is underway at various intersections throughout the Region and that may create some traffic delays.


"Ensuring that children get to school safely is our number one priority, and we encourage parents to leave home a few minutes early to avoid rushing," said York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  "Construction on our modern rapid transit network may cause periodic delays and traffic disruption, but next year when the work is complete, people across the Region will have a new, exciting alternative to driving their car."


Construction began on June 14, 2004 and has been progressing steadily over the summer months.  Construction crews have completed roadwork at 15 sites, while work is currently underway at 14 intersections along the rapid transit corridors.  For a complete list of intersections please visit:


A total of 107 stops will be built, and construction at each location will last between three and six weeks. Over the course of the construction, crews will be carrying out a variety of activities, including:

Rapid transit is a key part of York Region's Combating Traffic Congestion Plan, launched in April 2004.  The plan is designed to help reduce traffic congestion and preserve York Region's quality of life.


"York Region continues to listen to the concerns of its residents," said Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell, Chair of the Region's Transportation and Works Committee.  "We have responded with a comprehensive plan to reduce congestion through traffic light signalization improvements, the building of new roads, continued enhancements to York Region Transit and development of a comfortable and convenient rapid transit network." 


The Region's rapid transit network will be joining York Region Transit (YRT) as part of an impressive family of transit services in York Region.  This state-of-the-art rapid transit network is being developed in three phases over the next 20 years.


Rapid transit will link the urban centres of Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Newmarket along four key transportation corridors, including Yonge Street and Highway 7.  It will also connect to the City of Toronto's subway system and transit systems in the Regions of Durham and Peel.


The first phase will provide an integrated package of rapid transit elements, including modern rapid transit vehicles, stops that are located every one to two kilometres, and technology that will allow passengers to pre-purchase tickets and get real-time arrival information.


The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and York Region have each invested $50 million to fund the initial Quick Start phase. 


When Quick Start is fully implemented in 2006, York Region estimates a 30 per cent increase in transit ridership in the rapid transit corridors moving 7,000 car trips a day off the highway system.


For more information on the Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at




Contact:            Dan Miles, Communications Officer, York Rapid Transit

(905) 886-6767, Ext. 2250


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