June 23, 2005

Transit fare zones ensure service frequency and availability


NEWMARKET – A two zone transit fare system is being activated in York Region to ensure passengers throughout the Region receive frequent, flexible and reliable service.
 
The division between the southern and northern transit zones is between the King and Bloomington stops in the Town of Aurora.  Passengers traveling between the zones will be required to pay a fare supplement of $1.00 on both York Region Transit (YRT) and Viva rapid transit.  Similarly, customers traveling in the southern portions of York Region who wish to cross the Steeles Avenue zone boundary are still required to pay the additional TTC fare.
 
“In order to maintain the high frequency of service in the northern part of York Region where our population base is smaller, a fare supplement is necessary,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  “With Viva operation set to begin this September, commuters in Aurora and Newmarket will benefit from improved and convenient transit service.”
 
The zones will come into effect for YRT this September and for Viva in November.  The zone system has already been in place for specialized transit users (Mobility Plus) since 2003.
 
Throughout 2005, YRT is introducing $2.5 million worth of service improvements across the Region, including the new Yonge Route 98 North, which will operate from Richmond Hill (Bernard Terminal) to the East Gwillimbury GO station on Green Lane.  
 
Frequency will be the hallmark of the Viva rapid transit service with vehicles arriving every 5 to 10 minutes during peak periods and 15 minutes at all other times everywhere in the Region. That compares to the existing GO Transit service where arrival times can range from 10 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the time of day.
 
“I am optimistic people will embrace the two zone system since it ultimately means better public transit for people across York Region, especially those in the smaller urban centres, such as Aurora,” said Town of Aurora Mayor Tim Jones.  “In order to reduce traffic congestion, people have been asking for increased transit frequency, in addition to flexibility and comfort.  We are delivering those benefits with both YRT and Viva.”
 
In order to travel between the two zones, an adult passenger on YRT and Viva will be required to pay $2.25, plus an additional $1.00 supplement.  For those traveling to Finch Station now, GO Transit costs $4.80 from Aurora and $5.30 from Newmarket, or about 40 per cent more than YRT and Viva for an adult single-ride ticket.

There will be fare vending machines throughout York Region, allowing passengers to purchase one and two-zone tickets quickly and easily before boarding.
 
When passengers receive their tickets, they will have up to two hours to get on and off Viva and YRT to go to the drug store or the grocery store… without having to pay an additional fare.  There will also be real time information in the transit stations, informing passengers when the next Viva vehicle will arrive.
 
The transit fare zones were approved by York Regional Council in 2002.  The dividing line was established across the Oak Ridges Moraine since it is a natural border separating the northern and southern parts of the Region.
                                                                                               
When the GTA smart card is introduced within the next few years, additional transit fare zones will be implemented.
 
For more information on York Region Transit and the services offered, please visit the YRT Web site at www.yorkregiontransit.com  For more information on Viva and to visit the Local Leaders’ Gallery, please visit the Viva Web site at www.vivayork.com
 
For more information on the Regional Municipality of York, the services offered and links to the nine area municipalities, please visit the York Region web site at: www.york.ca
 
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Media Contacts: Dan Miles, Communications Specialist, York Region
- (905) 886-6767, Ext. 2250
- Email: dan.miles@york.ca
 
Michael Kemp, Communications Specialist, York Region
- 905 830-4444 Ext. 1232
- Email: Michael.kemp@york.ca

 
 
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