May 2, 2006
Media Release

Viva Rapid Transit awarded Environment Impact Award

 
CPEX recognizes York Region for reduced congestion and improved quality of life
 
NEWMARKET Viva Rapid Transit has received the Canadian Project Excellence Awards (CPEX) 2006 Environmental Impact Award, as Viva is recognized not just for getting people to their destinations faster but also improving our environment and our quality of life
 
"It is indeed a great honour for Viva Rapid Transit to receive the 2006 Environmental Impact Award from CPEX," said York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  "Viva is making it possible for people to leave their cars at home and is creating a positive impact on the air we breathe.  Cleaner air is one of the legacies of the improvements transit is making throughout York Region."
 
The CPEX nominating committee singled out Viva for both its social and environmental impact, identifying the project's vision for cleaner air, reduced road congestion and improved quality of life as key elements in making its decision.
 
"The vision of Viva Rapid Transit has always been about more than shorter commutes to work," said Town of Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell, Vice Chair of the Region's Rapid Transit Committee.  "One of Viva's primary goals is to become the infrastructure backbone supporting the development of transit villages where people can live, work and play without always using their personal vehicle."
 
According to CPEX, "Viva is an innovative first step to improve the quality of life for Canadians, and will have long-term positive impact on the environment by helping to reduce gridlock and promote sustainable development."
 
Viva links the Region's urban centres of Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Aurora and Newmarket.  In addition, Viva links York Region with the City of Toronto and its subway system, GO Transit, the Region of Peel and eventually with Durham Region.
 
This is the first of three Phases in a 20-year transit expansion plan.  In Phase 2, the Region will build dedicated transit lanes separating the Viva vehicles from mixed traffic.  If funding is secured and the environmental assessments approved, construction could begin as early as 2007.
 
"The first phase of Viva continues to represent a tremendous success story," added Chair Fisch.  "Phase 2 will allow passengers to break free from gridlock and get to their destinations sooner and convince more people to choose transit over traffic."
 
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For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and our services, please visit www.york.ca
 
Media Contact: Vijay Chauhan, Communications Specialist, York Region Rapid Transit
 Phone:  (905) 886-6767, Ext. 2250 or Cell (416) 315-5633
 Email: vijay.chauhan@york.ca

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