June 19, 2008
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York wins transit safety award from American Public Transportation Association

YRT/Viva strike gold with prestigious safety accolade 
NEWMARKET The Regional Municipality of York has won gold from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for our excellent safety program on York Region Transit (YRT)/Viva buses. 
 
The APTA presented York Region with the gold safety award at their annual Bus and Paratransit Conference in Austin, Texas in the category of transit providers who carried more than four million passengers but less than 30 million passengers per year.
 
"This APTA award is both an honour and a testament to the excellent quality of service that The Regional Municipality of York provides to YRT and Viva passengers," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  "By working closely with our contracted bus operators, we have effectively promoted a culture of safety-first on our transit and rapid transit systems that is the envy of systems across North America."
 
In presenting the award, APTA cited York Region's innovative use of performance-based contracts in dramatically increasing the safety program of its contracted drivers.  In these contracts, York Region mandated ongoing training for all bus operators and provided financial incentives for its contracted operators if their safety programs improved.  Conversely, York Region instituted financial penalties if operators' safety programs declined.
 
Following the implementation of performance-based contracts in early 2006, York Region saw noticeable improvements in transit safety.  In 2005, YRT/Viva experienced one preventable accident for every 112,000 kilometres of operation.  In 2006, this improved to one preventable accident for every 170,900 kilometres.  By 2007, this had improved further to one preventable accident for every 266,500 kilometres a 138-per cent safety improvement in just two years.
 
"Our YRT/Viva staff are to be commended on implementing such an innovative program of transit safety," said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Chair of the Region's Transit Committee.  "Receiving this gold award affirms York Region's commitment to the protection of our transit passengers and proves our status as a provider of world class transit and rapid transit service."
 
For more information on YRT/Viva services, please visit www.yrt.ca or call the Customer Service Centre at 1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978).
 
 
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Media Contact: Kim Sinclair, Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 251-6412
 Email:  Kim.Sinclair@york.ca

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