April 23, 2009
Media Release

York Region approves $1.9 million in YRT, Viva improvements

Region-wide service plan calls for 32 service improvement initiatives in 2009
NEWMARKET …quot; York Regional Council today approved YRT/Viva’s annual service plan containing $1.9 million in transit improvements and adjustments for 2009.  YRT/Viva Service Plan09 contains 32 region-wide initiatives to grow and improve services for residents in York Region.
 
“Continued investment in YRT/Viva services is crucial to keep York Region moving,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Growing and improving YRT/Viva service will increase ridership, reduce traffic on our roads and cut harmful vehicle emissions.”
 
Highlights of Plan09 include:
• A 4.4 per cent increase in annual service hours
• Increased Viva service frequency on Yonge Street and Highway 7
• Improved service to existing and new developing areas in all nine municipalities
• Increased high school specials
• Increased dial-a-ride services in the Towns of Richmond Hill, Markham, Aurora, Newmarket and Georgina
• Increased travel options for persons with disabilities through the YRT/Viva Travel Training Program
 
YRT/Viva Plan09 was created through the annual service planning process.  During creation of the plan, input is sought from the general public, community groups, businesses, school boards, area municipalities, elected representatives, surrounding transit agencies and customers.  Proposed initiatives are categorized as priority 1, 2, and 3.  All Plan09 priority 1 initiatives have been approved for 2009 and can be viewed online at www.yrt.ca/whats-ahead
 
“I’m pleased to see new and improved services adding value to our already extensive transit system,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Chair of the Region’s Transit Committee.  “York Region will continue to focus on public transit in order to provide a convenient, affordable and reliable alternative to driving a car.”
 
Since amalgamation of transit services in 2001, YRT/Viva revenue service hours have increased from 350,000 to almost 1.2 million by the end of 2008, an average increase of almost 20% per year.  More than 120 YRT/Viva routes keep residents connected within York Region, as well as with connecting services in the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel.  More than 19 million riders used YRT/Viva services in 2008, with an average of 90,000 boardings made each weekday.
 
For more information about YRT/Viva services, please visit the YRT/Viva website at www.yrt.ca, or call the Customer Service Centre at 1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978). 
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact:  
Kim MacGillivray, Communications Specialist, York Region
                         Phone:  905 830-4444, Ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 251 412
                         Email:  kim.macgillivray@york.ca

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