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Newmarket Residents Complain of VIVA's Service Cuts

One exception to the generally good reviews VIVA has received in recent months has come from the residents of Newmarket, who are upset that GO Transit has cut service to the town in response to the bus rapid transit service’s arrival. Metro has details here.

A Newmarket resident writes to Transit Toronto:

GO Transit slipped in changes that will eliminate bus service from both Newmarket’s historic Main Street district and Southlake Hospital effective November 18th (see my email below for more detail). GO buses headed to and from Union Station will now travel along Yonge Street between Newmarket and Aurora rather than along the Prospect and Bayview Avenue residential routes. I can’t believe they’re really doing this, but I spoke to them on the phone this morning and they confirmed it’s true.

Before this change, anyone living in central Newmarket could walk to Davis Drive or Prospect and hop on the GO Bus directly. Now, anyone who wishes to use public transit must pay an additional fare to board a YRT bus, ride it to the bus terminal at the far end of town, and transfer to a GO Bus. For someone riding every day, that’s an extra $20 a week. I suspect many of those who lose service will simply get in their cars and drive to the Bus Station, contributing to our already brutal gridlock.

As Metro notes commuters in Aurora feel similarly inconvenienced.

GO Transit is not obligated by VIVA’s arrival to pull up its routes. The service cuts are in anticipation of a ridership drop as commuters switch to VIVA, but GO appears to have forgotten that it’s serving a slightly different client base. Surely there should be room enough, and commuters enough, for GO Transit to maintain its service to Newmarket and Aurora alongside VIVA?

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