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Will Viva buses use the York University busway this spring?



yorkregion.com reports that this spring, York Region Transit’s Viva buses may be moving more quickly between York University and Downsview Station. It hopes that buses operating along the Viva orange route will be rolling down the bus-only York University busway, instead of among traffic on city streets.

YRT originally announced that Viva buses would use the busway last March. However, ithad to negotiate subleases with several landowners, including Imperial Oil, the Ontario Realty Corporation and the university, before owners would allow the buses to roll along the busway across their property. All the landowners already have agreements with the City of Toronto and the TTC.

Before Toronto opened the busway, planners predicted it would reduce the 20-minute trip by as much as seven minutes. In fact, the trip is usually just four minutes shorter than previously, but the shorter travel times still improve the reliability of the service.

York Region has already budgeted $100,000 in 2007 to move stops and construct a new platform for the busway. It expects to regain that cost by reducing the amount of time for each trip.

When Viva buses start operating along the busway, they’ll continue to pick up TTC passengers at York or Downsview Station so Viva buses can help relieve the crowded conditions on TTC buses. Viva drivers accept TTC passes or transfers as fare between the two terminals.

yorkregion.com also reports that YRT receives 49 cents for each TTC passenger it carries between York and Downsview, while the rest of the fare goes to TTC.

Since the TTC and YRT launched the program on Sunday, August 22, 2010, Viva has carried 38,400 more riders and, while the YRT does not incur any cost for the program, YRT staff predict that it could result in an extra $70,000 a year.