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Update: Viva buses will use York U busway in April

Late last month, we posted that York Region Transit was close to finalizing an agreement with the property owners along the York University Busway. The agreement would allow buses serving the Viva orange route to operate along the busway between the York’s Keele Campus and Downsview Station.

The Toronto Star now reports that all parties have now signed the agreement so that the YRT buses start using the bus-only roadway this April. The roadway includes an exclusive right of way paralleling the hydro corridor north of Finch Avenue West and bus-only lanes along Dufferin Street and William R. Allen Road.

While the City Toronto has a $4.54 million easement agreement with Ontario Realty Corporation and a $5,400 agreement with Imperial Oil to allow it to use their property along the hydro corridor for buses, York Region has been slower to put those contracts in place.

Operating along the busway reduces the time for each bus trip between York and Downsview by at least four minutes. Even better, for much of their journey, buses don’t mix with other traffic, making the service much more reliable for passengers.

The TTC pays the City about $140,000 a year to maintain the busway and York will pay about $40,000. YRT expects to operate buses on about 150 trips daily Mondays to Fridays along the right-of-way.

Metrolinx is also hoping to finalize agreements for GO Transit buses to use the busway in the spring. GO would use it for about 20,000 “non-revenue” trips a year — meaning that GO buses would likely only travel along the busway to and from their garage. (GO has a maintenance and storage facility for its buses on Steeprock Drive, just west of Dufferin Street and south of Finch Avenue West.)

You can read the Toronto Star article here.