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First section of Highway 7 East Rapidway
opens August 18

Metrolinx and York Region will launch the first phase of the rapidway — bus-only lanes in the centre of the roadway — along Highway 7 between Bayview Avenue and Highway 404 tomorrow, Sunday, August 18.

viva bus in vivastation.png

This section of Highway 7 is now more efficient for pedestrians, cyclists, riders and drivers — and transit passengers — and the contractors have also transformed the landscape with trees and other greenery. New vivastations open at Chalmers, Valleymede, West Beaver Creek, Leslie and East Beaver Creek. The vivastations at Bayview open in early September.

The new bus-only centre lanes for viva vehicles let riders enjoy faster and more consistent travel times. Metrolinx and York Region have clearly delineated the viva rapidway lanes with red asphalt and signage. Motorists need to be aware of the centre lane when they make a left hand turn onto Highway 7 as these are for viva vehicles only.

Viva buses continue to use state-of-the-art technology on board and at intersections and the vivastations to further reduce travel time for riders.

Here’s what’s also new:

  • new platforms at vivastations accommodate two viva buses, letting passengers get on and off faster.
  • the new vivastations include a glass wind enclosure to shelter riders all year round, temperature- and motion-activated heaters and message boards to help riders keep track of when buses will arrive — in real-time.
  • fare machines have a faster printer and include buttons to help reduce errors and help people who are blind or otherwise visually impaired.
  • crossings are well marked and include audible tone and visual countdown to make it easier for pedestrians and riders to cross at signalized intersections.

Buses operating along York Region Transit’s Viva purple route start serving the new rapidway and vivastations at 8 a.m. tomorrow, while buses operating along the Viva pink route start Monday, August 19.

According to the Toronto Star, the rapidway is opening four months ahead of schedule. The 2.7 kilometre section of rapidway between Bayview and Highway 404 is the first of an eventual 36 kilometre network of rapidways in York Region.

The second section of the Highway 7 East rapidway is under construction. It stretches 3.9 kilometers to Warden Avenue. That section opens next year.