Quick change – vivaNext bus rapidway opens in York Region with new Richmond Hill segment

Big news for York Region with the implementation of new ‘rapidways’. Here’s what you need to know.

Now that’s rapid change.

On Sunday (Dec. 20), the vivaNext rapidway on Yonge Street in Richmond Hill officially opened to riders, marking the completion of a total of 33.7 km. of rapid transit corridors in York Region. The projects were funded by Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario.

This form of rapid transit, with dedicated bus lanes, will connect people to York Region’s urban centres and destinations and allow residents to move seamlessly throughout their community now and in the future.  It also provides vital connections to GO Transit, regional rapid transit and will connect to the future Yonge North Subway Extension.

A bus stops at a stop, where customers are waiting.
The vivaNext rapidway in York Region. Though yes, in an image taken during warmer days. (Metrolinx photo)

Along with the 33.7 km. of new dedicated bus rapid transit, there are a total of 38 stations along Highway 7 in Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan; Bathurst and Centre in Vaughan; Davis Drive and Yonge Street in Newmarket and Richmond Hill.

Rapid transit infrastructure projects such as these are planned with a sustainable future in mind and to better serve our existing communities while attracting investment that benefits residents and business throughout York Region.

This piece of the puzzle, an additional 6.5 km. of rapidway, runs along Yonge Street in Richmond Hill from Highway 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive and from Levendale Road to 19th Avenue/Gamble Road and includes seven new ‘vivastations’. The rapid transit project is more than just dedicated bus lanes – there is new and upgraded infrastructure, including water main, gas mains, sewer and telecommunications to accommodate growth. 

This isn’t the end of rapid transit expansion in York Region. The team continues to work on completing Cornell Bus Terminal in Markham, seek funding for additional rapidway network expansion that is required to service the growth plan to 2041, and the future Yonge North Subway Extension from Finch to Highway 7 which will offer even more connections throughout the GTA.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications senior advisor.