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YRT/Viva Construction Thread (Rapidways, Terminals)

TJ O'Pootertoot

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BRT makes no sense without the frequency. YRT has a huge problem with running buses at frequencies that encourage using transit. The other nonsensical thing YRT does is completely ignore running frequent connections to GO Train stations during peak hours. Talk about ignoring low-hanging fruit!
I don't disagree but as I've said before, viewing Viva solely through a short-term ridership/frequency lens is missing the point. It's a city-building effort which is facilitating a fundamental change in the built form of the corridors along which it's built. YR has put itself in a bit of a Catch-22 by cutting local service etc. but it's not a 5-year project. Let's see how Yonge and Highway 7 look in 10 years (they already look very different from 2003) and then look at ridership numbers.
 

jelbana

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I don't disagree but as I've said before, viewing Viva solely through a short-term ridership/frequency lens is missing the point. It's a city-building effort which is facilitating a fundamental change in the built form of the corridors along which it's built. YR has put itself in a bit of a Catch-22 by cutting local service etc. but it's not a 5-year project. Let's see how Yonge and Highway 7 look in 10 years (they already look very different from 2003) and then look at ridership numbers.
Yeah, building around transit corridors is definitely a good idea. But I find York Region's approach to be strange. Punting on all transit related service in the near term with the hope that development in the medium to long run will induce transit usage. It isn't mutually exclusive to work on both. Especially when operations are funded and governed at a more local level relative to the funding they receive for these capital projects.
 

cplchanb

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regardless of how effective it is now and what they can do to improve, credit where its due for actually building it in relative on time and on budget, despite the 2009 cutbacks. We complain now, but they have laid a good foundation for the future expansion and future proofing. Try doing this again for a similar price in 10 years time. Chances are theyll be stuck in forever limbo due to funding
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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Yeah, building around transit corridors is definitely a good idea. But I find York Region's approach to be strange. Punting on all transit related service in the near term with the hope that development in the medium to long run will induce transit usage. It isn't mutually exclusive to work on both. Especially when operations are funded and governed at a more local level relative to the funding they receive for these capital projects.
I don't think that's what's happening. They're not building "Around transit corridors." They are creating new transit corridors and there is massive development happening in the short term, much of which has gone up ahead of the actual transit (e.g. the highrise development along Yonge, around 16th). Clearly they need to do what they can to ensure that development is "transit-oriented" and actually generating new Viva riders and, yes, that's not going to happen if service is infrequent, not connected to local service, GO etc.

There's been a bit of one-step forward, one-step back. Clearly there are issues with the operation side of things - I don't think anyone is disputing that - I'm just saying that to view it solely through that lens is missing the larger point. It is creating new development in the short term which would not otherwise be there, which was part of the point. Now that it's happening, they have to ramp up the operations side of things (though, in fairness, the pandemic isn't the best time for that) or all that effort they've put in won't come to fruition.
 

jelbana

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I don't think that's what's happening. They're not building "Around transit corridors." They are creating new transit corridors and there is massive development happening in the short term, much of which has gone up ahead of the actual transit (e.g. the highrise development along Yonge, around 16th). Clearly they need to do what they can to ensure that development is "transit-oriented" and actually generating new Viva riders and, yes, that's not going to happen if service is infrequent, not connected to local service, GO etc.

There's been a bit of one-step forward, one-step back. Clearly there are issues with the operation side of things - I don't think anyone is disputing that - I'm just saying that to view it solely through that lens is missing the larger point. It is creating new development in the short term which would not otherwise be there, which was part of the point. Now that it's happening, they have to ramp up the operations side of things (though, in fairness, the pandemic isn't the best time for that) or all that effort they've put in won't come to fruition.
I'm not sure what the disagreement is about here. I'm agreeing with you that it's good that York Region is pushing hard on intensifying key corridors both from a transit perspective and a housing development perspective.

I'm saying that at the same time, York Region lacks a lot credibility with respect to transit operations. How can you plan for running rapid transit in the medium run, when you can't build political consensus and management ability to run regular bus service frequently. I don't think that's an unfair criticism, and neither is it something that should be ignored just because you can do a good job building a capital project.

Also, re-reading your post, we aren't disagreeing about the need for better operations. I'm mainly highlighting that there should be greater emphasis on pushing for that, given that they are very low-hanging fruit changes and necessary for future success.
 
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jelbana

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regardless of how effective it is now and what they can do to improve, credit where its due for actually building it in relative on time and on budget, despite the 2009 cutbacks. We complain now, but they have laid a good foundation for the future expansion and future proofing. Try doing this again for a similar price in 10 years time. Chances are theyll be stuck in forever limbo due to funding
I think it's too easy to congratulate ourselves in the GTA for projects that the rest of the world (bar maybe the US) can easily do. This is the bare minimum that a region like Toronto, the largest city in a country as rich as Canada, should be aiming for. Many other developed and developing countries are able to deliver far more than the low bar of goals that we set out for ourselves here. There really needs to be far more pressure on politicians to deliver these kind of projects and serious accountability for the years and years of slow progress.
 

mdu

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I've only lived in Richmond Hill and Aurora, but I've always remembered the bus-rail connections to be pretty decent. And the Viva frequencies are OK on the main section of yonge (though hwy7, yonge north, and davis need some work)
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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I'm saying that at the same time, York Region lacks a lot credibility with respect to transit operations. How can you plan for running rapid transit in the medium run, when you can't build political consensus and management ability to run regular bus service frequently. I don't think that's an unfair criticism, and neither is it something that should be ignored just because you can do a good job building a capital project.

Also, re-reading your post, we aren't disagreeing about the need for better operations. I'm mainly highlighting that there should be greater emphasis on pushing for that, given that they are very low-hanging fruit changes and necessary for future success.
Yes - we're agreeing :)
I'm just saying that as correct as you are about the transit operations issues, Viva has to be seen both as a transit project AND a city-building project. The verdict is not in on the latter, but it is definitely going in the right direction and that buys them a little leeway with the former, in the short term. But they're going to have to solve the operations side in the not-too-distant future to give the project the credibility it needs and to realize its long-term potential.
 

Haydenpoon

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I've only lived in Richmond Hill and Aurora, but I've always remembered the bus-rail connections to be pretty decent. And the Viva frequencies are OK on the main section of yonge (though hwy7, yonge north, and davis need some work)
Not outside rush hour though, with a bus every 16 or 34 mins (not a factor of 60) while the train comes every hour.
 

kali

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I don't think the VIVA BRT is the primary factor driving the York Region condo developments. It's probably more that land prices are high enough it's become profitable for commercial landlords to sell plazas for redevelopment.
 
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mdu

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Not outside rush hour though, with a bus every 16 or 34 mins (not a factor of 60) while the train comes every hour.
Yeah, good point about that. I remember once I was trying to get downtown, and hopped on a bus that stopped right outside the station entrance. There was no schedule alignment and I arrived basically as the train pulling out. It's a shame how little cooperation happens between levels of transit agencies.
 

Haydenpoon

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Yeah, good point about that. I remember once I was trying to get downtown, and hopped on a bus that stopped right outside the station entrance. There was no schedule alignment and I arrived basically as the train pulling out. It's a shame how little cooperation happens between levels of transit agencies.
Will have to wait until GO trains are every 15 mins or less, then it will further emphasize YRT's infrequent bus connections.

Side note: It is cheaper to take a few stops on GO Transit in York Region than taking YRT.
 

sche

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Will have to wait until GO trains are every 15 mins or less, then it will further emphasize YRT's infrequent bus connections.

Side note: It is cheaper to take a few stops on GO Transit in York Region than taking YRT.
it’s also cheaper to take zum instead of Viva Orange
 

Haydenpoon

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^And it will widen the headways because of increased travel distance to the terminal. Route 16 that will get 24 mins service in September will probably be 26 mins by the end of the year.
 

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