Bus Rapid Transit Opens, Improving Access To York University
Greater Toronto Area residents, students and commuters now have a faster and more efficient transit option, thanks to the new York University busway.
A ceremony today celebrated the completion of construction and kicked off the official start of rapid transit service from Downsview Station to York University.
The ceremony was attended by Paul Calandra, Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges-Markham; the Honourable Gerry Phillips, Ontario Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; His Worship David Miller, Mayor of Toronto; Toronto Transit Commission vice-chair Joe Mihevc; and York University's vice-president, Academic, and provost, Patrick Monahan.
"Our government recognizes that investments in public transit create jobs and help our businesses prosper now and in the future," said Mr. Calandra. "These improvements will provide commuters and students in north Toronto and York Region with more transit options, while cutting commute times and improving air quality."
"Faster and more reliable busway service will reduce travel time for commuters," said Minister Phillips. "York University students and staff, and Greater Toronto Area residents will all benefit from this significant provincial investment in public transit."
"The York University express bus route is an example of how three levels of government worked together to deliver a local transit solution for students and visitors to the campus. It is a green solution that addresses customer needs by providing much needed public transit infrastructure and doing it with low-emission hybrid vehicles," said Mayor Miller.
"The TTC recognizes the importance of regular, reliable public transit for York University students, so we are truly delighted to introduce this dedicated busway that will improve their commute," said Toronto Transit Commission chairman Adam Giambrone. "Coupled with the new access to the student Metropass approved by the commission this week, it represents a commitment to better transit for students in Toronto."
"York University is a commuter hub for York Region, and this busway will help significantly reduce travel time not only for our students but for people living and working in the community," said York University's president and vice-chancellor, Mamdouh Shoukri. "This is an important interim measure until the subway extension is completed."
The York University busway is part of a two-phase approach to improve transit options to York University. This first phase provides six kilometres of bus-only lanes, connecting the northern terminus of the Spadina subway line at Downsview Station with York University. The creation of these dedicated bus lanes gives priority to transit, resulting in faster and more reliable service.
The second phase is the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, which will include a station at York University and is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.
The Government of Canada contributed $9.7 million to the City of Toronto for this bus rapid transit project. This funding is part of an overall commitment of $350 million to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and the City of Toronto for improvements to subways and subway infrastructure; streetcar infrastructure and dedicated streetcar lanes; buses and bus infrastructure; and a potential farecard system.
The Province of Ontario's funding for the project was provided in the 2007 Ontario budget, through a one-time payout, which the city could use towards projects under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund agreement. In total, the TTC has allocated $9.7 million in provincial funding to this project.
The City of Toronto contributed $18.4 million to the project.