York University Busway

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York University Busway
New Look on Busway.JPG
The Hydro Corridor Busway.
Overview
System TTC Bus System
Operator Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)
Began service 2009
Route
Locale Toronto, Ontario
Start Downsview Station
End York University

The York University Busway is the collective name for a series of bus lanes and bus only roadways leading from Downsview station to York University, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is used by the Toronto Transit Commission's 196 York University Rocket and York Region Transit's Viva Orange bus rapid transit routes in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The busway was constructed to address over-crowding and reliability issues on the route 196 York U Rocket.

The busway increased the average speed of route 196 by 41% from 23.3km/h to 32.8km/h,[1] making it the third fastest TTC route at rush hour, after the Scarborough RT and route 192 Airport Rocket. It is now faster than any of the subway lines.[2] Due to the savings in time from using the busway, service frequency on route 196 was increased from every 2 minutes 15 seconds to every 2 minutes while reducing the number of buses operating on the route from 20 to 16.[1]

Overview[edit]

Going north from Downsview station to York University, the segments are as follows:

  • Allen Road / Dufferin Street - Bus lanes on regular road: 2.7km
  • York University Busway - Dedicated bus only road within Finch Hydro Corridor: 2.1km
  • Murray Ross Parkway - Mixed traffic: 0.1km
  • "busway" - Dedicated bus only road within York University: 1.0km
  • York Boulevard - Mixed traffic: 0.2km
  • York University Commons - Bus only road and bus terminal: 0.6km

Total Length: ~6.5 km

The busways consist of a single lane in each direction with barriers along the side. The busway within the hydro corridor has Ontario Tall Wall barriers and the busway within York University has guardrails. Dedicated bus priority traffic signals are present whenever the busways intersect normal traffic. To facilitate left turns from Dufferin Street to the hydro corridor busway, there is a jughandle with bus priority.

The busway in the Finch hydro corridor is officially named "York University Busway", but the busway within the York University campus is unnamed. In TTC route descriptions, the busway within York University is referred to as "busway" (i.e. Buses turn north on busway...) and the busway in the Finch hydro corridor referred to as "busway on hydro corridor."[3]

The stops are as follows, from north to south:

Stop Connections
York University TTC 41 Keele, TTC 60 Steeles West, TTC 106 York University, TTC 107 Keele North, TTC 195 Jane Rocket, Viva Purple, YRT 3 Thornhill, YRT 10 Woodbridge, YRT 20 Jane-Concord, YRT 22A King City, Züm 501 Queen
Murray Ross
Dufferin-Finch TTC 36 Finch West, TTC 104 Faywood, TTC 105 Dufferin North, TTC 117 Alness
Downsview Station TTC Spadina Subway line, TTC 84 Sheppard West, TTC 101 Downsview Park, TTC 104 Faywood, TTC 105 Dufferin North, TTC 106 York University, TTC 107 Keele North, TTC 108 Downsview, TTC 117 Alness

History[edit]

Hydro Corridor Busway under construction in August 2009

The busway was proposed in 2004 to increase speed and reliability on Route 196. Groundbreaking occurred on July 25th 2008, at a ceremony featuring Mayor David Miller, provincial Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. The York University Busway was scheduled to be completed for the Fall 2009 school term.

During construction, it was discovered that a gas pipeline was closer to the surface than had been thought, so the busway in the hydro corridor had to be redesigned to accommodate it.[4] This caused it to be delayed, and the only part that was open for the fall 2009 school term was the busway within York University, which started operation on September 6 2009.[5] Consequently, route 196 buses continued to use Keele and Sheppard avenues.

The busway was officially opened on November 20 2009[6] and route 196 was rerouted immediately. Other TTC routes using the busway were rerouted a week later.

The final cost of the busway was $37.8 million, of which $18.4 million was contributed by the City of Toronto, and $9.6 million was contributed each from the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario.[7]

In early 2010, the "busway on hydro corridor" was given the official name "York University Busway".[8]

On May 1, 2011, Viva Orange began using the York University Busway.[9]

Routes[edit]

Viva Orange operating on the Hydro Corridor Busway
  • TTC route 196 York University Rocket uses the entire York University Busway.
  • TTC route 117 Alness uses the busway on hydro corridor from Alness Street to Dufferin Street, as well as the bus lanes on Dufferin Street and Allen Road for their entire length to Downsview Station.[10]
  • TTC route 105 Dufferin North uses the bus lanes on Dufferin Street and Allen Road for their entire length to Downsview Station.[11]
  • TTC route 104 Faywood uses the bus lanes on Dufferin Street from Finch Avenue to Kennard Avenue.[12]
  • TTC route 41E Keele Express uses the busway within York University.[13]
  • YRT route Viva Orange uses the entire York University Busway. It was rerouted to use the busway on May 1 2011,[14] more than a year after the original target date of March 1 2010.[15] Since a portion of the Hydro Corridor busway is on Imperial Oil property, York Region Transit needed Imperial Oil's permission to amend the existing agreement with the City of Toronto to allow Viva vehicles to travel on the busway. Delays in this process prevented Viva Orange from using the busway earlier. The late start to use the busway was also due to the need to relocate VivaNow machines from Keele-Finch to Murray Ross, and from Downsview station to Dufferin-Finch.[16]

Other transit agencies are welcome to use the busway:

  • GO Transit doesn't have any routes that would benefit from the busway, but they are permitted to drive out of service buses on it to save time driving back to its Steeprock depot.[17]
  • The York University Shuttle that goes between York University's main campus and Glendon College is welcome to use the busway.[17]
  • Brampton Transit is welcome to use the busway for their Queen Street Züm route if it is extended beyond its current terminus at York University.[17]

Criticism[edit]

The busway has been criticized as a waste of money because both routes 196 York University Rocket and Viva Orange will cease service when the Spadina subway extension opens in 2016. However, when the busway was announced, the subway extension project was only an unfunded proposal. At a cost of less than $50 million, the busway provides valuable service until that date. It allows buses to operate at comparable frequency and speed to the multi-billion dollar subway extension, as well as bypass traffic caused by subway construction.[9] The Dufferin Street / Allen Road portion will continue to be used after the subway extension opens.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "York University Busway Below the Radar". Spacing. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  2. ^ "Service Summary 2010". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  3. ^ "196 York University Rocket". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  4. ^ "Update on York University Busway". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  5. ^ "TTC Revises Routes and Services". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  6. ^ "York University Busway Opens". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  7. ^ "Buses begin to run along entire route of Rapid Busway to York". York University YFile. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  8. ^ "Naming of Private Right Of Way Located Between Dufferin Street and Keele Street - York University Busway". City of Toronto. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  9. ^ a b "Viva Orange on York University Busway starting May 1". York Region Transit. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  10. ^ "117 Alness". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  11. ^ "105 Dufferin North". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  12. ^ "104 Faywood". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  13. ^ "41 Keele". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  14. ^ "Viva buses use York University Busway". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  15. ^ "YRT revises Viva and regular bus services". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  16. ^ "Report No.1 of the Rapid Transit Public-Private Partnership Steering Committee". York Regional Council. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  17. ^ a b c "York University Busway Service Changes". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 

Coordinates: 43°46′06″N 79°29′02″W / 43.7684°N 79.484°W / 43.7684; -79.484