York Region Transit

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York Region Transit
York Region Transit (logo).png
Slogan York, connected.
Founded 2001
Headquarters 50 High Tech Road,
Richmond Hill, ON
Locale York Region (with some service into Toronto and Brampton, Ontario)
Service area Urban/semirural areas
Service type bus service, bus rapid transit
Alliance Toronto Transit Commission
Brampton Transit
Routes 94 YRT, 6 Viva,
14 TTC-contracted
Fleet [1] 335 YRT buses
116 Viva bus rapid transit
27 Mobility Plus vehicles
Annual ridership 22,156,781[1]
Fuel type Diesel
Operator see Operations
General Manager Vacant - Richard Leary departed for TTC in early 2014[2]
Website yrt.ca

York Region Transit (YRT) is the public transit operator in York Region, Ontario, Canada. Its headquarters are in Richmond Hill, at 50 High Tech Road.

YRT operates 65 full-time, rush hour and limited routes, 35 school services, 5 Viva Rapid Transit routes and utilizes 14 Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) routes that run within York Region's boundaries. TTC passengers who cross Steeles Avenue (the Toronto-York boundary) must pay an additional fare (the YRT fare) to continue on that route (in practical sense, the TTC bus becomes a YRT bus when it crosses Steeles Avenue).

Some YRT routes operate within the City of Toronto; these buses are generally running to and from TTC subway stations. YRT northbound buses are allowed to pick up passengers south of Steeles Avenue if they are heading into York Region (but passengers must flag the bus from a designated TTC or YRT stop). YRT buses heading to a TTC subway station can similarly drop off passengers at designated stops south of Steeles Avenue, but are usually not permitted to pick up passengers from these stops (with the exception of York University).


Average daily ridership is between 150,000 to 200,000 riders on buses and 1,000 on MobilityPlus. 22 million riders used YRT in 2012, an 11.6% increase over 2011. YRT is projecting more than 23.5 million riders for 2013.[3]


YRT was created by the regional government in 2001 to combine the five municipally-managed transit authorities in the region:

In mid-2006, the York Region Transit (YRT) logo was modified to bear closer resemblance to the Viva logo and, by most of the YRT fleet and bus stop signs had their looks changed to bear the new colours.

Prior to 1973 a number of private transit operators provided services around York Region:[4]

  • Toronto and York Radial Railway - radial railway along Yonge Street in Vaughan and Markham
  • Maple Leaf - Markham Coach Lines - routes take over by Gray Coach in 1929
  • Travelways - operated briefly in Markham in 1973
  • Newmarket Bus Lines 1948-1958
  • Newmarket Town Bus 1958-1960s
  • Aurora Bus Lines - operated until 1972


All transit services in York Region are provided by private operators under contract.[5]

Division 1[edit]

Area served: Markham and Stouffville
Operator: Miller Transit Limited
Facility: 8050 Woodbine Ave., Markham - outdoor yard home to 135 buses stored on Miller Avenue or Burncrest Road
Web site: Miller Transit

This garage operates the most YRT routes in York Region. It was opened in late 2001.

Division 2[edit]

Area served: Newmarket, Aurora, King Township, East Gwillimbury and Georgina
Operator: Tok Transit
Facility: 18106 Yonge Street, Newmarket (leased by York Region to TOK Transit) and next to GO Transit bus garage. Sub-division is located at 536 Pefferlaw Road in Georgina for some route 50 Queensway vehicles and operators.

Tok Transit Limited, a subsidiary of Tokmakjian Incorporated of Concord, won the contract for serving Division 2 after First Student Canada's (formerly Laidlaw Transit Limited) services were terminated effective January 16, 2012, by YRT due to the transit strike. First Canada were stored in an outdoor facility at 534 Kent Drive at Mulock Drive in Newmarket.

Division 3[edit]

Area served: Richmond Hill
Operator: Miller (same information as Division 1)

Division 4[edit]

Area served: Vaughan
Operator: Transdev
Facility: 8300 Keele Street, Vaughan
Web site: Veolia Transport - Bus rapid transit in York region

Service in Division 4 was provided by Tokmakjian Incorporated from 2003 to 2010 (former operators for Vaughan Transit[6] and current operator for Division 2). It was opened in 1986.

Division 5[edit]

Services: Discontinued in Fall 2011
Former Operator: Stock Transportation
Facility: 550 Edward Avenue, Richmond Hill

These two routes were operated by Stock using three mini (18 seat) school buses bearing YRT logos and route signage. It was operated by Student Express Limited from 2000 to 2004.[7]

Division 7[edit]

Services: Viva Rapid Transit
Operator: TOK Transit
Facility: 55 Orlando Avenue, Richmond Hill

BRT division was operated by Transdev (York BRT Services) from 2005. TOK Transit took over the BRT division's responsibility on June 28, 2015, and uses the new facility at 55 Orlando Avenue, an indoor garage that houses 196 buses.[8] It opened on March 23, 2015.

All but Transdev are Canadian-based transit operators. All contractors maintain and store the YRT fleet within York Region. It was opened in 1986.


YRT Capital Assets and York Region Rapid Transit Corporation are responsible for procurement of vehicles for YRT.

Bus rapid transit[edit]

Viva uses a special fleet of high-end NovaBus and Van Hool buses
Main article: Viva Rapid Transit

In response to escalating congestion on the region's roads, York Region's transit plan included a provision for a bus rapid transit (BRT) system along the Yonge Street and Highway 7 arterial corridors. This service, known as Viva, was launched in September 2005.


A validated and expired Viva Student Ticket dated on May 4, 2006
Presto card reader at Promenade Terminal

York Region Transit fares may either be paid by cash, tickets, or passes; the latter two offering substantial savings over cash. As of January 1, 2014, YRT and Viva's fares are as follows:[9]

Fare Category Presto Cash Fare 10 Tickets Monthly Pass
1 Zone 2 Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone
Adults $3.40 $4.40 $4.00 $5.00 $34.00 $44.00 $136.00 $181.00
High School Students $2.60 $3.60 $4.00 $5.00 $26.00 $36.00 $102.00 $147.00
Children / Senior 65+ $2.10 $3.10 $4.00 $5.00 $21.00 $31.00 $57.00 $87.00
Express (All age groups) $3.90 - $4.50 - $39.00 - $157.00 -
Weekly Pass
Greater Toronto Area $61.00
Fare Supplements
Ride to GO $0.75
Zone Upgrade $1.00
Express Upgrade $0.50

Since July 18, 2011, the Presto card has been available for use on all YRT and Viva services,[10] except for those operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on behalf of YRT because the TTC does accept the Presto card on buses.

Payment is on a "pay on boarding" basis for YRT routes, Züm Queen, and TTC routes heading towards Toronto, a "pay on disembarking" on TTC routes heading away from Toronto, and on a "proof of payment" basis on all Viva routes. Fares for Viva services may be paid at the ticket vending machines at each Vivastation prior to boarding. Fares allow for unlimited travel within York region for two hours, though a transfer may be required for connecting services. Pass holders and passengers paying by Presto card will not be issued transfers.

Fare zones[edit]

York Region Transit's service area is divided into three fare zones. Zone 3 is defined as the portion of York Region north of Ravenshoe Road, while Zones 1 and 2 are divided by the Oak Ridges Moraine: Bloomington Road acts as the zone change boundary from Zone 1 to Zone 2 (northbound passengers), and a line just south of King Road acts as the zone change boundary from Zone 2 to Zone 1 (southbound passengers). Passengers crossing a zone boundary must pay the zone fare supplement in addition to YRT fares. No route passes through all three zones, three routes pass between Zone 1 and Zone 2 (22A King City, 98 Yonge North, and Viva Blue), and one route passes between the Zone 2 and Zone 3 boundary (50 Queensway). Accidental crossings of the zone fare boundary cannot be reconciled; the full fare must be paid on the first leg of the journey, otherwise a second full fare will be required.

GO Transit co-fares[edit]

As with many other transit agencies within the GTA, YRT offers a reduced fare for passengers transferring to YRT buses from GO Transit. Passengers may transfer at a GO train station from a GO Transit route to a YRT route and pay the reduced fare with the GO Transit proof of payment.

The GO Transit co-fare is expanded for passengers with the Presto card: passengers will automatically be assessed the co-fare (and any YRT fare supplements, if necessary) when transferring from GO Transit to YRT regardless of where the passenger boards the YRT bus. Similarly, passengers transferring from YRT to GO Transit will also be reimbursed the difference between the YRT fare and the co-fare upon disembarking from GO Transit (effectively, the YRT portion of the journey is paid with a co-fare).

Toronto Transit Commission fares in York Region[edit]

Some YRT routes are operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on behalf of York Region. Passengers on these routes may board a TTC bus in York Region and disembark in Toronto and vice versa. Though considered a single route by both agencies, passengers crossing Steeles Avenue on a TTC bus must pay separate fares for the portion north of Steeles Avenue (where the bus is operated as a YRT route) and south of Steeles Avenue (where the bus operates as a TTC route). This means that passengers effectively transfer between a TTC route and a YRT route of the same name and number at Steeles Avenue.

  • Passengers boarding in Toronto and disembarking in York Region must pay the TTC fare upon boarding as normal. Upon crossing into York Region, TTC buses operate on a "pay on disembarking" system, where the YRT fare must be paid on disembarking. Payment on disembarking is in effect even if passengers board and disembark within York Region. Passengers disembarking at Steeles Avenue do not have to pay YRT fares, even if disembarking on the north side of Steeles Avenue.
  • Passengers boarding in York Region and disembarking in Toronto must pay both fares upon boarding. A TTC transfer will be issued for passengers paying both fares, and the bus will stop on the north side of Steeles Avenue to ensure that all passengers have TTC proof of payment. Passengers boarding at Steeles Avenue on either side do not have to pay YRT fares.
  • Passengers may pay for YRT fares using a combination of TTC tickets/tokens and a cash supplement on these routes only; the cash supplement is the difference in fare value between the TTC fare media and its YRT counterpart.
  • YRT paper transfers issued by the TTC are good for one zone only; no TTC routes cross a YRT zone boundary. A full fare is required for travel beyond the zone boundaries.
  • As the TTC has not integrated with the Presto card on its buses, the Presto card is not accepted on YRT routes operated by the TTC. Due to the "pay on disembarking" system, passengers may not use Presto readers on the Viva ticket vending machines to pay for the YRT fare at Downsview Station or Don Mills Station (both stations connect to TTC routes serving York Region).
    • Exception: Passengers transferring to a TTC route in York Region from a GO train station may use the Presto Card as GO Transit proof of payment and pay the co-fare in cash.
  • YRT does not issue transfers for passengers paying by Presto card; a separate fare is required for passengers wishing to transfer to routes operated by the TTC.
    • Exception: Passengers transferring from GO Transit to YRT and subsequently transferring to a TTC route in York Region may request a special transfer upon boarding the YRT service. This transfer acts as proof of payment only when boarding the TTC service.
  • As the portions of TTC routes north of Steeles Avenue are operated on behalf of YRT, the "TTC Times Two" program, allowing a single TTC fare to be paid for transfers between two TTC routes separated by in intermediate leg on GO Transit, is not offered for portions of TTC routes north of Steeles Avenue.

The TTC also offers the "GTA Weekly Pass", which acts as a pass for the TTC, YRT, MiWay, and Brampton Transit; the pass is good for single-zone travel in York Region. Passengers wishing to cross zone boundaries must pay any zone fare supplements in cash.

Though other YRT routes enter Toronto, due to City of Toronto regulations, passengers may not board inbound (towards Toronto) YRT routes while in Toronto, nor disembark on outbound (away from Toronto) YRT routes while in Toronto; the exception is transfers to inbound Viva Orange at York University.

Due to additional fare integration with the TTC, passengers may travel between York University and the fare-paid area of Downsview Station on Viva Orange with TTC proof-of payment; passengers wishing to travel beyond York University are required to have YRT fares.

Brampton Transit fares in York Region[edit]

Further information: Züm Queen

Due to an agreement between YRT and Brampton Transit, passengers boarding Züm Queen east of Highway 50 (which largely duplicates service with Viva Orange while in York Region) will be assessed YRT fares, even if intending to disembark in Brampton. As a Brampton Transit route, passengers may also use Brampton Transit fare media (including those loaded onto a Presto card) to board this route without any additional fares being assessed. Passengers boarding with YRT passes will not be issued transfers for connecting to Brampton Transit routes in Brampton, nor will passengers boarding with Brampton Transit passes be issued transfers for connecting to YRT routes in York Region.

Passengers connecting from Züm Queen to YRT services and subsequently to TTC services in York Region and paying by Presto card may request a special transfer upon boarding Züm Queen; this transfer acts as proof of payment only when boarding the TTC service.

Brampton Transit and YRT have cooperated on routes connecting Brampton and Toronto via York Region, and for a time, certain YRT routes were jointly operated by YRT and Brampton Transit buses, where both agencies' fare media were accepted. The introduction of Züm Queen have largely ended joint operation of YRT routes, and the acceptance of YRT fares on Brampton Transit routes while in York Region are the last vestiges of such cooperation.

Vehicles and fleet rosters[edit]

2010 New Flyer D40LFR #1034 at Promenade Terminal on Route 88 Bathurst
2008 ElDorado EZ-Rider II MAX #850 at Newmarket Terminal
2007 New Flyer D40LF #707, running south of Steeles Avenue on the Route 99 Yonge
2014 New Flyer XD40 #1418 at Vaughan Mills Terminal on Route 85 Rutherford
2015 Nova Bus LFS #1502 on Route 224B Woodbine

YRT has 116 Viva bus rapid transit, 335 YRT buses and 27 Mobility Plus vehicles;[1] operated by private contractors as shown above in Operations. The initial fleet consisted of buses from previous York Region operators, but has since been expanded with YRT-bought vehicles.

For Viva bus fleet, see Viva Rapid Transit for details.

 Make/Model   Description   Division   Year   Fleet #   Notes 
New Flyer Industries D40LF 40' Diesel bus Southwest (Transdev), Southeast (Miller), North (TOK Transit) 2003-2010 311-335, 401-412, 571-585, 601-609, 610- 618, 701-730, 801-819, 901-945, 1001–1019 Handicapped/disabled access 300s,[11] 400s, 500s, 600s repainted in new livery 700s, 800s, 900s,1000s delivered in new YRT livery.
New Flyer Industries D40LFR 40' Diesel bus Southwest (Transdev), Southeast (Miller) 2010-2011 1020–1038, 1101-1120[12] Handicapped/disabled access All buses delivered in new YRT livery.
New Flyer Industries XD40 Xcelsior Bus 40' Diesel bus Southwest (Transdev), Southeast (Miller) 2014 1401-1434[13] Handicapped/disabled access All buses delivered in new YRT livery.
Nova Bus LF Series 40' Diesel bus Southwest (Transdev), Southeast (Miller) 2015 1501-1516 Handicapped/disabled access 15 units on order. All buses will be delivered in new YRT livery.
Orion Bus Industries 05.501 40' Diesel bus Southwest (Transdev), Southeast (Miller) 2002-2003 225-233, 301-310 Handicapped/disabled access Arrow south.svgArrow north.svg Lift-equipped buses.[14] 224 retired as a result of an accident, 300s in new paint scheme
Van Hool New A330 40' Diesel bus Southwest (Transdev) 2005-2006 501-520 Handicapped/disabled access Converted from Viva
ElDorado National EZ Rider II 30' Diesel bus Southwest (Transdev), Southeast (Miller), North (TOK Transit) 2005-2006 541-570, 619-621, 623 Handicapped/disabled access 622 retired due to fire.
ElDorado National EZ Rider II MAX 30' Diesel bus Southwest (Transdev), Southeast (Miller), North (TOK Transit) 2008-2009 850-868, 980-990, 991-996 Handicapped/disabled access All buses delivered in new YRT livery.
ElDorado National EZ Rider II BRT 30' Diesel bus Southeast (Miller), North (TOK Transit) 2010-2011 1060-1072 1160-1162 Handicapped/disabled access All buses delivered in new YRT livery.
Arboc Spirit of Mobility 20D Accessible bus 10 passenger wheelchair accessible bus Southwest (Transdev), North (TOK Transit) 2012 1180-1187, 1188-1197 Handicapped/disabled access

Handicapped/disabled accessDenotes wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Fleet colours[edit]

YRT's first fleet (2001–2005) was painted with a white base with blue and gold stripes. During the early years many buses still had their pre-2000 colours from the previous operators with "YRT" painted on the front and sides. The livery was changed after 2005 to a white and several tones of blue. Only the Viva fleet is all-blue, but one Orion I YRT (#2028) was painted all-blue for a colour demo.[15] During the transition to the second colour theme some buses were all white with the old "YRT" label remaining.


YRT operating staff are employed by their respective contractors


Bus operating staff uniform consists of a light blue shirt with YRT/VIVA crest on the left chest and grey pants.

Transit enforcement[edit]

Fare Inspectors and Special Constables patrol the entire transit system for the safety and security of passengers and to ensure compliance with the proof-of-payment system. They make random checks onboard buses to ensure the proper use of tickets, transfers and passes. Customers without valid fares are subject to a warning, an instant fine or a criminal charge.

CCTV cameras[edit]

Starting in 2006, YRT began installing 150 cameras on YRT (including Mobility Plus) and Viva buses. By the end of 2008, there were to be 210 more cameras added to the two systems.[16] CCTV cameras are also installed in some of the Vivastations. Such example will be Bayview Vivastation in Richmond Hill.



YRT has very few facilities it owns, many are shared with other transit agencies like the TTC, GO Transit and Brampton Transit.

Beside YRT Vivanext stations, there are a few facilities for YRT use only:

  • Richmond Hill Centre Terminal - only YRT-owned facility with terminal building; has bridge connecting to GO train station
  • Vaughan Mills Terminal - platforms only; no terminal building (shelters only)
  • Bernard Terminal - driveway and platforms only
  • Promenade Terminal - platforms only; no terminal building (shelters only)

Garages used to store buses are owned by contractors.

2011-2012 labour strike[edit]

Starting on October 24, 2011, bus drivers and workers contracted by Miller Transit, First Student and York BRT Services (Veolia) started striking, protesting over wages and benefits for three months. Over 60 percent of YRT bus routes in York region and all Viva routes did not operate. YRT and Viva workers started picketing on December 5, 2011, at Finch-GO Terminal, YRT headquarters, South-West Division Garage, and Richmond Hill Centre Terminal. 96% of all YRT/Viva routes returned to service on Saturday, February 4, 2012, with 98% of services operational on Monday, February 6, 2012. Full YRT/VIVA service resumed on Monday, February 27, 2012. To compensate riders for the three months of service disruptions, York Region Transit provided two months of free service, using the money saved by not having to pay striking workers.


In December 2014, the executive of YRT consisted of:

Operational executives are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c YRT/Viva Fast Facts
  2. ^ a b David Fleischer (January 26, 2010). "York looks south for new transit boss". yorkregion.com. Metroland Media Group. Retrieved February 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ "York Region Transit / Viva". Yrt.ca. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  4. ^ http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/alltime/s2z-on.html
  5. ^ YRT 2008 Draft Service Plan
  6. ^ "January 26, 2012 York Region awards new contract to TOK Transit Limited to restore North Division YR". York.ca. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  7. ^ http://www.york.ca/NR/rdonlyres/pmg5p2nfvntsgufiqmufgyth4skukl35ikfqleqv4iwecatbajsullhnn6d5rpiwgoffhrohye2gkke2jrwd3ise4f/rpt+2+cls+3.pdf
  8. ^ "transit facility / Richmond Hill". vivanext. York Region Rapid Transit Corporation. Retrieved May 2015. This 481,679 square-foot facility includes energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly features and will be used to maintain and store up to 196 YRT/Viva transit vehicles. 
  9. ^ http://www.yrt.ca/en/News/index.aspx?FeedId=560b2795-6287-495e-9463-ac3a2d4765b3&newsId=80b2d43a-eecd-44ef-bfcc-58dcd0053258.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  10. ^ http://www.yrt.ca/news/index.asp#presto[dead link]
  11. ^ "York Region Transit 311-335 - CPTDB Wiki". Cptdb.ca. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  12. ^ "York Region Transit 1101-1120 - CPTDB Wiki". Cptdb.ca. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  13. ^ "York Region Transit 1401-1434 - CPTDB Wiki". Cptdb.ca. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  14. ^ "York Region Transit 001-014 - CPTDB Wiki". Cptdb.ca. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ MyTransit Fall 2008
  17. ^ http://www.cutaactu.ca/en/public-transit/news/index.aspx?feedId=b8c7d1fa-5f3c-47f7-814d-c10f44ddd029&newsId=97332139-cb3e-49a3-8974-8bc6fb5d95bf
  • Markham Transit 1990 Rider's Guide, Town of Markham
  • Markham Transit Fall 1994 Rider's Guide, Town of Markham
  • Markham Transit Fall 1999 Rider's Guide, Town of Markham
  • Markham Transit 2000 Rider's Guide, Town of Markham
  • Transit History...Vaughan
  • Transit History...Markham
  • Transit History...Richmond Hill
  • "vivatalk - York Region's Rapid Transit Update", Economist & Sun/Sun-Tribune: Community, June 11, 2005, p 7.

External links[edit]