York University Busway
|York University Busway|
The Hydro Corridor Busway.
|System||TTC Bus System|
|Operator||Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)|
|Routes||196 York University Rocket,
199B Finch Rocket,
|Start||Sheppard West Station|
The York University Busway is the collective name for a series of bus lanes and bus only roadways leading from Sheppard West 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, 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. 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.
Going north from Sheppard West station to York University, the segments are as follows:
- Allen Road / Dufferin Street - Painted bus lanes on arterial 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. Where busways intersect with minor streets, traffic signals are equipped with transit signal priority allowing buses to pass through without stopping. To facilitate left turns from the curbside bus lanes on Dufferin Street to the hydro corridor busway, there is a jughandle controlled by traffic signals.
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."
The stops are as follows, from north to south:
|York University||TTC 41 Keele, TTC 60 Steeles West, TTC 106 York University, TTC 107 Keele North, TTC 195 Jane Rocket, TTC 196 York University Rocket, TTC 199 Finch Rocket, Viva Purple, YRT 3 Thornhill, YRT 10 Woodbridge, YRT 20 Jane-Concord, YRT 22A King City, Züm 501 Queen|
|Murray Ross||TTC 196 York University Rocket, TTC 199 Finch Rocket|
|Dufferin-Finch||TTC 36 Finch West, TTC 104 Faywood, TTC 105 Dufferin North, TTC 117 Alness, TTC 199 Finch Rocket|
|Sheppard West 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|
The busway was proposed in 2004 to increase speed and reliability on Route 196. Groundbreaking occurred on July 25, 2008, with completion planned 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. 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. Consequently, route 196 buses continued to use Keele and Sheppard avenues. The busway was officially opened on November 20, 2009 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.
In early 2010, the "busway on hydro corridor" was given the official name "York University Busway".
On May 1, 2011, Viva Orange began using the York University Busway.
On March 28, 2016, TTC route 199 Finch Rocket was extended westward to York University from its previous terminus at Finch Station as the 199B Finch Rocket. It travels along the York University Busway from Dufferin Street and Finch Avenue to York University. 
- TTC route 196 York University Rocket uses the entire York University Busway.
- TTC route 199 Finch Rocket uses the York University busway from Dufferin Street at Finch Avenue to York University in the westbound direction, and from York University to Alness Street in the eastbound direction. 
- 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 Sheppard West Station.
- TTC route 105 Dufferin North uses the bus lanes on Dufferin Street and Allen Road for their entire length to Sheppard West Station.
- TTC route 104 Faywood uses the bus lanes on Dufferin Street from Finch Avenue to Kennard Avenue.
- TTC route 41E Keele Express uses the busway within York University.
- YRT route Viva Orange uses the entire York University Busway. It was rerouted to use the busway on May 1, 2011, more than a year after the original target date of March 1, 2010. 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 Sheppard West station to Dufferin-Finch.
Other transit agencies are welcome to use the busway:
- GO Transit is permitted to drive out of service buses on it to save time driving back to its Steeprock depot.
- The York University Shuttle that goes between York University's main campus and Glendon College is welcome to use the busway.
- 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.
The busway has been criticized as a waste of money because routes 196 York University Rocket and Viva Orange will cease service when the Spadina subway extension opens in 2017. When the busway was announced, the subway extension project was an unfunded proposal. It allows buses to operate at comparable frequency and speed to the subway extension, and to bypass traffic caused by subway construction. The Dufferin Street-Allen Road portion will continue to be used after the subway extension opens. The TTC had intended to close the busway after the Spadina subway extension subway extension to Vaughan opens, but on November 14, 2016, the TTC decided not to close the busway. Instead, the 199B Finch Rocket will continue to use the busway.  
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- "Buses begin to run along entire route of Rapid Busway to York". York University YFile. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
- "Naming of Private Right Of Way Located Between Dufferin Street and Keele Street - York University Busway" (PDF). City of Toronto. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
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- "Report No.1 of the Rapid Transit Public-Private Partnership Steering Committee" (PDF). York Regional Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- "York University Busway Service Changes" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2010-02-14.