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Michael Sypolt
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The notion of running the rapids more frequently is well done in the northern suburbs of Toronto in York County along Yonge. The VIVA rapid route runs every 15 minutes off peak (7 days per week) and 7.5 minutes during peak times. The articulated buses stop every kilometre and operate to approximately midnight every night between the northern terminous of the Yonge Line of the metro and Newmarket. The local 98/99 routes operate less frequently (approximately half as frequent as the VIVA. These routes also operate night service until about 3am every night. There was definitely ridership to support the service, despite the suburban character of much of the corridor. What I thought was most successful was the visibility of the VIVA branding at the rapid stops, countdown clocks at stations, and a capable dispatching system to ensure quick deployment of additional buses or otherwise adjusting service when vehicles are running late or there is unmet passenger demand. When I visited on a sunday in May this year, the effective headway with all the dispatching help was closer to 10 minutes than the advertised 15 minutes.
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Sep 13, 2011