Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Viva Update

With the freezing rain coming, I decided cycling would be a bad idea today. My last experience in freezing rain was terrifying, mainly because I was concerned about the cars tailgating me. Even though I now have studded tires and would feel much more confident in my own ability to control my vehicle, I am not so confident in others' ability.

Also, I didn't think I wanted to be one of those "others" today, attempting to control my car on an icy road, so I decided to give the TTC and York Region Viva public transit a go again.

There have been two very good developments since my last time using Viva. One is that the new express route has been added that allows me to ride a single "rapid transit vehicle" from the TTC Finch Station to my office. The other change is that my office has moved by about 1.5 km closer to a Viva stop, making it possible for me to easily walk from Viva to my office. It was urban intensification on a personal level. This is a big deal.

Updated Total Travel Times
Walking time + TTC + Viva = 47 minutes
Biking time (winter conditions) = 1 hour
Motoring time (typical rush hour) = 30 to 40 minutes

If you compare this to my past experience, the improvement is huge. In the fall, TTC + Viva took me about 90 minutes to get to work. Now with it at less than 50 minutes, it's a perfect option for me on a day like today.

If Viva continues on its successful path, it'll be interesting to see York Region change in the way it is being developed. It may not look like much to someone living downtown, but there is already some intensification going on in the area around Hwy 7 and Leslie. Condo towers have been built in the past 2 years that are a short walk to nearby shopping plazas. And during the past year, a number of office towers have been built in the area, all within walking distance of Viva, with sidewalks up to the front doors. I assume that zoning requirements must have been changed in the years since the low rise buildings were built. (By the way, all the most intense development has taken place on the Thornhill side of Hwy 7. Is Richmond Hill managed separately in this respect?)

Back on topic: I'll declare TTC + Viva a realistic transportation option for me now. I have to say though, I'd rather be on my bike (I'm so predictable).

Darren J 1/17/2006 03:48:00 p.m.


Hey, that's great! Cool to see Viva being a realistic alternative to the car.

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