When it comes to transit, it doesn’t get more basic than the bus.

But York Region has been stepping up the basic bus since 2005 with its branded, frequent express Viva service.

Now comes VivaNext, a plan to increase York’s mass transit.

Under the plan, the current fleet of about 90 express buses will expand to about 197. They will travel on their own rights-of-way lanes on the Yonge Street and Highway 7 corridors.

The express service will connect with the Finch, Downsview and Don Mills subway stations, plus new stations on the extended Yonge and Spadina subway lines

VivaNext received provincial funding from Metrolinx, the transportation planning agency charged with easing Toronto’s congestion.

The VivaNext system is expected to reduce the number of York Region trips taken by car and raise the number taken on transit to about 30 per cent by 2026, from about 14 per cent in 2006.

But VivaNext is about more than putting bodies on the bus, said Mary-Frances Turner, vice-president of the York Region Rapid Transit Corp.

“It’s an investment in transit and mobility, but it’s also an investment in changing how we look and feel in York Region along these major corridors,” she said. torstar news service

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