ON: Durham's Rapid Transit Buses dubbed DRT Pulse

DURHAM -- DRT Pulse has been chosen as the name for Durham's new rapid transit bus system.

Members of the public submitted 1,180 votes on possible names between April and November 2011. Pulse edged out other top choices such as Max, Plus and Rapid.

The DRT Pulse branding will feature a bright green and orange colour scheme on the new system's 26 dedicated buses, including eye-catching orange bumpers.

Durham Region Transit spokeswoman Susan Dickison says creating a new brand to distinguish the rapid transit buses from the rest of DRT's fleet will attract new riders.

"We hope the 7.5-minute service will appeal to new riders who might decide to give the rapid transit service a try before buying a car," she said, referring to the fact that DRT Pulse buses will arrive every seven-and-a-half minutes during peak periods.

Ms. Dickison noted the rapid transit buses will also improve travel for riders taking north and south routes by cutting down on transfer times.

"We know transfer time is a deterrent to people taking public transit. If you know you can get to a connecting route in 7.5 minutes it could reduce your daily trip by 20 minutes or half an hour," she explained.

DRT Pulse will operate from the University of Toronto Campus on Military Trail in Scarborough to the Durham Consolidated Courthouse in downtown Oshawa travelling along the Hwy. 2 corridor.

The 47-kilometre trip from Scarborough to Oshawa will take one hour and 20 minutes.

A soft launch is planned for July 2013, but riders will have to wait until 2016 for features such as an intelligent transportation system, which uses traffic signal prioritization to change lights when buses are running late.

Fares will be the same as on standard DRT buses.

Provincial funding of $82 million has already been secured for the project, including $17 million for the 26 new buses.

Reporter Jillian Follert can be found on Twitter @JillianFollert and on Facebook by searching Jillian Follert

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