More road closures in downtown Vancouver start this week as Olympic crowds
start to travel around city;

    
       Join this week's TravelSmart 2010 Challenge and test Games-time
                               travel plans now
    This week's challenge: reduce downtown vehicle traffic by 20 per cent
    

VANCOUVER, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - The next phase of road closures in downtown Vancouver go into effect this week in preparation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. With the amount of Olympic traffic steadily rising, all drivers are strongly encouraged to "know before you go" and put their Games-time travel plans into action now by taking part in this week's TravelSmart 2010 Challenge on Friday, January 29.

    
    Road Closures/Reduction Goal:
    -   Last week's road closure: Renfrew Street between McGill and Dundas
        (as of January 24)
    -   This week's road closures: Canada Place and Waterfront Road
        (beginning January 27) and Expo and Pacific boulevards (as of January
        29)
    -   This Friday's vehicle traffic reduction goal: 20 per cent
    -   Overall vehicle traffic reduction goal: At least a 30 per cent
        reduction by February 12 and throughout the Games
    

The TravelSmart 2010 Challenge promotes incremental reductions in vehicle traffic as phased-in road closures go into place. The challenge takes place in the city on each Friday leading up to the Opening Ceremony on February 12.

How are we doing?

To track the progress of the challenge in reducing vehicle traffic on an incremental basis, the City of Vancouver is conducting data monitoring on behalf of the Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) each Friday and reporting on the vehicle traffic reduction results publicly the following week.

Last Friday, a record number of commuters took public transit to get into downtown Vancouver. There were 120,000 trips on the Canada Line - the largest number of trips to date since the new rapid transit line opened last August, and 10,000 more trips than recorded on Friday, January 15. There were also 21,000 trips on the SeaBus, 3,000 more than the previous week. While the overall number of drivers coming into the downtown was only one per cent below normal levels, there were fewer vehicle trips made in peak periods.

"These figures indicate that people are responding to the TravelSmart 2010 Challenge as we have seen a tremendous shift to public transit, a shift among drivers to off-peak hours, and use of sustainable modes of transportation three weeks prior to the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games," said Penny Ballem, city manager, City of Vancouver.

"We have to all keep working together to reach our goals, but with the amount of Olympic traffic steadily rising, we are encouraged by the increasing number of people taking transit, walking, cycling and shifting commuting times away from peak periods," she continued. "We need everyone to keep up their participation in the TravelSmart 2010 Challenge for the next three weeks, and through the month of February to make the Games a success."

To date, more than 250 companies have signed up and shared their Games-time travel plans for their employees and deliveries with the OPTT. These organizations will be recognized in full-page ads in The Vancouver Sun and The Province on February 6 and 7.

These organizations will also be entered in weekly draws leading up to the Games for a chance to win 50 tickets to nightly Victory Ceremonies at BC Place, where Olympic athletes will stand on the podium to receive their medals and top Canadian entertainment will rock the crowd. Thirteen companies will win sets of 50 tickets each. The tickets are a great way to reward employees, business associates and customers for changing their travel behaviour to help make the Games a success.

Hapag-Lloyd, Kasian Architects, Oyen Wiggs Green and Mutala LLP, and Vancouver Career College are the latest organizations who have won tickets through the draw. For more information on how to build a Games-time travel plan, contact: travelsmart@translink.ca. All organizations that make their pledge by Monday, February 1 will be included in the ads and the ticket draw.

Important reminders on how to TravelSmart:

By planning ahead and reading up on their travel options at www.travelsmart2010.ca, commuters, delivery drivers and residents will be well prepared to manage road closures, significantly reduced on-street public parking and the tens of thousands more people in the city associated with one of the world's largest sporting events.

This may mean taking public transit or cycling to the office. Teleworking or changing work hours to avoid the Games-time peak travel times into downtown Vancouver between 7:00 am to 9:00 am and 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm are also great options.

For the most up-to-date transportation information available now and during the Games, visit www.travelsmart2010.ca. The website portal directs users to the appropriate OPTT member website for the information they are seeking, such as the City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler, TransLink, BC Transit, or VANOC.

About the OPTT

Members of the Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) are VANOC, the City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler, TransLink, BC Transit, the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit. Planning is also supported by other partners, including Transport Canada and the municipalities of Richmond and West Vancouver.

About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Andrea Manchon, VANOC Communications, Tel: (604) 403-2700, E-mail: andrea_manchon@vancouver2010.com

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

More on this organization

VANOC

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890