www.travelsmart2010.ca launched to help public plan ahead
VANCOUVER, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) released the second phase of its Games-time integrated transportation plan today providing residents and businesses with the most up-to-date information available on how to start planning now for their day-to-day travel needs during the 2010 Winter Games. The plan requires reducing vehicle traffic by at least 30 per cent in downtown Vancouver, the Lions Gate and Iron Workers' Memorial (Second Narrows) bridges, the Sea to Sky Highway, and in Whistler.
This phase of the integrated transportation plan, which builds on information released in March and rolled out in venue communities on an ongoing basis, includes updated information on peak hours, street and road closures, the Sea to Sky Highway checkpoint, transportation plans for the Paralympic Winter Games, Olympic bus network, and advice on the movement of goods and services for businesses. Please see attached backgrounder for details.
The plan is based on the need to transport athletes, officials and all Games participants safely, reliably and efficiently throughout the Host Region, while also taking into consideration the transportation needs of local residents, businesses and visitors.
"Our message to every resident and business owner is that we need everyone to pull together to make this a success by doing their part," said Terry Wright, VANOC's executive vice president of services and Games operations, on behalf of OPTT. "We know the public wants this to work and wants our guests from around the world to have a great experience here and see the region in a positive light.
"This means we need everyone to think of ways to reduce vehicle traffic into downtown Vancouver, on the Lions Gate and Iron Workers' Memorial (Second Narrows) bridges, on the Sea to Sky Highway, and in Whistler by at least 30 per cent. Also, keep in mind the easiest way to get around will be public transit, which will increase greatly with more buses and trains and enhanced hours of service, as well other sustainable modes such as walking and cycling."
"The best way to get where you need to go and avoid delays is by planning ahead, avoiding peak travel times and knowing your transportation options now before you step out the door in February 2010," he added.
Although use of public transit and other sustainable modes of transportation are key to having a successful transportation experience, there will be peak travel times no matter what mode you choose. If trips must be made, travellers are encouraged to avoid peak travel times from February 12 to March 1.
- In Vancouver, this means, whenever possible, travelling into the
downtown area before 7:00 am or after 9:00 am and leaving by 2:00 pm;
or, for those who want to stay later and enjoy the fun, leaving after
- In the Sea to Sky corridor, this means travelling northbound before
6:00 am or after 6:00 pm on the Sea to Sky Highway
To help residents and businesses plan ahead, the OPTT today launched www.travelsmart2010.ca, a website portal with the most up-to-date transportation information available now and during the Games. The portal directs users to the appropriate website containing the information they are seeking, such as the City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler, TransLink, BC Transit, or the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
Fine-tuning of the transportation plan will continue up until Games time. Over the last year, VANOC has contacted over 900 businesses, residents, associations and organizations, schools and community associations throughout Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky region to share Games-time transportation plans and answer questions from the public. In addition to its stakeholder outreach, this fall the Organizing Committee, together with its partners, will host another series of Game Plan open houses in communities near Games' venues. Visit www.vancouver2010.com/gameplan for the schedule.
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.
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.
Backgrounder: Games-time Integrated Transportation Plan - Phase 2 details
Road closures and restrictions
Considerable traffic volumes are expected and sustainable modes of transportation are strongly encouraged. However, access to the downtown will remain open during Games time. The Lions Gate and Iron Workers' Memorial bridges will also remain open. Expo and Pacific boulevards will close to traffic in late January, while the Dunsmuir and Georgia viaducts will close on February 5.
Road closures surrounding 2010 venues, such as Canada Hockey Place and BC Place, will start in mid-January and in most cases will end on March 1 except for venues used during the Paralympic Winter Games, such as the University of British Columbia's Thunderbird Arena (also known as the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre). Many streets in the downtown core will also have "no stopping anytime" parking restrictions in place from February 4 to March 1, including in current designated loading zones. For a full list of road closures, parking restrictions and dates, visit www.travelsmart2010.ca.
Olympic Lanes in the city will go into effect on February 4 when athlete training at the venues begins and remain in place until March 1. Similar to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, Olympic Lanes will dedicate one curb lane in each direction to Olympic vehicles and TransLink buses, providing priority access for athletes, officials, the media and public transit 24-hours a day. No other vehicles, including taxis, couriers, or motorcycles, will have access to these lanes. The Vancouver Police Department will enforce the lane rules and regular traffic violation fines will apply. Olympic Lanes will be on the approaches to the Lions Gate and Iron Workers' Memorial bridges but not on the bridges themselves.
Pedestrian corridors will operate from February 12 to 28 on streets such
as Granville and Robson. The streets will operate as usual in the morning rush
period up until noon when the entire road space will become pedestrian only
areas until midnight with some access exceptions.
Public transit enhancements will be implemented starting in January. They
- 48 more SkyTrain cars on Millennium and Expo lines (by January 1)
- 180 additional buses and 30 more HandyDART vehicles (February 1
- Third SeaBus (February 8 to 28).
- Expanded WestCoast Express trips (February 12 to 28)
There will be extremely limited public parking in Whistler. However, Whistler Village will remain open to the public during Games time. Highway 1 and Highway 99 will also be open to the public as will 90 per cent of the ski terrain at Whistler Blackcomb for skiers and riders. However, Highway 99 in Whistler will have an Olympic Lane operating from February 4 to March 1 for accredited Olympic vehicles and transit buses only. For a full list of road and parking lot closures and dates, visit www.travelsmart2010.ca.
Public transit enhancements, such as 96 more buses, expanded routes in Whistler and connector buses linking Squamish and Pemberton running around the clock, seven days a week, are in effect from February 1 to 28. BC Transit's goal is to have 90 per cent of Whistler-area homes within 400 metres of a bus stop.
To manage traffic volume into and through Whistler, the OPTT will operate a checkpoint on the highway just north of Squamish near the Alice Lake turnoff from February 11 to 28 during the peak hours of 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. All vehicles will need a permit to pass through the checkpoint.
Permits are NOT needed for vehicles travelling outside the peak hours of 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, as well as southbound vehicles, emergency and health-care vehicles, road service vehicles (tow trucks, snowplows), buses (transit, tour buses, school buses, shuttle buses), Olympic accredited vehicles, limos, taxis, and utility providers.
Local vehicle permits will also be needed for residents and businesses of Nordic and Glacier drives, Glacier Lane, Whistler Creekside, and Gateway Loop from February 4 to 28.
In November, Sea to Sky checkpoint permits (two per household) will be mailed out to Whistler residential property owners and distributed to hotels. Local vehicle permits (two per household) will be distributed by mail as well. The permits are fully transferable between vehicles, tenants and/or guests.
Permit distribution offices will also open on December 1 in Vancouver (two locations), Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton. One office in Vancouver, as well as the Squamish and Whistler offices, will remain open through to the end of the Games. The second location in Vancouver and the office in Pemberton will close February 11.
To receive a permit, residents will need to show a photo ID and proof of address, such as a utility bill. Businesses will need to show their business licence and proof of parking, while hotel guests will be asked to show confirmation of their room reservation.
Movement of Goods for Businesses
All businesses operating in downtown Vancouver and in the Sea to Sky region are encouraged to confirm their loading areas and talk to their shippers and suppliers ahead of the Games. They are also advised to order their goods in advance, consolidate shipments to minimize vehicle trips and schedule maintenance if possible before February 1 or after February 28 to minimize delays and disruptions to their businesses. A goods movement workshop will be held on October 20 for those seeking more information.
Temporary Truck Routes
Temporary truck routes will also be in place from February 1 to March 21 in downtown Vancouver. However, no special passes or protocols are needed to move throughout downtown Vancouver or Richmond. Deliveries should be scheduled between midnight and 6:00 am (preferred) or 6:00 am to noon.
Deliveries to businesses in Whistler from February 11 to 28 must be made between midnight and 6:00 am and between 10:00 pm to 6:00 am for businesses located outside the village. These time periods are outside the hours when Sea to Sky Highway vehicle permits will be needed.
Special protocols will be required for deliveries to some properties that neighbour venues and places used by the Olympic Family, including Canada Place, BC Place, Canada Hockey Place (GM Place), and the Whistler Media Centre, as well as the floatplane and HeliJet terminals on the Vancouver waterfront. A full list of the businesses and properties is available at visit www.travelsmart2010.ca.
Olympic bus network - booking website available November 24
With every Olympic and Paralympic event ticket purchased, spectators have unlimited access to public transit on the day of the event. Spectators are encouraged to walk, cycle or take transit to the events, and if you have to drive to carpool/rideshare. All venues in Vancouver can be accessed using public transit.
There will be no public parking at any Games venues.
All Games ticket holders travelling from Metro Vancouver to Cypress Mountain and Whistler events will be transported on VANOC's Olympic bus network, a charter bus service operating from a network of designated departure hubs in Metro Vancouver.
Olympic bus network transportation tickets are sold separately from Olympic event tickets and can be booked online starting November 24. A round-trip ticket to Cypress will cost $12 while Whistler will cost $25 if booked by December 31. Prices will double starting January 4.
The departure hubs are: Simon Fraser University, Capilano University and Lonsdale Quay for transport to Cypress; British Columbia Institute of Technology and Lonsdale Quay for Whistler Olympic Park and The Whistler Sliding Centre; and Langara College for Whistler Creekside.
Taking public transit to the hubs is strongly encouraged. If driving cannot be avoided, spectators should find others to carpool/rideshare with and book one parking space at the same time they purchase their Olympic bus network transportation ticket. There is limited parking available at the hubs and Lonsdale Quay has no parking.
Souvenir Bus Pass
For ticket holders in the Sea to Sky region who want to take public transit, a separate souvenir bus pass will be developed for use on public transit in Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton. A separate shuttle service will pick transit passengers up in the village who are heading to Whistler Olympic Park.
Paralympic spectator plan
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games involve approximately 5,500 Olympic athletes and officials competing at nine venues in Richmond, Vancouver and Whistler over 17 days, whereas the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, from March 12 to 21, involve more than a thousand of the world's top Paralympic athletes, coaches and officials competing at four competition venues in Vancouver and Whistler for 10 days.
As a result of the reduced number of athletes and venues, Olympic Lanes, pedestrian corridors, and 24 parking/stopping restrictions will be removed in Vancouver and fewer roads will be closed in the city during the Paralympic Games period.
In the Sea to Sky region, there will a Paralympic Lane on Highway 99 in Whistler, however there will be no checkpoint or permits needed to travel on the highway. There will also be fewer road closures within Whistler. Some public parking and limited designated parking for Paralympic ticket holders will be available.
For more information, visit www.travelsmart2010.ca and www.vancouver2010.com.
SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES
For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Andrea Manchon, Vancouver 2010, (604) 403-2700, firstname.lastname@example.org; City of Vancouver, (604) 871-6336; Jessica Delaney, Resort Municipality of Whistler, (604) 935-8104, email@example.com; Ken Hardie, TransLink, (604) 453-4606; Joanna Morton, BC Transit, (250) 995-5720, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dave Crebo, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, (250) 387-7787; V2010 ISU Public Affairs, (604) 247-8600; Transport Canada Communications, Pacific Region, (604) 666-1675; Brent Dozzi, District of West Vancouver, (604) 925-7157; Diana Waltmann, City of Richmond, (604) 204-8664, email@example.com