TravelSmart 2010 Challenge to test Games-time travel plans, starting Friday,
January 8 in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - Commuters, delivery drivers and residents working and living in downtown Vancouver: are we ready to travel successfully during the 2010 Winter Games and manage road closures, significantly reduced on-street public parking and tens of thousands more people in the city?

To prepare for a successful experience from February 12 to March 1, drivers who frequently travel in downtown Vancouver are encouraged to start practising their Games-time travel plans now and be a part of the weekly TravelSmart 2010 Challenge. The challenge, which will promote incremental reductions in vehicle traffic as phased-in road closures go into place, starts this Friday, January 8 and will run every Friday for the next five weeks in the city leading up to the Opening Ceremony on February 12.

    
    -   This week's road closures: Abbott between Pacific and Expo (January 4
        to March 1)
    -   This week's vehicle traffic reduction goal: five per cent
    -   Overall vehicle traffic reduction goal: At least a 30 per cent
        reduction by February 12 and throughout the Games
    

The weekly challenge is simple: Drivers need to think now about how they travel and read up on their options at www.travelsmart2010.ca on what changes they can make to reduce traffic congestion. Perhaps this means taking public transit or cycling to the office. It could also mean changing work hours or teleworking to avoid the Games-time peak travel times into downtown Vancouver of 7:00 am to 9:00 am and 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

"The world's eyes will be on us, visitors, athletes and officials will be here in our city - many for the first time - and we all need to do our part to make the transportation plan one of the great success stories and one of their great memories of these Games," said John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

"The TravelSmart 2010 Challenge is a great chance for people to prepare themselves and test their travel plans for moving in and out and all around the city during Games time. We're asking everyone to look at their travel options, try them out ahead of time, and make adjustments if necessary," added Terry Wright, executive vice president, services and Games operations, on behalf of the Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT). "It's a matter of everyone getting involved and knowing before you go - it's the best way to avoid surprises at Games time when on-street public parking will be virtually non-existent in the downtown core and the city's population will swell by tens of thousands of people every day."

To measure the success of the challenge in reducing vehicle traffic on an incremental basis, the City of Vancouver will conduct data monitoring on behalf of the OPTT each Friday and report on the vehicle traffic reduction results publicly the following week.

    
    Public recognition and chance to win tickets for companies who commit to
    TravelSmart
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

More than 200 companies have signed up and shared their Games-time travel plans for their employees and deliveries with the OPTT. Full-page ads in the Vancouver Sun and The Province on January 12 will highlight their commitment and more companies are encouraged to sign up today to be profiled and recognized. For more information on how to build a Games-time travel plan, contact travelsmart@translink.ca.

All companies who commit to reducing vehicle traffic and share their travel plan will be entered in a weekly draw 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.

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 Contacts: Jennifer Young, VANOC Communications, Tel: (604) 403-3589, E-mail: jennifer_young@vancouver2010.com; 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

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