Transport management in Olympics plays a huge role in ensuring that bidding for countries interested in hosting the event. During the bidding process countries are required to come up with transport management plan that benefits the country athletes visiting and a fulfilling experience. the bidding process helps the Olympics board to evaluate a country’s facilities ensuring that outside visitor and spectators are enough for the population in that period of time. In many countries where the Olympics have been held the change and infusion of new technologies and expansion of different roads has been an opportunity to grow their economy. In this the biggest challenge is the economy; this may include how the economy will be affected either positively or negatively.
The success of the transport strategy depends on the ensuring the safe and efficient movement of three main groups: the Olympic family and Paralympics family, games spectators and the games work force. The host city contract related to the transport management strategy which is between the international Olympic committee, the British Olympic association, the mayor of London and the Olympic organizing committee. London’s transport strategy for the Olympics games and Paralympics games was one of the key elements for the successful bid to host the 2012 games. The plans evolved over three years since the bid was launched. The aim was to ensure that athlete and others of the Olympic family plus spectators experience the best games ever. The main key objectives which underpin the strategy are:-
- Provide safe, secure, inclusive, fast and reliable transport for the Olympic family and Paralympics family.
- Provide frequent, reliable, friendly, inclusive, accessible, environmentally friendly and simple transport for spectators and visitors around UK and overseas.
- Leave a positive legacy and facilitate the regeneration of east London
- Keep London and the rest of the UK moving during the games and thus make it a positive experience to host the games.
- Achieve maximum value for money for every pound spent on transport.
London 2012 aim was to host a public transport games, the plan was for all ticketed spectators to travel on public transport or by walking or cycling, with those who do drive for part of their journey using park and ride services. London Olympics bid winning enhanced the possibilities and an opportunity for the state to improve on the economic status of the country. In most cases it helps improve on the infrastructures of roads and underground passes. In Tokyo (1964 Olympics), it took 22 new highways and underground lines, in Sapporo(1972), extensions were required for two airports together with improvements to 41 roads, in Seoul (1988), three new underground lines were required.
If the facilities are going to be a legacy of any success at all then the planning for the provision of transportation infrastructure goes hand in hand with those of facilities. Hence, the importance of integrating the long term strategic plans for both a new facility and the infrastructure that supports it. In order to meet the tremendous traffic demands in planned special events sometimes it is necessary to provide exclusive infrastructures for these events. The exclusive infrastructures management is aimed at three major categories i.e. the road infrastructures, transport service facilities and temporary facilities. The Olympic lanes network linked the Olympic village, venues, endorsed hotel and hospitals. The effect of traffic, demand management is determined by transport service conditions in a large extent. Before the Olympics, Beijing constructed three bus rapid transport lines on the base of the south centre corridor BRT line.
After the unsuccessful bid for hosting the Olympics in the Athens for 1996, the 2004 Olympics were assigned to Athens. The drawbacks of the Athens traffic situation at that time was converted to advantages because of
- The large additional capacity provided through the numerous projects in the planning/design stage or under construction, which were programmed to be completed in time for the games.
- The exploitation of the existing large margins for improvement through systematic traffic management and police enforcement.
- The use of new technologies (upgrading the signalization system and traffic control centers, machine vision, variable message signs, etc.).
- The favorable location of all major trip generators along or near a high capacity “Olympic ring” and the provision of alternative routings. “Olympic lanes” for the exclusive use of the Olympic family and for the spectators’ special express buses were provided to secure unhindered flow for these critical categories of movements.
- The completion of the above improvements, just before the games, left no time margins for saturation.
- The existing experience in facing special traffic problems by complete or partial prohibition (by even and odd license plate numbers) of private cars in circulation in two pre-determined critical areas—the 13-square-kilometercentral area defined by the inner ring road and the 140 square kilometers within the outer ring road.
This transport strategy plan helped them in securing the bid as the proposed and undergoing infrastructure improvements were sustainable to hold the Olympics. The lessons learnt from the previous Olympic Games are critical and require for the Olympics committee to come up with an international research project in transportation. The London 2012 games were faced with their fir share of mishaps regarding the underground transport system. Some of the major mishaps were as follows this happened in July where different underground operations were either stalled or delayed.
- Signal failures crippled Tube and mainline rail services.
- Three Tube line, the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City, also suffered major disruption after the signals went down at south Kensington.
- Mainline rail users arriving at Victoria than faced long delays trying to get Circle or District line trains with platforms packed to capacity.
- Both Circle and District lines were part suspended during the morning peak.
- Circle line trains were today halted in the clockwise - Cannon Street to Victoria - direction between Aldgate and Edgware Road stations.
- Shortly after this the District line was suspended westbound between Aldgate East and Earl’s Court with knock-on delays along the remained of the route.
- Hammersmith & City lines trains were delayed between Moorgate and Barking as a knock-on effect to the South Kensington signal fault.
- A signal problem on one of the busiest stretches of mainline track in the UK - New Cross Gate to London Bridge - caused major disruption to commuter services.
- London Over ground reported long delays between High bury & Islington, Crystal Palace, New Cross and West Croydon.
- Southern trains were delayed by up to 45 minutes travelling between East Croydon and London Bridge and between West Croydon, Crystal Palace and Dalston Junction.
- Mainline rail passengers coming into the already busy station and heading for the Olympic Stadium at Stratchford will change there for the Jubilee line.
- Early through-London First Capital Connect (FCC) train also suffered delays due to the same problem which eased during the evening peak.
- Packed Southeastern trains from Gravesend to Charing Cross were delayed due to a separate signal failure at Dartford.
London Bridge was highlighted as been the station to avoid where possible during the Games.
London's transport system came under fire after a major technical failure on the Underground saw hundreds stuck in stifling carriages on the hottest night of the year. More than 770 passengers were offered £40 compensation after they had to be walked through tunnels because of a broken down train on the Jubilee Line. This happened only two weeks to the main Olympic Games which held a lot of skeptics from the public wondering whether the transport management of the underground tunnels was indeed ready for the Olympic Games. With such significant failures the CEO of underground facilities had to assure the people of London that it was safe and that this were just minimal errors and the technical teams were busy fixing the problem. Transport in the underground tunnels would be the most used as it connected most of the small cities and this resulted to it been close to the Olympic village.
The success of the hosting countries in the Olympics lies in the investment from other foreign visitors. This enhances both growth and development of the country which helps to improve international relations for major investments. The failure and success of such events benefits both the public and the country this can be through booming business from the visitors or the country is able to attract many investors. The Olympics bring countries, region and nations together and creating a sustainable environment for this people requires lots of investment that will help deliver such services without fail. In many cases, the governments in concerned countries partner with major companies who help to provide certain services that will elevate the country’s infrastructure.
In many experiences in the different countries the tourism industry are not affected much as the event only occurs for a while. Hotels therefore get minimal advances as major emphasis is put on the infrastructure. This is because most athletes are accommodated in the Olympic village together with their trainers. During the London 2012 Olympics because of the transport strategy that kept London moving investors were not limited in viewing the spectacular and improved infrastructures of the UK. This gave them the opportunity to share ideas and ideals and the strategies to achieve on them. In the Olympic village countries from all over the world showcased their businesses and investment ventures from their country. This evolved to more exposure in the case of the developing countries.
In London the major aspect of the transport system been the underground tunnels which took three years to be renovated was one of its greatest infrastructure developments towards the Olympics. These underground tunnels connected the east of London to the Olympic village. These connections helped to reduce the influx of traffic on the roads which benefited the visitors with free flow of traffic. London’s transport system has risen to the challenge while the eyes of the world have been watching.
It is clear that passengers benefited from a united up approach from Transport for The London train operators co-orperated and communicated effectively between themselves – through information allocation about problems and working together to find substitute routes to get passengers swiftly and without difficulty to their destinations. When disruptions occurred, passengers were given understandable, dependable and appropriate advice about substitute routes. Train operators also provided more flexible train service, with later trains and more trains on Sundays. Transport operators delivered high valued services whilst transporting record numbers of passengers and responding on time to problems on the transport network when they occur. One of the definite successes was the capability of operators to offer and organize service under the ‘One Team Transport’ banner.’ Commuters rose to the test for the duration of the Games, following the travel recommendation accessible to them and changing their travel patterns accordingly. This helped to ease overcrowding thus commuters and businesses alike saw the benefits of more flexible working.
The 2008 Olympics will be among the most expansive ever held, with 16 days of competition from August 8 to 24 in 28 sports inside 37 arenas for 302 gold medals. In addition to Beijing, six other cities will host Olympic events—Hong Kong; Qingdao, Shandong; Qinhuangdao, Hebei; Shanghai; Shenyang, Liaoning; and Tianjin—making the Olympics a national event. China has embraced the basic ideals of the Olympics with its own slogan, "One World, One Dream," and has widely promoted a green and high-tech Olympics. To prepare for the games, China invested nearly $40 billion in infrastructure alone from 2002 to 2006, transformed the cityscape of Beijing, made national stars out of PRC Olympic champions—such as high hurdler Liu Xiang and platform diver Guo Jingjing—and created a great sense of excitement and anticipation among the public.
Most Olympic transport is performed by bus with on board security between secured bubbles. Dedicated bus subsystems are operated for client groups with specific travel and schedule requirements such as athletes, technical officials, media (broadcasters and press), workforce and volunteers as well as sponsors. In Beijing, a fleet of more than 2000 buses was operated out of four or five temporary logistical depots, transport malls and bus holding areas. About 12km North of Tian-Anmen, the new 725ha Olympic Green, the biggest Olympic Park ever, was served by a new metro line in its middle and by the first North South Beijing metro line. Those two Metro lines provided only 20 to 25% of Olympic Park accessibility. In a bold temporary strengthening of the bus system, 34 additional lines were created to carry about 75% of the Olympic Park spectator, workforce and volunteer traffic.
Transportation know-how transfer from Games to Games
As a consequence of the Atlanta 1996Games transport shortcomings, Sydney 2000 innovated in many different fields of transport and traffic management.
Two of these were:
• ‘Green’ transport policies were introduced whereby 100% of ticketed spectators, accredited workforce and volunteers could access Olympic sites by public transport or on foot/bike only.
This meant ‘zero’ parking availability for spectators near Olympic competition venues as well as free 24hourpublic transport for all ticketed spectators and accredited personnel;
• Prior to the Games, Sydney Olympic Park new traffic policies were tested with other Mega-events to familiarize the general public with Olympic 100% public transport accessibility or ‘no car’ policy.
Athens 2004 applied most of the Sydney Olympic transport and innovative traffic
Policies with two particular emphases:
• Rapid 1999-2004 development of metropolitan public transport, mostly major improvements in rail transport that had been postponed for decades.
The successful opening of Athens’ new International Airport two years prior to the Games with rail connection to the city centre and peripheral motorway and arterial developments to relieve automobile pressure on the city centre were also accelerated;
• Temporary implementation - a first in Olympic history - of a 160km network
of Olympic lanes designed to allow a55km/h average commercial speeds, three times the usual Athens bus speeds.
Other than the considerable transport infrastructure development described earlier, the most spectacular transport and traffic measures and impacts were as follows:
• Network of 300km of directional continuous Olympic lanes, the largest in Olympic Games history;
• 55% road traffic reduction in all Beijing during the 60 days of Olympic and Paralympics Games;
• Much improved air quality due to drastic 60-day traffic reduction, construction work stoppage and a full programme of other environmental improvement measures.
Past Olympic Games show that bold transport developments are accelerated by the Games, mostly in rail public transport. In addition the challenge of handling considerable additional mega event transport and traffic loads is such that Olympic Cities innovate with temporary transport and traffic schemes providing maximum priority to mass public transport, the only service which can cope with exceptional transport tasks. In Beijing all transport developments were planned as long-term legacies to avoid are being left with any transport ‘white elephants’. Games to Games transport monitoring and transfer of knowledge have been outstanding. They constitute ‘live traffic laboratories’ and lead to more sustainable solutions not only for the very short duration of the Olympic Games but for the Host Cities ’long term legacy.
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